Latest IPCC Exaggeration

IPCC AR4 reported:

The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea-level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level where 60% of its population lives and 65% of its Gross National Product (GNP) is produced.

Dutch newspaper Vrij Nederland reported today (Google translation):

In its last Assessment Report on the impacts of climate change shows that 55% of Netherlands is below sea level in this area and that 65% of the gross national product is produced. These figures are far too high. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) is only one fifth of the Netherlands below sea level and there are only 19% instead of 65% of the GDP generated.

Not that 20% is something to be ignored if that’s what they think. But the percentage below sea level is the sort of thing that primary school geography classes should be able to get right.


  1. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Wiki says 27% below sea level, based on Encyc Britannica and another source.

  2. Matt malesky
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Good Day,

    I’m just a reader and I appreciate the effort. I share a lot of the information you provide. Would it be too difficult or too much to ask for you to provide a quick share tool bar so we can post a link to your work directly to social networking sites like facebook?

  3. Luis Dias
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Well, at least people are reading the IPCC report now.

  4. BillyBob
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the Netherlands be held up as an example of what countries could do if the sea level was actually rising? I never really worried about the mythical Bangladeshi who might drown if the sea level rose too high – I always assumed they were smart enough to move, or build dikes or put their houses on stilts. Especially if they had 100 years to do it.

    • Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

      Re: BillyBob (Feb 3 12:07),

      Some years ago we were collecting money for a mosque in Bangladesh. The region was one that regularly flooded when the monsoons hit. The locals expected to build a rock rubble platform approx 5 – 6 metres above ground level and build the mosque on top. During the wet they’d have little enough to do so they could always get to the mosque by boat or raft, for prayers and just to chill out.

      So anecdotally the locals simply adapted to current conditions. I doubt they were expecting to see any benefit from CO2 polluter dollars either, if they knew about it 🙂

  5. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Living in the leading state of our nation’s Pixie Dust production, I would point out that your criticism here is too “mathy”. That is, it relies too much upon math principles, rather than on the principles of justice.

    Excess in the pursuit of justice is not a bad thing. It is a necessary thing.

    • HectorMaletta
      Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

      I do not believe justice can be attained by ignoring of disfiguring facts. To the contrary, just verdicts need to be based on evidence.

  6. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    The sea levels have been rising slowly for hundreds of years so we’re told) and yet the Dutch have used technology to overcome it for hundreds of years. It’s the same in parts of East Anglia (if I dare mention it) which are below sea level. snip

    • Michael Jankowski
      Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

      Not hundreds…tens of thousands.

      • tty
        Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

        Not tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions. In addition to the postglacial sinking due to the glacial “forebulge” slowly flowing back into the “hole” left by the glaciers, a broad zone from southern England through the Netherlands into northern Germany and Poland has been slowly sinking all through the Quaternary. The basis of the Quaternary is about 500 meters below sea-level in the Amsterdam area. The only reason most of the Netherlands is not sea-bottom is that the sediments deposited by the Rhine more or less keeps up with the sinking.

  7. Richard
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    Mean sea level, or would Spring High Water? I presume this is just a difference of datums.

    BillyBob – where do you suppose the Bangladeshi should move to? Perhaps Canada will welcome them?

    • HectorMaletta
      Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

      I happen to know Bangladesh, and although they are quite smart, I think they cannot move en masse to other parts of the country, since most of the country consists of the low-lying alluvial lands of the Ganges delta. However, they do have many houses built on “stilts” or otherwise elevated.
      Their main problem is not rising sea level, but Monsoon cyclones and desperate, abject poverty. Many paddy growers or fishermen live in precarious huts made of straw, cane, or the odd metal plank, without any possibility of affording any stronger construction. Every strong storm sweeps their houses away. Better coastal defenses, better embankments in coastal rivers, stronger dwellings, are all unaffordable for most of them or for the government, which has however made enormous strides in some of these respects. Even modest development during 50/70 years can pull most Bangladeshi above these dangers, and allow the government to continue improving preparedness and protection. A bit less of governmental corruption could also help.

      The country has made important progresses over the years. A large cyclone in 1970 caused 500,000 deaths, but a similar cyclone in the same area in late 2007 (including a tsunami-like 2-metre-high sea water intrusion) caused only 8000 deaths, though affecting the houses or livelihoods or 8 million people: most of the more exposed people received early warning, and took refuge in thousands of government-built cyclone shelters, chiefly schools and other public buildings, made of concrete and other hard materials, and built upon 12-15 feet high concrete pillars. Even cattle shelters are planned for the future (not a few deaths occurred to peasants, mostly elderly, that chose to remain at home to take care of their ramshackle dwelling and the one cow). The economic losses were of course large, but they were much below the level of a few decades ago, and this improvement is expected to continue.

      By the way, monsoon cyclones are mostly seen by scientists as unaffected by climate change, which has so far not caused perceptible long-term increases in their frequency or intensity. The ~20cm sea level rise occurred during the 20th century has gone so far unnoticed.

      • HectorMaletta
        Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

        Sorry, previous message for both Billybob and Richard.

  8. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Hardly anybody seems to read the WG-1 section of AR4 which provides the scientific basis for the rest of the report. The key section is 8.6 which deals with the forcings and feed backs and climate sensitivity. They discuss the part played by water vapour and cloud cover and summarise their conclusions as follows ” Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining future projections.Consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed.”

    Steve: OT

  9. maikel
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Literal word by word translation:

    Nieuwe (new) fout (error) klimaatpanel (climate panel) ontdekt (discovered)

    Het (The) onder (under) vuur (fire) liggende (lying) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is (is) ook (also) waar (where) het (it) Nederland (Netherland) betreft (concerns) de (the) fout (error, literally “fault”) in (in) gegaan (gone). Dat (That) schrijft (writes) Vrij Nederland deze (this) week (week).

    In (In) zijn (its) laatste (latest/last) Assessment Report over (about) de (the) gevolgen (consequences) van (of) klimaatverandering (climate change) is (is) te lezen (being able to read) dat (that) 55% van (of) Nederland (Netherland) onder (under) de (the) zeespiegel (sea-level) ligt (lies) en (and) dat (that) in (in) dit (this) gebied (region) 65% van (of) het (the) bruto nationaal product (GDP; Gross Domestic Product) wordt (is being) geproduceerd (produced). Deze (These) cijfers (numbers) zijn (are) veel (a lot) te (too) hoog (high). Volgens (According to) het (the) Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) (CBS is a government institute that provides statics on lots of topics) ligt (lies) slechts (only) een (one) vijfde (fifth) van (of) Nederland (Netherland) beneden (below) de (the) zeespiegel (sea-level) en (and) wordt (is being) daar (there) maar (only) 19% in plaats (instead) van (of) 65% van (of) het (the) bnp (GDP) gegenereerd (generated).

    In (In) Vrij Nederland zegt (says) Joop Oude Lohuis van (of) het (the) Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (Planning agency of the Living environment) dat (that) de (the) gewraakte (not sure how to translate, refers to real sea-level numbers) cijfers (numbers) van (of) zijn (his) instituut (institute) afkomstig (originated) zijn (are). Alleen (Only) heeft (has) het (the) IPCC twee (two) getallen (numbers) opgeteld (added together): het (the) oppervlak (surface) dat (that) onder (under) de (the) zeespiegel (sea-level) ligt (lies) én (_AND_) het (the) gebied (area) dat (that) vatbaar (suspectible) voor (for) overstromingen (floods) is (is). Oude Lohuis erkent (recognizes) dat (that) het (the) IPCC ten onrechte (unjustifiably) schrijft (writes) dat (that) 55% van (of) het (the) Nederlandse (Dutch) grondgebied (land mass) zich (itself) beneden (below) zeeniveau (sea-level) bevindt (stations). (In (In) het (the) rapport (report) te vinden (findable) in (in) hoofdstuk (chapter) 12, pagina (page) 147)

    Bovendien (Furthermore) is (is) het (the) cijfer (number) dat (that) het (the) Planbureau aan (to( het (the) IPCC heeft (has) geleverd (delivered) voor (for) het (the) gebied (area) dat (that) overstromingsgevaar (flooding danger) loopt (is suspectible to) aan (on) de (the) hoge (high) kant (side). Het (the) CBS [Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek] komt (comes) in (in) totaal (total) op (on/with) eenderde (one third) in plaats (instead) van (of) meer (more) dan (than) de (the) helft (half) van (of) Nederland (Netherland) uit (out). Het (The) CBS becijferde (numbered) welk (which) deel (part) van (of) het (the) ‘potentieel overstroombare gebied’ (‘potentially floodable areas’) werkelijk (really) gevaar (danger) loopt (suspectible to). ‘Een (A) betere (better) indicatie (indication) ,’ zegt (says) Oude Lohuis. Maar (But) dat (that) is (is) volgens (according to) hem (him) ‘voortschrijdend (no idea what this means, apparently “a later”) inzicht (insight)’, want (because) deze (these) berekening (calculations) was (weren’t) nog (yet) niet (not) beschikbaar (available) op (at) het (the) moment (moment) van (of) schrijven (writing) van (of) het (the) IPCC-rapport (IPCC report).

    In (In) de (the) afgelopen (last few) weken (weeks) kwamen (came) verschillende (differing/different) fouten (errors) van (of) het (the) IPCC aan (at) het (the) licht (light). De (the) pijnlijkste (most painful): ten onrechte (unjustifably) stelde (suggested) het (the) klimaatpanel (climate panel) dat (that) het (it’s) zeer (very) waarschijnlijk (likely) is (is) dat (that) de (the) Himalaya-gletsjers (glaciers) tegen (against) 2035 verdwenen (dissappeared) zijn (would be). De (the) fouten (errors) doen (do), luidt (sounds) de (the) wetenschappelijke (scientific) consensus, niets (nothing) af (off) aan (at) het (the) beeld (image) dat (that) de (the) aarde (world) opwarmt (is warming) en (and) de (the) uitstoot (emission) van (of) broeikasgassen (green house gasses) daarvan (of that) een (a) belangrijke (important) oorzaak (cause) is (are). Wel (well) geven (give) ze (they) het (the) gezag (authority) van (of) het (the) klimaatpanel (climate panel) een (a) knauw (bite).

  10. TomFL
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    I think he was being sarcastic…

    • David S
      Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

      Re: TomFL (Feb 3 12:59), Oops. If it’s a pastiche, it’s very close to the mark, so apologies if I missed it.

  11. Jan F
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    First the ground in our ‘polders’ (reclaimed land) will get lower quicker then the sea level rises. The top soil loses water and thus volume, so the water table has to be lowered. Because of that the top soil will loose water, etc., etc. So it is normal to expect that the dykes should be raised.

    Most of the flooding we have to fear is from the rivers, those areas are above sea level. A lot of the Western-European rivers are canalised in a way that they are made shorter, and thus can hold less run-off water from rain and melting snow. The water will be sooner at the sea, but the water levels will also rise and do that more quickly. Also, our ancestors made two dykes along most rivers, a higher winter dyke further from the river and a lower summer dyke closer to the river. The area in between was for grazing cattle in the summer and for using the clay sediment from previous winter for bricks. In winter the summer dyke was deliberately breached to give the river room to flow wide. Nowadays there are houses between those dykes, so to protect them we have to make the summer dykes higher with higher water levels as a result and thus a higher risk of flooding downstream.

    All the risk is due to man, but the sea level rise is the least of our worries.

    • Maman Ouest
      Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

      Jan F,

      Thank You! 🙂

      This is a great description of Dutch Ingenuity and Innovation, and of Adaption to their changing environment. Brilliant!

      Why is it, that with so, so many successful examples, from countries such as The Netherlands, Bangladesh and others, all around the world, we have to have the fear and the panic of the IPCC, Media et al??

      With the attitude of the IPCC we could never land Man on Mars.

  12. Calvin Ball
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    As we learned in New Orleans, the area matters a lot, because your choice isn’t between having it and abandoning it, but between having it naturally, or engineering a pumped drainage system. If the burms are already there, this simply means making them higher and increasing the head of the pumps. An expensive mitigation strategy, but not a catastrophe.

  13. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    Descriptions like “the percentage of the area where a certain percentage of the population lives or a certain percentage of stuff gets produced” might be tough for pupils to grasp.

  14. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    What is the status of AR5? Specifically are the “Climategate Team” included as part of the authors?

  15. P Solar
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    More lop-sided logic from the IPCC. The Netherlands have been holding back the sea for centuries. They probably are better at it than any other country in the world, and better equipped to deal with any changes.

    If sea levels do rise significantly they will certainly make a fortune exporting their technology.

    So they are susceptible to rising sea levels: their GDP will likely grow as a result.

    Not that many IPCC lead authors seem to let the facts get in the way of a good scare story.

  16. maikel
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    And something that doesn’t make you cringe:

    New climate panel error discovered

    The IPCC, that has recently come under fire, was also wrong on Netherland. That writes Vrij Nederland this week.

    In the latest Assessment Report about the effects of climate change one can read that %55 of Netherland is located under the sea-level and that in this area %65 of the GDP is produced. These numbers are way too high. According to the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek (CBS) only one fifth of Netherland is located under the sea-level and in that area only produces %19 of the GDP, instead of the 65% claimed.

    Joop Oude Lohuis of the Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving states in Vrij Nederland that the AR’s numbers are those of his agency. But the IPCC added two numbers: The area that is located under the sea-level and the area suspectible to floods. Oude Lohuis recognizes that IPCC wrongly writes that 55% of the Dutch land mass is located under the sea-level. (You can find this in the report in chapter 12, page 147.)

    Furthermore, the number that the Planbureau [voor de Leefomgeving] has given to the IPCC on the area that is suspectible to floods is rather high. The CBS calculates one third is suspectible to floods, instead of the 50% the Planbureau claims. The CBS emphasized which area of the ‘potentially floodable areas’ really are in danger. “A better indication,” says Oude Lohuis. But this is according to him a recent insight, because the calculation wasn’t yet avaible when the IPCC report was being written.

    In the last few weeks a range of errors by the IPCC were discovered. The most painful being the climate panel’s claim that the Himalaya glacier would have been dissappeared by 2035. The errors do not, according to the scientific consensus, discredit the view that the globe is warming and that the emission of green house gasses is an important cause of that. Although they do give it bad press.

  17. John
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    From 27% of Netherlands is below sea level, and 60% of country lives there. So they got the percentage of the population living below sea level correctly, but apparently the “territory” below sea level, at least the land area, is actually much smaller. Wonder why the discrepancy?

    Regarding Bangladesh, there was something in the press about a year ago that said Bangladesh is actually ADDING land area, because so much dirt/glacial silt is washed down the huge rivers, and is deposited in the deltas, so that even with sea level rise, more land is created.

    This is what would be happening in Louisiana if the Old Muddy hadn’t been so channelized and leveed. Not that levees weren’t needed, but knowing what we know now, we probably would have done things differently so that the wetlands would be replenished with the dirt from the Mississippi, so that Louisiana’s land area wouldn’t be disappearing at the rate of tens of thousands of acres every year.

    • HectorMaletta
      Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

      All huge delta estuaries like the Ganges, the Nile, the Amazon or the River Plate are silting and thus accumulating sediment, which reduces the depth of the area under water and also gradually adds to the above-water land. In fact, almost all Bangladesh was formed this way: at some point in the past the Ganges outlet to the sea was probably a wide estuary like today’s River Plate (which is itself the sea outlet of the big Parana and Uruguay rivers, plus other minor streams)

      • tty
        Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

        Unfortunately not the Nile, since the sediment is now trapped in Lake Nasser. Consequently the sea is encroaching on the Delta, which is (of course) blamed on global warming.

  18. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Mann inquiry is out. See Lucia and

    Click to access Findings_Mann_Inquiry.pdf

  19. stumpy
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Maybe they were including the 60m sea level rise from the antarctic melting over the next few years ;0)

  20. Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Magazines employ fact checkers. If an author made a statement like the one about the area under sea level the fact checker would verify it from almanacs etc. Even minor errors of fact are regarded very seriously and an article will not make it into publication until any discrepancy is rectified. In the IPCC case, an SI website could list the references for all facts.

    Perhaps the IPCC should employ professional writers and fact checkers. The fact checker is an entry level or intern position and there are many many journalism graduates looking for work so the personnel are available

  21. Max
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    What I find interesting is that they are worried about a few meters of sea levels in 100 years or more. When all it takes to destroy a town is not this long rise but one Hurricane, Tzunami or whatelse… So, I doubt that one should focus on the long-scale events but on short disasterous events, because they are more dangerous. I think the Netherlands (f.e.) can live on with even 2 meters plus water levels, but a dangerous natural disaster could even overcome the high dikes.

  22. Robert Dammers
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Yes, it’s a stupid error. I wonder if the numbers are right if one considered the just the provinces of North and/or South Holland (people constantly confuse Holland and the Netherlands – even the Dutch themselves, who cheer for “Holland” rather than “Nederland” at footbal), rather than the whole of the Netherlands: I think it more likely that errors are gross carelessness, gathering anything that looks good, rather than consciously fabricating evidence from whole cloth. I always prefer incompetence to conspiracy as an explanation.

  23. Alberto
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    Below is a map of the Netherlands, blue is below sea level. It seems to me that more than 25% is below sea level. Besides that, most of the big cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, together called the Randstad) lie below sea level, zo the percentage of GDP seems to be more than 19%.

    By the way, I live in the Netherlands (in one of the higher lying areas).

    • Alberto
      Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

      Here’s a link to the map.
      Seems to me that the percentage below sea level may be around 25 percent, the percentage of the population that lives there is way above 25 percent of the total population, since it is the most populated part of the country.

  24. Timo van Druten
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Maybe there is another little story behind this ‘error’.

    “Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving” is Dutch for the National Environmental Assessment Agency (or MNP). The organisation has been rewarded for its contribution to AR4.

    The MNP had an expert reviewer for IPCC AR4 WGII, named Maximilian Posch. He proposed several changes in the Second Order Draft August 2006, mainly typing and/or wrting errors. On page 22 of Second Order Draf the proposes to insert “lives”after “population” (see E-12-119 on page 22 of the pdf-file).

    Click to access Ch12_SOD_Expert.pdf

    Interestingly, in that same sentence the IPCC reported the incorrect information and which surprisingly was not noted by the expert reviewer of the same organisation (MNP) that provided the information to the IPCC.

    Recently, the Dutch government assigned MNP to review IPCC AR4 after Climate-, Glacier- and all other Gates. It is not clear whether this is their first finding. Sofar, they have not issued any official statement.

  25. redetin
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Bob Corell spouted the drivel about a 1 metre sea level rise and its effects on the Netherlands at a meeting in The Hague. There was an objection raised my someone from the Dutch Met Office. However, Corell’s trick is to use a large number of slides skipping from one to the next with little opportunity to discuss the finer points of fact.

  26. MattN
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps they mean after seas rose 12-25meters over the next century???

  27. Jeff Dunetz
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Didn’t you hear…its not an exaggeration, today Pachauri blamed it all on an evil conpiracy. Who Knew?

  28. PhilJourdan
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    So what will this one be? NetherlandGate? Floodgate? Seagate?

    And the list goes on and on.

  29. Greg Cavanagh
    Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    @Alberto, I imported the map provided into AutoCad and drew polylines around the country and approximatly the area subject to flooding. I got a 24.0% area, so I think your pretty close.

  30. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Seems like the Dutch need a “Bridge to Far” (Fifth Assessment Report).

    There was a point in the history of the world when Bangladesh and Holland started life about equal. If one has prospered and one has not, what does this say about climate change?

    Nothing, it seems to me.

    So why should we try to channel money backwards?

  31. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    This could be phrased as a question for Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

    What percentage of the Netherlands is below sea level? 0%; 20% 55% 100%.

    • maikel
      Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

      Haha, but to be honest I wouldn’t have known either and I’m Dutch myself.

  32. Andang
    Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

    My understanding is territory includes sea, inland water and land areas.
    Total area of land = 33,881 sg km
    Total area of inland water bodies = 7645 sq km.
    Area of territorial sea = 13,223 sq km (WRI)
    Territorial area = 54749 sq km.
    According to the map provided by Alberto, the land area below sea level is about 25% or 8470 sq km.
    Area of land below sea level + water + sea = 29338 sq km
    Divided by territorial area = 29338/54749 = 0.54

    Does it mean IPCC includes area of sea and inland water to come up with 55% number?

    • Alberto
      Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 2:35 AM | Permalink

      I’m beginning to think they already included some projected sea level rise to come up with the 55%.

      • maikel
        Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

        Yes, that’s what the article says.

  33. Mike
    Posted Feb 4, 2010 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    I found this claim: “Half of the country [Netherlands] lies below 1 meter above sea level, with an eighth of the country lying below sea level.”. []

    It might account for the IPCC error. If the regions within 1 meter of sea level are considered vulnerable then the numbers used in the IPCC would report make sense and the error not so serious. It is still an error and should be corrected.

  34. harold
    Posted Feb 5, 2010 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    The Indian government announced it was forming its own climate panel, since they consider the IPCC discredited.

  35. anja
    Posted Feb 5, 2010 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    It’s best not to see a conspiracy behind every bush, I think.

    This is a silly mistake, presumably caused by an editor trying to condense a section the Dutch contribution which was meant as background info.

    This is a (rough) translation of the relevant part of an article from the Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper:

    Maarten Hajer, director of the Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, a scientific bureau which resorts under Cramer’s Ministry, is responsible for this error. Hajer said: ‘We are independent. This text was sent directly to the leading author of the IPCC, not via the Ministry.’

    According to him, this (error) was not intentional. ‘This is a simple descriptive paragraph, not important scientific work.’ It should have read that 26% of the Netherlands lies beneath sea level and that another 29% is threatened by flooding from rivers. Together, 55%.


    This happens all the time when various contributions are condensed into one report. Somewhat sloppy editorial work, granted, but imo not enough to start crying that the sky is falling.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

      Re: anja (Feb 5 20:28),
      A “silly mistake”, granted. However, the foundational issues of lack of independent peer review and poor quality control result in biased presentation and numerous errors. Consequently IPCC results cannot be relied on as objective and accurate without major review. e.g. see Climate Change Reconsidered 2009, for science ignored by the IPCC and published subsequent to 2007.

  36. David L. Hagen
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Höök, et al. (2010) report on other extreme IPCC exaggerations in the Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES):

    It is found that the SRES unnecessarily takes an overoptimistic stance and that future production expectations are leaning towards spectacular increases from present output levels. In summary, we can only encourage the IPCC to involve more resource experts and natural science in future emission scenarios. The current set, SRES, is biased toward exaggerated resource availability and unrealistic expectations on future production outputs from fossil fuels. . . . . . . The huge global estimates of hydrate methane are suspicious at best, and have nothing to do with the likelihood that hydrates will provide energy supply assurance for the future.. . . Just as its withdrawn preceding report from 1992 (Gray, 1998), the future energy production projections for fossil in SRES (2000) are exaggerated and so are the resulting emissions. . . .

    Validity of the fossil fuel production outlooks in the IPCC Emission Scenarios
    Mikael Höök, Anders Sivertsson, and Kjell Aleklett, Natural Resources Research (in press).

  37. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    I have just read the post from Bishop Hill called “Caspar and Jesus”. I want to thank you for what can only be called a heroic effort to find out the truth about the Hockey Stick. The post revealed the events that comprised the battles to evaluate the works of Mann and A&W. You have shown that the BLOG sphere has the power to ferret out the truth when the MSM and “reputable professional journals” use the position to control publications for a political agenda. I remember a professor I had in graduate school at John Carroll University told us a story about the time that he was threatened with arrest by the FBI for revealing climate data on how the Japanese were able to attack Pearl Harbor by using the known weather conditions that existed in December. He was able to avoid arrest by the FBI by pointing out that the weather conditions were documented in the open scientific literature contained in Brazilian journal in meteorology. This story highlights the danger of science becoming and instrument of politicians which almost happened to the world except for your efforts and other skeptics to find the truth. Someday, when we come to a real understanding of what causes climate changes they look back at your efforts really “saved the planet”

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