Documentation Of Bias In The 2007 IPCC WG1 Report – Part II

As I reported yesterday, there has been considerable discussion of the 2007 IPCC report and its errors and exclusion of peer reviewed scientific perspectives that differ from those of the lead author (e.g. see Judy Curry’s perceptive discussion of this topic). In 2007, I documented this clear bias in the IPCC reports in my second post on this subject  in 2007 (Part I appeared yesterday).

The 2007 post is

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

I have reproduced this demonstration of bias below, as it is directly relevant to the current well-justified concerns on the accuracy, balance and value of the 2007 IPCC WG1 report.

Among the findings of the 2005 National Research Council report

Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties


I. “Determine the Importance of Regional Variation in Radiative Forcing

Regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climatic implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing. Tropospheric aerosols and landscape changes have particularly heterogeneous forcings. To date, there have been only limited studies of regional radiative forcing and response. Indeed, it is not clear how best to diagnose a regional forcing and response in the observational record; regional forcings can lead to global climate responses, while global forcings can be associated with regional climate responses. Regional diabatic heating can also cause atmospheric teleconnections that influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing. Improving societally relevant projections of regional climate impacts will require a better understanding of the magnitudes of regional forcings and the associated climate responses.


Use climate records to investigate relationships between regional radiative forcing (e.g., land-use or aerosol changes) and climate response in the same region, other regions, and globally.

Quantify and compare climate responses from regional radiative forcings in different climate models and on different timescales (e.g., seasonal, interannual), and report results in climate change assessments.

II. Determine the Importance of Nonradiative Forcings

Several types of forcings—most notably aerosols, land-use and land-cover change, and modifications to biogeochemistry—impact the climate system in nonradiative ways, in particular by modifying the hydrological cycle and vegetation dynamics. Aerosols exert a forcing on the hydrological cycle by modifying cloud condensation nuclei, ice nuclei, precipitation efficiency, and the ratio between solar direct and diffuse radiation received. Other nonradiative forcings modify the biological components of the climate system by changing the fluxes of trace gases and heat between vegetation, soils, and the atmosphere and by modifying the amount and types of vegetation. No metrics for quantifying such nonradiative forcings have been accepted. Nonradiative forcings have eventual radiative impacts, so one option would be to quantify these radiative impacts. However, this approach may not convey appropriately the impacts of nonradiative forcings on societally relevant climate variables such as precipitation or ecosystem function. Any new metrics must also be able to characterize the regional structure in nonradiative forcing and climate response.


Improve understanding and parameterizations of aerosol-cloud thermodynamic interactions and land-atmosphere interactions in climate models in order to quantify the impacts of these nonradiative forcings on both regional and global scales.

Develop improved land-use and land-cover classifications at high resolution for the past and present, as well as scenarios for the future.”

Did the IPCC WG1 Statement for Policymakers adequately discuss these issues? The answer is NO. However, these topics are discussed in Chapter 7, where, for example, it is written,

“The consequences of changes in atmospheric heating from land changes at a regional scale are similar to those from ocean temperature changes such as from El Niño, potentially producing patterns of reduced or increased cloudiness and precipitation elsewhere to maintain global energy balance. Attempts have been made to find remote adjustments (e.g., Avissar and Werth, 2005). Such adjustments may occur in multiple ways, and are part of the dynamics of climate models. The locally warmer temperatures can lead to more rapid vertical decreases of atmospheric temperature so that at some level overlying temperature is lower and radiates less. The net effect of such compensations is that averages over larger areas or longer time scales commonly will give smaller estimates of change. Thus, such regional changes are better described by local and regional metrics or at larger scales by measures of change in spatial and temporal variability rather than simply in terms of a mean global quantity.”

Why was not this conclusion headlined in the policy statement that was transmitted to the politicians?

Chapter 8 of the IPCC Report is much more poorly written on this subject

where while they write

“Evaluation of the land surface component in coupled models is severely limited by the lack of suitable observations. The terrestrial surface plays key climatic roles in influencing the partitioning of available energy between sensible and latent heat fluxes, determining whether water drains or remains available for evaporation, determining the surface albedo and whether snow melts or remains frozen, and influencing surface fluxes of carbon and momentum. Few of these can be evaluated at large spatial or long temporal scales. This section therefore evaluates those quantities for which some observational data exist”

they fail to identify the rich peer-reviewed literature on this subject but only provide a very limited presentation on this subject in the Chapter.

Indeed, while land processes are discussed in the Report, the focus is on its role in the carbon budget and in its effect on the global average radiative forcing.

To document missing papers, as with Part I (see and see) we have cross-referenced Climate Science with the IPCC WG1 Report on just one aspect of the above two topics (regional radiative forcing and nonradiative forcing), namely the role of land use change within the climate system.

This cross-referencing is given below where a bold face means that it appeared in the IPCC Report and the Chapter in which it appears is given. The IPCC Chapters referred to below have the titles

Chapter 2 Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and in Radiative Forcing

Chapter 6 Palaeoclimate

Chapter 7 Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry

Chapter 8 Climate Models and their Evaluation

Chapter 10 Global Climate Projections

Chapter 11 Regional Climate Projections


Avissar, R., and Y. Liu, 1996: Three-dimensional numerical study of shallow convective clouds and precipitation induced by land surface forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 101(D3), 7499-7518, 10.1029/95JD03031.

Avissar, R., and D. Werth, 2005: Global hydroclimatological teleconnections resulting from. tropical deforestation. J. Hydrometeor., 6, 134–145. IN CHAPTER 7 & CHAPTER 11 IN CHAPTER 2 & CHAPTER 8

Brovkin, V., M. Claussen, E. Driesschaert, T. Fichefet, D. Kicklighter, M. F. Loutre, H. D. Matthews, N. Ramankutty, M. Schaeffer, and A. Sokolov, 2006: Biogeophysical effects of historical land cover changes simulated by six Earth system models of intermediate complexity. Climate Dynamics, 1-14, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-005-0092-6.

Cai, M., and E. Kalnay, 2004: Response to the comments by Vose et al. and Trenberth. Impact of land-use change on climate, Nature, 427, 214, doi:10.1038/427214a.

Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke, T.G.F. Kittel, R.R. Nemani, and S.W. Running, 2000: Simulated impacts of historical land cover changes on global climate in northern winter. Climate Dynamics, 16, 93-105. IN CHAPTER 2 & CHAPTER 11

Chase, T.N., R.A. Pielke, Sr., T.G.F. Kittel, M. Zhao, A.J. Pitman, S.W. Running, and R.R. Nemani, 2001: The relative climatic effects of landcover change and elevated carbon dioxide combined with aerosols: A comparison of model results and observations. J. Geophys. Res., Atmospheres, 106, 31,685 -31,691.

Claussen, M., C. Kubatzki, V. Brovkin, A. Ganopolski, P. Hoelzmann, H.-J. Pachur, 1999; Simulation of an abrupt change in Saharan vegetation in the mid-Holocene. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26(14), 2037-2040, 10.1029/1999GL900494. IN CHAPTER 6, CHAPTER 10 & CHAPTER 11

Cotton, W.R. and R.A. Pielke, 2007: Human impacts on weather and climate. Cambridge University Press, 330 pp.

Cox, P. M., R. A. Betts, C. D. Jones, S. A. Spall, and I. J. Totterdell, 2000: Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model. Nature, 408, 184-187. IN CHAPTER 7, CHAPTER 8, CHAPTER 10 & CHAPTER 11

Cui, X., H.-F. Graf, B. Langmann, W. Chen, and R. Huang, 2006: Climate impacts of anthropogenic land use changes on the Tibetan Plateau, Global and Planetary Change, 54, 1-2, 33-56.

Eastman, J.L., M.B. Coughenour, and R.A. Pielke, 2001: The effects of CO2 and landscape change using a coupled plant and meteorological model. Global Change Biology, 7, 797-815.

Eugster, W., W.R. Rouse, R.A. Pielke, J.P. McFadden, D.D. Baldocchi, T.G.F. Kittel, F.S. Chapin III, G.E. Liston, P.L. Vidale, E. Vaganov, and S. Chambers, 2000: Land-atmosphere energy exchange in Arctic tundra and boreal forest: available data and feedbacks to climate. Global Change Biology, 6, 84-115.

Feddema, J.J., K.W. Oleson, G.B. Bonan, L.O. Mearns, L.E. Buja, G.A. Meehl, and W.M. Washington, 2005: The importance of land-cover change in simulating future climates. Science, 310, 1674-1678. IN CHAPTER 10IN CHAPTER 7, CHAPTER 8, & CHAPTER 11

Foley, J.A., R. DeFries, G.P. Asner, C. Barford, G. Bonan, S.R. Carpenter, F.S. Chapin, M.T. Coe, G.C. Daily, H.K. Gibbs, J.H. Helkowski, T. Holloway, E.A. Howard, C.J. Kucharik, C. Monfreda, J.A. Patz, I.C. Prentice, N. Ramankutty, and P.K. Snyder, 2005: Global consequences of land use. Science, 309, 570-574. IN CHAPTER 11

Friedlingstein P., L. Bopp, P. Ciais, J.-L Dufresne, L. Fairhead, H. LeTreut, P. Monfray, and J. Orr, 2001: Positive feedback between future climate change and the carbon cycle. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 1543-1546.

Gero, A.F., A.J. Pitman, G.T. Narisma, C. Jacobson, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: The impact of land cover change on storms in the Sydney Basin. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 57-78.

Gibbard, S., K. Caldeira, G. Bala, T. J. Phillips, and M. Wickett, 2005: Climate effects of global land cover change. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L23705, doi:10.1029/2005GL024550.

Hoffmann, W.A., and R.B. Jackson, 2000: Vegetation-climate feedbacks in the conversion of tropical savanna to grassland. J. Climate, 13, 1593–1602.

Holt, T.R., D. Niyogi, F. Chen, K. Manning, M.A. LeMone, and A. Qureshi, 2006: Effect of land–atmosphere interactions on the IHOP 24–25 May 2002 convection case. Mon. Wea. Rev., 134, 113–133.

Kleidon, A., 2006: The climate sensitivity to human appropriation of vegetation productivity and its thermodynamic characterization. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 109-127. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2006.01.016

Lawton, R.O., U.S. Nair, R.A. Pielke Sr., and R.M. Welch, 2001: Climatic impact of tropical lowland deforestation on nearby montane cloud forests. Science, 294, 584-587.

Lee, E., R.S. Oliveira, T.E. Dawson, and I. Fung, 2005: Root functioning modifies seasonal climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102, no. 49, 17576-17581.

Mahmood, R., S.A. Foster, T. Keeling, K.G. Hubbard, C. Carlson and R. Leeper, 2006: Impacts of irrigation on 20th century temperature in the northern Great Plains. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 1-18. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2005.10.004.

Marland, G., R.A. Pielke, Sr., M. Apps, R. Avissar, R.A. Betts, K.J. Davis, P.C. Frumhoff, S.T. Jackson, L. Joyce, P. Kauppi, J. Katzenberger, K.G. MacDicken, R. Neilson, J.O. Niles, D. dutta S. Niyogi, R.J. Norby, N. Pena, N. Sampson, and Y. Xue, 2003: The climatic impacts of land surface change and carbon management, and the implications for climate-change mitigation policy. Climate Policy, 3, 149-157. IN CHAPTER 11

Marshall, C.H. Jr., R.A. Pielke Sr., L.T. Steyaert, and D.A. Willard, 2004: The impact of anthropogenic land-cover change on the Florida peninsula sea breezes and warm season sensible weather. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 28-52.

Marshall, C.H., R.A. Pielke Sr., and L.T. Steyaert, 2004: Has the conversion of natural wetlands to agricultural land increased the incidence and severity of damaging freezes in south Florida? Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 2243-2258.

Millán, M. M., Mª. J. Estrela, M. J. Sanz, E. Mantilla, M. Martín, F. Pastor, R. Salvador, R. Vallejo, L. Alonso, G. Gangoiti, J.L. Ilardia, M. Navazo, A. Albizuri, B. Artiñano, P. Ciccioli, G. Kallos, R.A. Carvalho, D. Andrés, A. Hoff, J. Werhahn, G. Seufert, B, Versino, 2005: Climatic Feedbacks and Desertification: The Mediterranean model. J. Climate, 18 (5), 684-701.

Myhre, G., Y. Govaerts, J. M. Haywood, T. K. Berntsen, and A. Lattanzio, 2005:Radiative effect of surface albedo change from biomass burning. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L20812, doi:10.1029/2005GL022897.

Nair, U.S., R.O. Lawton, R.M. Welch, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2003: Impact of land use on Costa Rican tropical montane cloud forests: 1. Sensitivity of cumulus cloud field characteristics to lowland deforestation. J. Geophys. Res. – Atmospheres, 108, 10.1029/2001JD001135.

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp. Referenced as Jacob et al. in the IPCC; IN CHAPTER 2

Nemani, R.R., S.W. Running, R.A. Pielke, and T.N. Chase, 1996: Global vegetation cover changes from coarse resolution satellite data. J. Geophys. Res., 101, 7157-7162.

Niyogi, D., T. Holt, S. Zhong, P.C. Pyle, and J. Basara, 2006: Urban and land surface effects on the 30 July 2003 mesoscale convective system event observed in the southern Great Plains. J. Geophys. Res., 111, D19107, doi:10.1029/2005JD006746.

Notaro, M., Z. Liu, R. Gallimore, S.J. Vavrus, J.E. Kutzbach, I.C. Prentice, and R.L. Jacob, 2005: Simulated and observed preindustrial to modern vegetation and climate changes. J. Climate, 18, 3650–3671.

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2001: Influence of the spatial distribution of vegetation and soils on the prediction of cumulus convective rainfall. Rev. Geophys., 39, 151-177. IN CHAPTER 7

Pielke Sr., R.A., 2005: Land use and climate change. Science, 310, 1625-1626.

Pielke Sr., R.A., G. Marland, R.A. Betts, T.N. Chase, J.L. Eastman, J.O. Niles, D. Niyogi, and S. Running, 2002: The influence of land-use change and landscape dynamics on the climate system- relevance to climate change policy beyond the radiative effect of greenhouse gases. Phil. Trans. A. Special Theme Issue, 360, 1705-1719. IN CHAPTER 2 & CHAPTER 11

Pitman, A.J., G.T. Narisma, R.A. Pielke Sr., and N.J. Holbrook, 2004: The impact of land cover change on the climate of southwest western Australia. J. Geophys. Res., 109, D18109, doi:10.1029/2003JD004347.

Ramunkutty, N., C. Delire and P. Snyder, 2006: Feedbacks between agriculture and climate: An illustration of the potential unintended consequences of human land use activities. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 1-2, 79-93, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2005.10.005

Ray, D.K., U.S. Nair, R.O. Lawton, R.M. Welch, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Impact of land use on Costa Rican tropical montane cloud forests. Sensitivity of orographic cloud formation to deforestation in the plains. J. Geophys. Res., 111, doi:10.1029/2005JD006096.

Ray, D.K., R.M. Welch, R.O. Lawton, and U.S. Nair, 2006: Dry season clouds and rainfall in northern Central America: Implications for the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 150-162.

Salmun, H., and A. Molod, 2006: Progress in modeling the impact of land cover change on the global climate. Progress in Physical Geography, 30, 737–749.

Sturm, M., T. Douglas, C. Racine, and G.E. Liston, 2005: Changing snow and shrub conditions affect albedo with global implications. J. Geophys. Res., 110, G01004, doi:10.1029/2005JG000013. IN CHAPTER 7

TerMaat, H.W., R.W.A. Hutjes, R. Ohba, H. Ueda, B. Bisselink and T. Bauer, 2006: Meteorological impact assessment of possible large scale irrigation in Southwest Saudi Arabia. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 183-201.

Timbal, B., and J.M. Arblaster, 2006: Land cover change as an additional forcing to explain the rainfall decline in the south west of Australia. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L07717, doi:10.1029/2005GL025361.

van der Molen, M.K., A.J. Dolman, M.J. Waterloo and L.A. Bruijnzeel, 2006: Climate is affected more by maritime than by continental land use change: A multiple scale analysis. Global and Planetary Change, 54, 128-149.

Werth, D., and R. Avissar, 2002: The local and global effects of Amazon deforestation. J. Geophys. Res., 107, 8087, doi:10.1029/2001JD000717

Here are several summary points from this assessment:

1. The 2005 NRC Report was only cited in one chapter (Chapter 2), and its recommendations are not considered in any of the following chapters.

2. None of the papers were cited in Chapter 9 which is entitled “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change“. As documented in the papers listed above, the attribution of climate change cannot be accurately accomplished without including land surface processes, including land use change.

3. The important role of land surface processes in the IPCC chapters is presented in a sporadic fashion without the needed focused evaluation of its role, as recommended in the 2005 NRC Report. The 2007 IPCC Report did not adequately honor the charge of the IPCC WG1 Report to provide “A comprehensive and rigourous picture of the global present state of knowledge of climate change”.

Finally, if one suggests that the set of papers that were referenced in the IPCC report are a representative sample that cover the range of issues with the role of land surface processes (which Climate Science concludes is not the case), than refer us to the text in the IPCC report that addresses the issue of the importance of regional radiative and non-radiative climate forcings on the climate system. The IPCC Report fails on this much needed assessment of the role of humans in the climate system.

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