Saturday, January 26, 2013

Annual assesement of climate change ignores science findings

Roger Pielke, Jr., reads the US Global Change Research Program's annual report and says that in his area of expertise the report reverses scientific findings - reverses them! He cites examples where a report by scientists say rising CO2 has no correlation to increased flooding or storms or whatever, but the annual report says the opposite - while citing the same report.

Report in PDF - very large.  [The draft does not give its title, but its author is The "National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee" or NCADAC.]

Pielke's blog Science, Innovation, Politics, quoting:

What the USGCRP report says:

Infrastructure across the U.S. is being adversely affected by phenomena associated with climate change, including sea level rise, storm surge, heavy downpours, and extreme heat… Floods along the nation’s rivers, inside cities, and on lakes following heavy downpours, prolonged rains, and rapid melting of snowpack are damaging infrastructure in towns and cities, farmlands, and a variety of other places across the nation.


To underscore its conclusion, the draft report includes the figure at the top of this post (from Hirsch and Ryberg 2011), which shows flood trends in different regions of the US. In a remarkable contrast to the draft USGCRP report, here is what Hirsch and Ryberg (2011) actually says:

The coterminous US is divided into four large regions and stationary bootstrapping is used to evaluate if the patterns of these statistical associations are significantly different from what would be expected under the null hypothesis that flood magnitudes are independent of GM [global mean] CO2. In none of the four regions defined in this study is there strong statistical evidence for flood magnitudes increasing with increasing GMCO2.

Got that? In no US region is there strong statistical evidence for flood magnitudes increasing with increasing CO2. This is precisely the opposite of the conclusion expressed in the draft report, which relies on Hirsch and Ryberg (2011) to express the opposite conclusion.

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