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.