A damning new report has blown open the process by which some of the science work presented by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is twisted to fit a political narrative through the accompanying Summary for Policymakers (SPM), which is compiled by governments. Further spin is then applied by press releases, which are reported mostly without question by the incurious media. The investigative report written for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) shows a large gulf between the science presented and the perception of the public. The progression from the initial IPCC report to press release provides “ample opportunities” for the message to be distorted, “either wilfully or not”.
In the latest Summary for Policymakers issued last year, the ‘infamous hockey stick’ was revived showing little global warming over 2,000 years, and a sudden, dramatic uptick over the last 150 years. The hockey stick first appeared in the third IPCC assessment report in 2001 but was omitted from subsequent work. It was the creation of the IPCC author Michael Mann, and was widely debunked since it ignored the higher temperatures in the medieval warming period (MWP) and subsequent cooling in the little ice age (LIA).
Figure 1 above “illustrates very clearly” how the science can be lost in translation, the report notes: “Figure 1, or discussion of it, does not appear anywhere in the body of the report”. Yet the SPM is presented as an easy and more concise guide to the full AR6 IPCC report.
The GWPF report is written by the retired physicist Dr. Ralph Alexander. He notes the widely reported statement made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last year following publication of a supplementary IPCC working group report. It was a “code red” for humanity, claimed Guterres, adding: “The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable.” Alexander notes that the wording may have been chosen for maximum political impact, but it had “little connection” to the science reported in the latest assessment report known as AR6. As if that was not bad enough, “the scientific message becomes even more contorted as the media and environmental organisations pick up on the IPCC’s press releases,” said Alexander.
The various warming periods over the recent past have long been disputed by climate alarmists, eager to place all the blame for temperature rises on humans burning fossil fuel. But there is strong evidence for warming in the medieval period, with AR6 citing a 2016 summary paper from two Danish climate researchers, Christiansen and Ljungqvist, that found nine temperature reconstructions had their warmest day in the 20th century, compared with 67 in medieval times. In addition, alarmists try to suggest that any warming only occurred in small areas of the northern hemisphere. But Alexander presents the graph below that shows a temperature reconstruction for Antarctica.