Documentation Of IPCC WG1 Bias by Roger A. Pielke Sr. and Dallas Staley – Part I

The 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Reports have the following stated goals:

“A comprehensive and rigourous picture of the global present state of knowledge of climate change”


“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.”

However, the IPCC WG 1 Chapter 3 report failed in this goal.

This weblog illustrates this defect using the example of their assessment of the multi-decadal land near-surface temperature trend data, where peer reviewed papers that conflicted with the robustness of the surface air temperature trends are ignored. Later Climate Science weblogs will document this issue with other climate issues.

Readers of Climate Science are invited to present other important peer reviewed papers that were available to the IPCC that were ignored in their assessment as further evidence to document IPCC bias.

To evaluate the IPCC’s claim to be comprehensive, we cross-compared IPCC WG1 references on near-surface air temperature trends with the peer-reviewed citations that have been given in Climate Science. We selected only papers that appeared before about May 2006 so they were readily available to the IPCC Lead authors.

The comparison follows where the bold faced citations are in the IPCC WG1 Report:


Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke Sr., J.A. Knaff, T.G.F. Kittel, and J.L. Eastman, 2000: A comparison of regional trends in 1979-1997 depth-averaged tropospheric temperatures. Int. J. Climatology, 20, 503-518.

Davey, C.A., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2005: Microclimate exposures of surface-based weather stations – implications for the assessment of long-term temperature trends. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., Vol. 86, No. 4, 497–504.

Davey, C.A., R.A. Pielke Sr., and K.P. Gallo, 2006: Differences between near-surface equivalent temperature and temperature trends for the eastern United States – Equivalent temperature as an alternative measure of heat content. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 19–32.

de Laat, A.T.J. and A.N. Maurellis, 2006: Evidence for influence of anthropogenic surface processes on lower tropospheric and surface temperature trends. International Journal of Climatology, 26, 897-913.

González, J. E., J. C. Luvall, D. Rickman, D. E. Comarazamy, A. J. Picón, E. W. Harmsen, H. Parsiani, N. Ramírez, R. Vázquez, R. Williams, R. B. Waide, and C. A. Tepley, 2005: Urban heat islands developing in coastal tropical cities. Eos Trans. AGU, 86(42), 397.

Hale, R.C., K.P. Gallo, T.W. Owen, and T.R. Loveland, 2006: Land use/land cover change effects on temperature trends at U.S. Climate Normals Stations. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL026358.

Hanamean, J.R. Jr., R.A. Pielke Sr., C.L. Castro, D.S. Ojima, B.C. Reed, and Z. Gao, 2003: Vegetation impacts on maximum and minimum temperatures in northeast Colorado. Meteorological Applications, 10, 203-215.

Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, J. Glascoe, and Mki. Sato, 1999: GISS analysis of surface temperature change. J. Geophys. Res. 104, 30997-31022, doi:10.1029/1999JD900835.

Hansen, J.E., R. Ruedy, Mki. Sato, M. Imhoff, W. Lawrence, D. Easterling, T. Peterson, and T. Karl, 2001: A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change. J. Geophys. Res. 106, 23947-23963, doi:10.1029/2001JD000354.

Hansen, J., L. Nazarenko, R. Ruedy, Mki. Sato, J. Willis, A. Del Genio, D. Koch, A. Lacis, K. Lo, S. Menon, T. Novakov, Ju. Perlwitz, G. Russell, G.A. Schmidt, and N. Tausnev, 2005: Earth’s energy imbalance: Confirmation and implications. Science 308, 1431-1435, doi:10.1126/science.1110252.

Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, R. Ruedy, L. Nazarenko, A. Lacis, G.A. Schmidt, G. Russell, I. Aleinov, M. Bauer, S. Bauer, N. Bell, B. Cairns, V. Canuto, M. Chandler, Y. Cheng, A. Del Genio, G. Faluvegi, E. Fleming, A. Friend, T. Hall, C. Jackman, M. Kelley, N. Kiang, D. Koch, J. Lean, J. Lerner, K. Lo, S. Menon, R. Miller, P. Minnis, T. Novakov, V. Oinas, Ja. Perlwitz, Ju. Perlwitz, D. Rind, A. Romanou, D. Shindell, P. Stone, S. Sun, N. Tausnev, D. Thresher, B. Wielicki, T. Wong, M. Yao, and S. Zhang 2005. Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophys. Res. 110, D18104, doi:10.1029/2005JD005776.

Hansen, J., M. Sato, R. Ruedy, K. Lo, D.W. Lea, and M. Medina-Elizade, 2006: Global temperature change. PNAS, 103, 14288 – 14293.

He, J. F., J. Y. Liu, D. F. Zhuang, W. Zhang, and M. L. Liu 2007: Assessing the effect of land use/land cover change on the change of urban heat island intensity Theor. Appl. Climatol., DOI 10.1007/s00704-006-0273-1

Holder, C., R. Boyles, A. Syed, D. Niyogi, and S. Raman, 2006: Comparison of Collocated Automated (NCECONet) and Manual (COOP) Climate Observations in North Carolina. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 23, 671–682.

Huang Y., R. E. Dickinson and W. L. Chameides, 2006: Impact of aerosol indirect effect on surface temperature over East Asia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 103, 4371-4376, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0504428103.

Hubbard, K.G., and X. Lin, 2006: Reexamination of instrument change effects in the U.S. Historical Climatology Network. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L15710, doi:10.1029/2006GL027069.

Jones, P.D., and A. Moberg. 2003: Hemispheric and large-scale surface air temperature variations: An extensive revision and an update to 2001. J. Climate 16, 206-223.

Kalnay E., and M. Cai, 2003a: Impact of urbanization and land-use change on climate. Nature, 423, 528-531;

Kalnay, E. and M. Cai, 2003b: Impact of urbanization and land-use change on climate – Corrigenda. Nature, 425, 102.

Kalnay, E., M. Cai, H. Li, and J. Tobin, 2006: Estimation of the impact of land-surface forcings on temperature trends in eastern United States J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 111, No. D6, D06106.

Karl, T.R., S.J. Hassol, C.D. Miller, and W.L. Murray, Eds., 2006: Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences. A Report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, DC.

Lim, Y.K., M. Cai, E. Kalnay, and L. Zhou, 2005: Observational evidence of sensitivity of surface climate changes to land types and urbanization. Geophys. Res. Lett., Vol. 32, No. 22, L2271210.1029/2005GL024267.

Mahmood, R., S.A. Foster, and D. Logan, 2006: The GeoProfile metadata, exposure of instruments, and measurement bias in climatic record revisited. Int. J. Climatology, 26(8), 1091-1124.

Parker, D.E., 2004: Large-scale warming is not urban. Nature, 432, 290, doi:10.1038/432290a;

Peterson, T.C., 2003: Assessment of urban versus rural in situ surface temperatures in the contiguous United States: No difference found. J. Climate, 16, 2941–2959.

Peterson, T.C., 2006. Examination of potential biases in air temperature caused by poor station locations. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 87, 1073-1089.

Peterson, T.C. and R.S. Vose, 1997: An overview of the Global Historical Climatology Network temperature data base. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78, 2837-2849,

Peterson, T.C., D.R. Easterling, T.R. Karl, P. Ya. Groisman, N. Nicholls, N. Plummer, S. Torok, I. Auer, R. Boehm, D. Gullett, L. Vincent, R. Heino, H. Tuomenvirta, O. Mestre, T. Szentimre, J. Salinger, E. Førland, I. Hanssen-Bauer, H. Alexandersson, P. Jones, D. Parker, 1998: Homogeneity adjustments of in situ atmospheric climate data: A review. Int. J. Climatology, 18, 1493-1517.

Robeson, S.M., 2004: Trends in time-varying percentiles of daily minimum and maximum temperature over North America. Geophys. Res. Letts., 31, L04203, doi:10.1029/2003GL019019.

Runnalls, K.E. and T.R. Oke, 2006: A technique to detect microclimatic inhomogeneities in historical records of screen-level air temperature. J. Climate, 19, 959-978

Schmidt, G.A., R. Ruedy, J.E. Hansen, I. Aleinov, N. Bell, M. Bauer, S. Bauer, B. Cairns, V. Canuto, Y. Cheng, A. Del Genio, G. Faluvegi, A.D. Friend, T.M. Hall, Y. Hu, M. Kelley, N.Y. Kiang, D. Koch, A.A. Lacis, J. Lerner, K.K. Lo, R.L. Miller, L. Nazarenko, V. Oinas, Ja. Perlwitz, Ju. Perlwitz, D. Rind, A. Romanou, G.L. Russell, Mki. Sato, D.T. Shindell, P.H. Stone, S. Sun, N. Tausnev, D. Thresher, and M.-S. Yao, 2006: Present day atmospheric simulations using GISS ModelE: Comparison to in-situ, satellite and reanalysis data. J. Climate, 19, 153-192,

Trenberth, K.E., 2004: Rural land-use change and climate. Nature, 427, 213, doi:10.1038/427213a. doi:10.1175/JCLI3612.1.

Vose, R.S., T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, C.N. Williams, and M.J. Menne, 2004: Impact of land-use change on climate. Nature, 427, 213-21

Vose, R., D.R. Easterling, and B. Gleason, 2005: Maximum and minimum temperature trends for the globe: An update through 2004. Geophys. Res. Letts.,. 32, L23822, doi:10.1029/2005GL024379

Vose, R.S., D.R. Easterling, T.R. Karl, and M. Helfert, 2005: Comments on “Microclimate Exposures of Surface-Based Weather Stationsâ€?. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 86, 504–506.

Zhou, L., R.E. Dickinson , Y. Tian, J. Fang , Q. Li , R.K. Kaufmann, C.J. Tucker, and R.B. Myneni, 2004: Evidence for a significant urbanization effect on climate in China. PNAS, 101, 9540-9544.

If the papers were neglected because they were redundant, this would be no problem. However, they are ignored specifically because they conflict with the assessment that is presented in the IPCC WG1 Report, and the Lead Authors do not agree with that perspective!

That is hardly honoring the IPCC commitment to provide

“A comprehensive and rigourous picture of the global present state of knowledge of climate change”.

Moreover, the conflict of interest that was identified in the CCSP Report “”Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences” is perpetuated in the IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report [where the Editor of this CCSP Report, Tom Karl, is also Review Editor for the Chapter 3 of the 2007 IPCC WG1 Report].

These comments were made with respect to this CCSP Report

“The process for completing the CCSP Report excluded valid scientific perspectives under the charge of the Committee. The Editor of the Report systematically excluded a range of views on the issue of understanding and reconciling lower atmospheric temperature trends. The Executive Summary of the CCSP Report ignores critical scientific issues and makes unbalanced conclusions concerning our current understanding of temperature trendsâ€?.

“Future assessment Committees need to appoint members with a diversity of views and who do not have a significant conflict of interest with respect to their own work. Such Committees should be chaired by individuals committed to the presentation of a diversity of perspectives and unwilling to engage in strong-arm tactics to enforce a narrow perspective. Any such committee should be charged with summarizing all relevant literature, even if inconvenient, or which presents a view not held by certain members of the Committee.”

The IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report process made the same mistakes and failed to provide an objective assessment. Indeed the selection of papers to present in the IPCC (as well as how the work of others that was cited was dismissed) had a clear conflict of interest as the following individuals cited their research prominently yet were also a Review Editor (Tom Karl), works for the Review Editor (Tom Peterson, Russ Vose, David Easterling), were Coordinating Lead Authors (Kevin Trenberth and Phil Jones), were Lead Authors (Dave Easterling and David Parker), or a Contributing Author (Russ Vose).

In fact, as stated above, the CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“, with its documented bias, was chaired by the same person as the Review Editor of the IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report (Tom Karl)! Regardless of his professional expertise, he is still overseeing an assessment which is evaluating his own research. There cannot be a clearer conflict of interest.

The IPCC WG1 Chapter 3 Report clearly cherrypicked information on the robustness of the land near-surface air temperature to bolster their advocacy of a particular perspective on the role of humans within the climate system. As a result, policymakers and the public have been given a false (or at best an incomplete) assessment of the multi-decadal global average near-surface air temperature trends.

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Filed under Climate Science Misconceptions, Climate Science Reporting

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