AR5 WG1: The Movie

There’s a new video out: Climate Change 2013 Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. It’s nine minutes of climate cliché bingo. I lost count of the number of crumbling blocks of ice, dried out lake beds, floods, and dark backlit water vapour shots, all delivered in a fast, almost “subliminal advertising” style.  The only disappointment was the lack of stranded polar bears on ice floes. The commentary regurgitates all the usual mantras: “The scientific evidence is stronger than ever”, “Human influence on the climate system is clear” (twice), “Many of these changes are unprecedented”.

There’s a lot of emphasis on ice and the Arctic (no mention of the Antarctic of course), sea level rise, and climate projections.  It’s quite interesting to see some of the main IPCC protagonists such as Qin Dahe, Comiso and Knutti. Thomas Stocker says that they know warming is human-caused because of the combination of observations and models. He also tells us (06:45) that “We have a choice to live in a world in which climate change is limited to less than 2°C, or in a world that is warmer than 4°C”, so apparently anywhere between 2 and 4 is not an option. There are also some confident claims about regional projections, described as “for the first time”.

But there’s little real data presented. The distinctly un-scary temperature record is briefly flashed up for about two seconds at 02:05, with the unconvincing claim that it fits the rising CO2 curve, so if you blink you might miss it. There’s no mention of the pause/slowdown/hiatus.

Hilary Ostrov has also blogged on the movie.

It is also being discussed at Klimazwiebel

7 thoughts on “AR5 WG1: The Movie

  1. “The only disappointment was the lack of stranded polar bears on ice floes.”

    The polar bear will be in the WGII video!

  2. The video does that usual argument of
    1. The world has warmed.
    2. Human beings are the cause of it.
    3. But you ain’t seen nothing yet, unless global drastic action is taken to curtail the warming.
    There is something missing, that is always assumed. That the temperature rise will have non-trivial, adverse, consequences. Two pieces of historical data are trivial. First the 20cm rise in sea levels. Second the warming of the oceans. the scale of 10^22 joules is equivalent to hundredths of one degree for the top few hundred metres of ocean.

  3. Reto Knutti: Climate models play an absolutely crucial role in this Assessment Report. They are the only tools that allow us to say something quantitative about the future.

    Unfortunately 112/115 (>95%) said that the world should be warmer today than it actually is !

    see: the AR5 comparison results here

    It is therefore “extremely likely” that CMIP5 models over-exaggerate forecasts of global warming.

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