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DEFICIENCIES In the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees

January 1, 2019
By J. Ray Bates

This paper shows the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change's most recent special report lacks scientific rigor and diverges from sound scientific practice to make unwarranted claims.

The author, Professor Ray Bates, is an eminent scientist with a lifetime of international experience in weather and climate research; at MIT, as a senior scientist at NASA and as professor of meteorology at the Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, and at University College Dublin. His independent scrutiny points to a lack of scientific rigour and balance in key aspects of the SR1.5 report. Specifically, he presents compelling evidence that the SR1.5 report is deficient in three regards:

• It departs from the IPCC (2013) Fifth Assessment in the direction of an increased sense of planetary emergency without giving rigorous scientific reasons for doing so.

• Crucial research evidence, accumulated since the IPCC Fifth Assessment (2013), significantly reduces the prospect of a looming emergency. This evidence has not been taken into account; nor is it even referred to in the SR1.5 report.

• The disturbing revelation of the widespread practice of ‘tuning’ climate models to achieve desired results, disclosed since the Fifth Assessment, has not been referred to either.

The importance of adherence to the highest scientific standards on the part of the IPCC in its periodic reports can hardly be overemphasised. Governments rely on the scientific objectivity of these reports to make crucial decisions related to the economies of their countries and the wellbeing of their people. Policymakers should carefully reflect on the significant deficiencies identified in the report before considering implementing its recommendations.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is to be commended for publishing this important paper. It deserves a wide audience.