key 1995 IPCC scientists' conclusions of
man-made global warming, tampered with?
One of the most serious issues in the public perception
of global warming is the notion that alarmism has been promoted
by false statements from the United Nations' Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). There are serious claims that
the lead author of the key Chapter 8 reversed the conclusions
of IPCC's other scientists, after their final submission for
IPCC 1995, and without their knowledge, to present Anthropogenic
Global Warming as endorsed by all the IPCC scientists. The
following text is taken from Unstoppable
Global Warming by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T.
Avery. Singer is a first-rate scientist with a formidable
record of achievements.
Below are a lot of revealing excerpts: from Seitz'
op-ed of 12 June 1996, from the responses
from key IPCC figures, from IPCC:
a View from the Inside, and from Protecting
the IPCC turf.
actual key changes to Chapter 8 "Summary for Policymakers"
"Discernible Human Influence" was
never documented, say Singer and Avery
Climate is so complex and variable that it's difficult to
distinguish the causes of its variations. The technique adopted
by the IPCC for second assessment report, Climate Change
1995, was called "fingerprinting." The IPCC
compared the detailed geographic patterns of climate change
with the calculations of the climate models. This comparison
seemed to indicate a growing correspondence between real-world
observation and modeled patterns.
On examination, however, this result proved to be false.
The correspondence appeared only for the time interval 1943
to 1970. More recent decades show no such correspondence,
nor does the complete record, which dated from 1905 to 1995,
The IPCC claim is based on selective data. Under the rules
of science, this cancels the IPCC's claim of having found
a human impact on climate.
The IPCC's defenders claim that the crucial chapter 8 of
the panel's Climate Change 1995 was based on 130
peer-reviewed science studies. Actually, the chapter was based
mainly on two research papers by its lead author, Ben Santer,
of the U.S. government's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Neither of the Santer papers had been published at the time
the chapter was under review and they had not been subject
to peer review. Scientific reviewers subsequently learned
that both the Santer papers shared the same defect as the
IPCC's chapter 8: Their "linear upward trend" occurs
only from 1943 to 1970.
In fact, the IPPC report itself documented the reality that
the man-made warming claim was false. The "fingerprint
test," as displayed in figure 8.I0b of` the 1995 report,
shows the pattern correlation between observations and climate
models decreasing during the major surge of surface
temperature warming that occurred between 1916 and 1940.
The IPCC's Climate Change 1995 was reviewed by its
consulting scientists in late 1995. The "Summary for
Policy Makers" was approved in December, and the full
report, including chapter 8, was accepted. However, after
the printed report appeared in May 1996, the scientific reviewers
discovered that major changes had been made "in the back
room" after they had signed off on the science chapter's
contents. Santer, despite the shortcomings
of the scientific evidence, had inserted strong endorsements
of man-made warming in chapter 8 (of which he was the IPCC-appointed
There is evidence of an emerging pattern of climate
response to forcing by greenhouse gases and sulfate aerosols
... from the geographical, seasonal and vertical patterns
of temperature change. ... These results point toward a
human influence on global climate. [ch.8 p.412]
The body of statistical evidence in chapter 8, when
examined in the context of our physical understanding of
the climate system, now points to a discernible human influence
on the global climate. [ch.8 p.439]
Santer also deleted these key statements from the expert-approved
chapter 8 draft:
- "None of the studies cited above has shown clear
evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes
to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases."
- "While some of the pattern-base studies discussed
here have claimed detection of a significant climate change,
no study to date has positively attributed all or part [of
the climate change observed] to [man-made] causes. Nor has
any study quantified the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect
or aerosol effect in the observed data - an issue of primary
relevance to policy makers."
- "Any claims of positive detection and attribution
of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial
until uncertainties in the total natural variability of
the climate system are reduced."
- "While none of these studies has specifically considered
the attribution issue, they often draw some attribution
conclusions, for which there is little justification."
- "When will an anthropogenic effect on climate be
identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to
this question is, `We do not know. "'
Santer single-handedly reversed the "climate
science" of the whole IPCC report--and with it the global
warming political process. The "discernible
human influence" supposedly revealed by the IPCC has
been cited thousands of times since in media around the world
and has been the "stopper" in millions of debates
The journal Nature mildly chided the IPCC for redoing
chapter 8 to "ensure that it conformed" to the report's
politically correct Summary for Policymakers. In an editorial,
Nature favored the Kyoto treaty.
The Wall Street Journal, which did not favor Kyoto,
was outraged. Its condemning editorial, "Coverup in the
Greenhouse," appeared I 1 June 1996. The following day,
Frederick Seitz, former president of the National
Academy of Sciences, detailed the illegitimate rewrite in
the Journal in a commentary titled Major
Deception on Global Warming.
Oddly enough, a research paper, coauthored by Santer, was
published at about the same time - and says something quite
different than the IPCC report. It concludes that none of
the three estimates of the natural variability of the climate
spectrum agrees with the other, and that until this question
is resolved, "it will be hard to say, with confidence,
that an anthropogenic climate signal has or has not been detected."
Why did Santer, a relatively junior scientist, make the unsupported
revisions'? We still don't know who directed him to do so,
and then approved the changes. But Sir John Houghton, chairman
of the IPCC working group, had received a letter from the
U.S. State Department dated November 15, 1995. It said:
It is essential that the chapters
not be finalized prior to the completion of the discussions
at the IPCC Working Group I plenary in Madrid, and that
chapter authors be prevailed upon to modify their text in
an appropriate manner following the discussion in Madrid.
The letter was signed by a senior career Foreign Service
officer, Day Olin Mount, who was then Acting Deputy Assistant
Secretary of State. The Under Secretary of State for Global
Affairs at that time was former Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO).
Wirth was not only an ardent advocate of man-made warming.
but was a close political ally of then-President Bill Clinton
and then-Vice President Al Gore. There seems little doubt
that the letter was sent by Mount at the behest of Wirth.
Mount was later named Ambassador to Iceland. That's a plum
post in a pleasant, peaceful First World country. That ambassadorship
has often gone to a political ally of the White House rather
than to a career diplomat,
The Madrid Plenary, held in November 1995, was a political
meeting. There were representatives of ninety-six nations
and fourteen nongovernment organizations (NGOs). They went
over the text of the “accepted" report line by
line. Chapter 8, which should
have governed the entire IPCC report, was rewritten to accord
with the global warming campaign being waged by the United
Nations, the NGOs, and the Clinton administration.
For the record, here are excerpts from
Frederick Seitz' Wall Street Journal op-ed, 12 June 1996:
Major Deception on Global Warming
...In my more than 60 years as a member
of the American scientific community, including service as
president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the
American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing
corruption of the peer-review process than the events that
led to this IPCC report.
A comparison between the report approved by the contributing
scientists and the published version reveals that key changes
were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they
thought was the final peer-reviewed version. The scientists
were assuming that the IPCC would obey the IPCC Rules - a
body of regulations that is supposed to govern the panel's
actions. Nothing in the IPCC Rules permits anyone to change
a scientific report after it has been accepted by the panel
of scientific contributors and the full IPCC.
The participating scientists accepted "The Science of
Climate Change" in Madrid last November; the full IPCC
accepted it the following month in Rome. But more than 15
sections in Chapter 8 of the report - the key chapter setting
out the scientific evidence for and against a human influence
over climate - were changed or deleted after the scientists
charged with examining this question had accepted the supposedly
Few of these changes were merely cosmetic...
It is perhaps relevant to note that several
IPCC scientists and reviewers have, since 1995, resigned from
the IPCC, on similar grounds. Now here are quotes from the
Bolin, Santer etc: responses
to Seitz' op-ed
[from letter to Ben Santer] We believe
that attacks on the IPCC process in general, and you in particular,
such as occurred in the editorial-page piece in The Wall Street
Journal by Frederick Seitz, have no place in the scientific
debate about issues related to global change. Dr. Seitz is
a prominent scientist, but his expertise is not atmospheric
sciences and he was not involved in the IPCC process. The
Wall Street Journal essay is especially disturbing because
it steps over the boundary from disagreeing with the science
to attacking the honesty and integrity of a particular scientist...
...The larger debate (related to what actions
should be taken by the nation and the world in response to
global change) will take place in the public and political
fora; and it is our responsibility as scientists to take an
appropriate role in that larger debate...
...We restate our strong support for the integrity and openness
of the IPCC process...
[from letter to WSJ from Santer and 40 other scientists]
Dr. Seitz is not a climate scientist*. He was not involved
in the process of putting together the 1995 IPCC report on
the science of climate change. He did not attend the Madrid
IPCC meeting on which he reports. He was not privy to the
hundreds of review comments received by Chapter 8 Lead Authors.
Most seriously, before writing his editorial, he did not contact
any of the Lead Authors of Chapter 8 in order to obtain information
as to how or why changes were made to Chapter 8 after Madrid.
He also did not contact either Prof. Bert Bolin, the Chairman
of the IPCC, or those in charge of the report, the Co-Chairmen
of IPCC Working Group I, Sir John Houghton and Dr. L.G. Meira
Filho, in order to determine whether IPCC rules of procedure
had been violated by the changes made to Chapter 8.
[from letter from **Bert Bolin, Sir John Houghton &
other IPCC members] ...The crucial error in Mr Seitz's
article - which could have been avoided if he had simply taken
the time to familiarize himself with IPCC rules of procedure-
is his assumption that the version of the IPCC report from
which he quotes was the final version approved by the scientific
authors and accepted by the IPCC. This is not the case. He
quotes from the draft version of October 1995, which was sent
out to delegates in preparation for the November 1995 Plenary
Meeting which was held in Madrid. The final version is the
one which was modified in accordance with the guidance received
at the Madrid meeting and which has now been published. His
attack on Dr Santer and the other scientists involved is therefore
*but by the same criteria, Al Gore and
James Hansen are even less climate scientists.
** Bert Bolin ridiculed Svensmark
and tried to block his work as "irresponsible".
Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC, said, “Unless
we announce disasters no one will listen” and “The
impacts of global warming are like a weapon of mass destruction”.
He claimed that it kills more people than terrorism. These
are key statements and core attitudes.
IPCC: a View from the Inside: excerpts
Dr John W Zillman AO FTSE, Director of the Commonwealth Bureau
The Significance of the Chapter 8 Controversy
By far the most heated controversy surrounding the Second
Assessment Report was that which erupted in the US, in particular,
over allegations of politically motivated rewriting of Chapter
8 (Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes)
of the WG I report. Without going into the detail of this
controversy, I believe it is fair to say that, while there
was some unavoidable informality in the IPCC procedures relating
to Chapter 8 - before, at and after the November 1995 Working
Group I Session in Madrid- there was no conspiracy involved
and the suggestions of “scientific cleansing”
The Pressure for Consensus
While one of the great achievements of the IPCC process has
been its contribution to consensus in both the national and
international scientific communities as to what can reasonably
be said on the current state of climate change science, there
has also been a down side. Those who have been heavily involved
in the IPCC and have developed a sense of ownership and pride
in what has been achieved have, during the sessions, felt
a strong need to avoid a situation in which the IPCC was seen
to “fail”. As a result, there has been unusually
intense pressure for consensus to be achieved even when many
individual participants clearly felt extremely uncomfortable
with signing on to the “consensus” language. These
pressures became extreme in some of the late night meetings
when the time for achievement of consensus was running out,
delegations were exhausted and dissenting individuals were
subject to considerable peer pressure to agree in order to
avoid the stigma of being seen to have prevented the IPCC
from achieving a consensus report. These pressures have led
to increasing questioning of the appropriateness of the concept
of “science by consensus”.
The Time Frame of the Review Process
Despite the three years available for the preparation of the
Second Assessment Report, in the end the time frame for the
review process was extremely tight and many countries felt
quite unable to conduct an in-depth review with any measure
of integrity in the time allowed. This resulted in anumber
of delegations in Madrid and Rome complaining that they had
not had adequate opportunity to consider the documentation
and criticising the IPCC for not adhering to its own rules
The Risk of Disproportionate Influence of Dominant
The system of preparation of chapters of the IPCC reports
in which the selected Lead Authors play a very strong role
in determining the content of the final report provided a
vehicle for dominant personalities in the scientific community
to play a stronger role than some of their colleagues believed
appropriate. While there were a number of checks and balances
provided by, for example, the Working Group Bureaux and the
core groups charged with writing the Summaries for Policymakers,
the impression remained within some of the Groups that certain
individuals were overly dominant in using the IPCC process
as a fast-track way of getting their own scientific views
built into the orthodoxy of climate change.
The Location of Authority for Final Decision with
In order to avoid the risk of having the IPCC reports made
vulnerable to charged of political influence, the IPCC Chairman
and the WG Co-chairmen were meticulous in insisting that the
final decision on whether to accept particular review comments
should reside with chapter Lead Authors. This was at variance
with the normal role of journal editorial boards and led to
suggestions that some Lead Authors ignored valid critical
comments or failed to adequately reflect dissenting views
when revising their text.
the IPCC Turf by R Pielke Sr. says
Thus, the intensity of the dismissive and negative comments
by a number of the committee members, and from even several
of the agency representatives, with respect to any view that
differed from the IPCC orthodoxy, made abundantly clear, that
there was no interest in vesting an assessment of climate
to anyone but the IPCC.
The IPCC is actually a relatively small group of individuals
who are using the IPCC process to control what policymakers
and the public learn about climate on multi-decadal time scales.
This NRC planning process further demonstrates the intent
of the IPCC members to manipulate the science, so that their
viewpoints are the only ones that reach the policymakers.
are the exact key alterations to the scientists' report
You can make up your own mind now.
If you find any errors or other problems with this
page, please let me know.
Page updated 7th March 2009