Leake: Today’s IPCC Blooper

Jonathan Leake of the Sunday Times has another IPCC blooper for breakfast tomorrow, this one about a looming 50% decline in north African crop production, a claim that occurs not just in the eccentric WG2, but the Synthesis Report:

The most important is a claim that global warming could cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50% by 2020, a remarkably short time for such a dramatic change. The claim has been quoted in speeches by Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, and by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general.

The claim was based on a non-peer reviewed pamphlet by an NGO. The Sunday Times quotes incoming WG2 head, Professor Chris Field – last seen spluttering angrily against Pielke Jr in a television interview – as saying that he “cannot find support for the statement about African crop yield declines.”

Nonetheless the claims have been repeated by IPCC Chair and Love Guru Pachuri and UN Chairman Ban.

According to the Sunday Times, former IPCC Chair Robert Watson proposed that IPCC standards be amended so that statements are no longer based on NGO pamphlets, but on “hard evidence” or, more precisely, at least a computer model:

“Any such projection should be based on peer-reviewed literature from computer modelling of how agricultural yields would respond to climate change. I can see no such data supporting the IPCC report,”

Alert CA readers will note that this issue was raised with many relevant details by CA reader David Brewer on Jan 24 here.

Update: Richard North has a superb post on this.


  1. David L. Hagen
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 6:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Detailed discussion by Richard North at: And now for Africagate

    . . .IPCC has wrongly claimed that in some African countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020. At best, this is a wild exaggeration, unsupported by any scientific research, referenced only to a report produced by a Canadian advocacy group, written by an obscure Moroccan academic who specialises in carbon trading, citing references which do not support his claims.. . .

  2. jorge c.
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 6:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    it is worst than we thought…

  3. Ken
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 6:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    FYI, this was brought up on Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog on January 20th: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-laundered-literature-guest-post-by.html

  4. Dishman
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 7:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I find it interesting that, for all the weaknesses in the workmanship on the question “Is it happening?”, that workmanship appears to be of higher quality than the workmanship regarding the question “Do we care?”

    I’ll leave the question of why this would be so for others to discuss elsewhere.

  5. Jason
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 7:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ipredict’s Pachauri to be stood down or removed price is looking very good. Clearly this latest news is not yet reflected in the market. If I were a gambling man…

  6. Peter of Sydney
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 7:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is there any credibility left at the IPCC? Yet the vast majority of the media still say to this minute that nothing has changed regarding the threats of man-made global warming. I say again at the risk of having my comment removed yet again, the only way to tackle this “fight” is in the courts. The media is too strong and too one sided. They refuse to report both sides of the argument equally, and refuse to do any due diligence. The vast majority of the public are being given too much false information through the media yet are expected to make their minds up on serious matters based on that information. The Internet has helped a lot but I don’t believe it’s enough at this stage since there are too many people who still don’t use the Internet, and even those that do a lot don’t want to use their brain matter to think, or even care. Finally, the western governments are desperate for money so they will continue to try and pass legislation to introduce new taxing schemes in the name of saving the planet. The only sure way to stop all this is through the court systems of the world. I have written to Monckton suggesting he champion this approach. I suggest all you do the same.

  7. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 7:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I would bet dollars to doughnuts, that given the challenge, the IPCC could get peer-reviewed literature that could be construed to support these seemingly (and only recently discovered) outlandish claims that have finally seen light.

    It is simply a matter of Manning up to the task.

  8. Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 8:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And now there is Africa-gate:


  9. pat
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    OT but
    UK Daily Mail: How Met Office blocked questions on its own man’s role in ‘hockey stick’ climate row

    • Peter of Sydney
      Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 9:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I’m not surprised they are trying to neglect, or far worse try to revive the Hockey Stick. Given time after people have forgotten about all the excellent work done by Steve and others to discredit it, the Hockey Stick might return in it’s full glory to perpetuate the AGW story. I think you all know by now what should happen to prevent this and as a whole prevent the AGW scam from continuing, if not blossom again at the first sign of even a slight rise in global temperatures above normal.

  10. David L. Hagen
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 9:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Related IPCC blooper: IPCC bases claim of 1.3 billion agricultural workers on news article, changes title. ClimateQuotes.com

  11. RomanM
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 10:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Several people have posted comments seemingly justifying threats that have been made against persons involved in Climategate. It is my view that such comments are both inappropriate and reprehensible and I have removed them. Please use some discretion before posting anything of this type in the future.

  12. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 11:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, Richard North’s post on this is superb.

  13. Michael Smith
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 7:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Given the problems that Steve’s audits have turned up in the paleo/dendro studies, I’ve long wondered what we’d find if someone seriously examined the evidence supporting the claims of GW’s alleged disastrous effects. What’s being uncovered does not surprise me at all.

  14. Vieras
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    IPCC and Pachauri also ignored UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s statistics, which shows that food production in these three countries has increased with tens of percentages since 2001.


  15. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Dennis Avery is an agriculture expert and has done lots on food and related issues in relation to climate change. He has shown not only that there is no evidence of current declines, but that the net future effect on average will be greater food production (warmer, wetter, and more CO2). You can probably google some of his work (I am at home right now).

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Craig Loehle (Feb 7 08:23),

      A lot of this sort of stuff is available in Bjorn Lomborg’s two books. In both of them he pulls data from official documents and reports to show that the alarmism we typically see is overblown and that in general things are improving enviromentally. The second book in particular concentrates on global warming and the way activists tend to hype things.

  16. Fred
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 1:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “In other countries, additional risks that could be exacerbated by climate change include greater erosion, deficiencies in yields from rain-fed agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000-2020 period, and reductions in crop growth period (Agoumi, 2003).

    So if there is less rain, are we to assume it is the wind that is doing that greater erosion?

    Just curious.

  17. theduke
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The inimitable Mark Steyn on the Himalayan glacier claim:



  18. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 3:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And in yet another IPCC blooper, now there is EntGate.

  19. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 4:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Gordon Conway of the Grantham Institute, The science of climate change in Africa, here

    Chronic hunger is likely to be made worse by climate change. This is partly because the proportion of arid and semi-arid lands is expected to increase (5-8% more by the 2080s), and partly because of depleted water resources. Projected reductions in yield in some countries could be as much as 50% by 2020, and crop net revenues could fall by as much as 90% by 2100, with small-scale farmers most vulnerable. [46 - IPCC WG2]

    I presume that his 50% reduction by 2020 is the Africagate reduction.

  20. Donald Trumbo
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 5:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – OT.

  21. PhilJourdan
    Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Even after the RatherGate of 04, these politicians of power (I will not call them scientists, just as I will not call Rather a journalist) still dont get it! They think as long as they have the Mainstream Media in their pocker, they can get away with anything!

    The paradigm has changed and it will be the downfall of all the charlatans that try to deceive the populace based on lies and distortions.

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  1. By Climategate, what is going on? - EcoWho on Feb 6, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    [...] Leake: Today’s IPCC Blooper [...]

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