Leaked document stirs anger at climate summit

December 8, 2009 By CHARLES J. HANLEY , AP Special Correspondent

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, holds up a temperature chart during a press conference at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2009. This decade has very likely been the warmest in the historical record, and 2009 will probably end up as one of the warmest years, the U.N. weather agency announced Tuesday at the second day of the 192-nation climate conference in Copenhagen. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
(AP) -- A leaked Danish document at the U.N. climate conference provoked angry criticism Tuesday from developing countries who feared it would shift more of the burden to curb greenhouse gases on poorer countries.

Negotiators, meanwhile, displayed charts of data that said the current decade is on track to be the hottest on record for planet Earth.

At the heart of Tuesday's clash - stemming from draft texts attributed to Denmark and China - is the determination by the more impoverished states to bear a lesser burden than wealthy, more industrialized countries in the effort to slow global warming.

Diplomats from developing countries and climate activists also complained the Danish hosts had pre-empted the negotiations with their draft proposal, prepared before the two-week conference began.

"The behind-the-scenes negotiation tactics under the Danish presidency have been focusing on pleasing the rich and powerful countries rather than serving the majority of states who are demanding a fair and ambitious solution," said Kim Carstensen, head of the climate initiative for the environmental group WWF.

The Danish draft proposal circulating at the 192-nation conference chips away at the wall between what developed and developing nations can be expected to do to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Danish proposal would allow rich countries to cut fewer emissions while poorer nations would face tougher limits on greenhouse gases and more conditions on money available to adapt.

A sketchy counterproposal attributed to China would extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which required 37 industrial nations to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming by an average 5 percent by 2012, compared with 1990 levels.

The Chinese text would incorporate specific new, deeper targets for the industrialized world for a further five to eight years. Developing countries, on the other hand, including China, would be covered by a separate agreement that envisions their taking actions to control emissions, but not in the same legally binding way. No targets would be specified for them.

Poorer nations believe the two-track approach would best preserve the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" recognized by the Kyoto Protocol.

Such draft ideas are usual grist early in such long, difficult international talks. These two proposals were not yet even recorded as official conference documents.

"It has no validity," key European Union negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger said, speaking specifically of the Danish proposal. "It's only a piece of paper. The only texts that have validity here are those which people negotiated."

Earlier Tuesday, the U.N.'s weather agency boosted the sense of urgency surrounding the conference with data showing this decade is on track to be the hottest since records began in 1850, with 2009 the fifth-warmest year ever. The second warmest decade was the 1990s.

Only the United States and Canada experienced cooler conditions than average, the World Meteorological Organization said, though Alaska had the second-warmest July on record. In central Africa and southern Asia, this will probably be the warmest year, but overall, 2009 will "be about the fifth-warmest year on record," said Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the Swiss-based agency.

The last few decades are the warmest period in at least 400 years and probably 1,000 years, based on evidence from tree rings, retreating glaciers and other scientific methods to track climate before record-keeping, according to a 2006 report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Although temperatures have fluctuated, the causes were natural. The difference now is that they are being driven up by human activity, that modern civilization has many more coastal cities and needs to feed far more people, and that scientists believe humans can head off such dangerous warming.

Without a global deal stopping climate change, the planet's average temperatures will rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) "well before the end of the century," Jarraud said.

"What we want is to provide the best possible data for negotiators," said Jarraud, who called the WMO data evidence "this is indeed globally the warmest period for more than 2,000 years."

The current decade has been marked by dramatic effects of warming.

In 2007-2009, the summer melt reduced the Arctic Ocean ice cap to its smallest extent ever recorded. In the 2007-2009 International Polar Year, researchers found that Antarctica is warming more than previously believed. Almost all glaciers worldwide are retreating.

Destructive species such as jellyfish and bark-eating beetles are moving northward out of normal ranges, and seas expanding from warmth and glacier melt are encroaching on low-lying island states.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and his colleagues defended climate research amid an uproar over a cache of e-mails stolen from a British university that global warming skeptics say show scientists conspired to hide evidence that doesn't fit their theories.

Panel members noted Tuesday that their authoritative reports, representing the work of some 2,500 international climate experts, included specific papers referenced in the e-mails, such as research into tree rings in Siberia that were discussed at length and had accompanying figures.

"Our processes are so robust, and the manner in which we function is so inclusive, that there is absolutely no question" about the integrity of research, Pachauri said. "They were clearly private communications. And if they express a level of passion all of us are guilty of at times, I think we should leave it well enough alone."

He said the IPCC has begun looking into the matter, but stopped short of launching a full investigation. "From what we've done so far, on a preliminary basis, we are completely satisfied that the IPCC procedures have not in any way excluded any material that's been peer-reviewed."

Carbon dioxide concentrations are expected to peak next year at a record high above 390 parts per million, up from 315 ppm when the first such measurements were taken a half-century ago.

"We are really on the higher end, at the pessimistic part of these ranges," Jarraud said. "So if nothing is done, we are going for much more than 2 degrees."

Swiss climatologist Thomas Stocker of the University of Bern noted that carbon dioxide levels are "higher than ever in the last 800,000 years," based on comparisons with ancient pockets of carbon dioxide trapped in polar ice core samples.

He said the C02 atmospheric concentrations have risen at a rate at least 10 times faster than ever before seen in paleoclimatic history.

The WMO also noted an extreme heat wave in India in May and a heat wave in northern China in June. It said parts of China experienced their warmest year on record, and that Australia so far has had its third-warmest year. Extremely warm weather was also more frequent and intense in southern South America.

According to the U.S. space agency NASA, the other warmest years since 1850 have been 2005, 1998, 2007 and 2006. NASA says the differences in readings among these years are so small as to be statistically insignificant.

The U.N. agency reported that the global combined sea surface and land surface temperature for the January-October 2009 period is estimated at 0.44 degrees C (0.79 degrees F) above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14.00 degrees C (57.2 degrees F), with a margin of error of plus or minus 0.11 degrees C. Final data will be released early in 2010.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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3.4 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2009
-This is partly corroborated by data collected by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. There have been about twice as many record warm days as record cold days recorded by weather stations across the US during this decade.
Since the data processed by the NCAR and the data processed by the World Meterological Organization has been processed by quite different people in different organizations, maybe we can go on to debate the implications rather than to quarrel about the putative existence of some evil conspiracy out to distort the facts.....not even The Illuminati could infiltrate all the organizations across the world that report warming!
4 / 5 (5) Dec 08, 2009
CNN is doing a report at some point tonight on the science behind global warming... might be worth watching
3 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2009
The glacier's melting can not be affected by Illuminati thermometers... ;-) But certain people never accept any evidence - no matter whether we are talking about evolutionary theory or global warming.
2.5 / 5 (8) Dec 08, 2009
The glacier's melting...

Not this glacier melting propaganda again! There are glaciers advancing, and there are receding. There are too many factors affecting glaciers dynamics, and human development (land change) is arguably the biggest of all. Then, if temperature data is more abundant and reliable (robust:-), why do you need to reiterate this glacier melting myth over and over again? Oh, you lost temperature data, how convenient!
1.9 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2009
Now for some AGW humor....

Its easier to get Gore to spout poetry than it is to get source data from AGW "scientists"


Al Gores poetry is as bad as the "science" produced by AGW "scientists"

below is a link that shows how bad... but AGW believers think its wonderful...

2.2 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2009
might be worth watching

If it's even handed, acknowledging that CO2 is just a fraction of the atmospheric considerations, and that there's still the more significant geologic and oceanic considerations, sure. But for some reason I doubt it.

For some reason I'm betting it will be the exact same incomplete and uncertain "science" that has been exposed as fraudulent by the Climategate emails.
5 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2009
There are glaciers advancing, and there are receding.

Yes, the problem is, the number of receding glacier greatly prevails.


I've even theory, why is it so: with increasing energy density gradient the convection switches from horizontal to the vertical one, which enables some glaciers advance.
4 / 5 (8) Dec 09, 2009
Its true that some glaciers are advancing. We have reports from several glaciers near the tip of South America that glaciers in that region of the world are in fact advancing.

Glaciers in the rest of the world, almost without exception are retreating. So while its true to state that some are retreating and some are advancing But failing to also note that 95% are retreating, in most cases to an alarming degree, so badly misstates the facts of the situation as to be an bald faced lie.

I have noticed a lot of that coming from the AGW deniers however, so your in good company. If data is not available, just make it up out of thin air. If opinion conflicts with observation, just repeat your opinion over and over and surely that will make it real.
3.7 / 5 (9) Dec 09, 2009
Its really easy to get source data from 95% of the published reports out there. Again notice the bald faced lies propagated by the AGW denier crowd. You can't get data from 2 out of 100 reports, so of course you can't get data from anyone.

Keep repeating your opinion over and over. Surely if you do that enough you can make the data conform to your twisted and paranoid worldview.

Our version of the flat-earthers from a century past.
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 09, 2009
Another Caption For The Picture:

"Why bother fighting over access to the raw data, just look at the steep slope in this drawing."

What a sad state of affairs for science,
Oliver K. Manuel
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear & Space Science
Former NASA PI for Apollo
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 09, 2009

What a sad state of affairs for science,
Oliver K. Manuel
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear & Space Science
Former NASA PI for Apollo

I'm calling a 'fake' on that one. Posting credentials without argument is not the style of a serious scientist. I've sent an email of the matter to the real holder of that title.
3.8 / 5 (10) Dec 09, 2009
"Published works by Dr. Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, Dev Nyogi of Purdue University, and Georg Taylor of Oregon State University have demonstrated that a significant number of USHCN and other weather stations used in the climate record have some significant, and in some cases severe measurement biases near the thermometers in these climate stations of record. "


This "paper" only applies to a selected group (cherry picked?)of USA weather stations. Westill wait for their co-conspirator A. Watts to publish his alleged paper on the matter.
The satellite measurements correlate very closely with land based temperature records showing a virtually identical trend.

This evidence above shows that any "biases" in land based temperature records have either been calculated for, or balanced out by "biases" in the opposite direction.
2 / 5 (8) Dec 09, 2009
Its interesting that so many people trust what comes out of the UN. People should realize that the UN is made up of countries, most of whom are run by thugs and dictators who hate democracy and the western world, who put dictators in charge of human rights commisions, etc. and etc.

The UN is a great place to have countries meet. But if you believe anything that comes out of the mouth of the UN, you must be daft enough to believe in Al Gore and AGW. Anyone here want to buy a bridge?
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
Yeah, "free"thinking. Of course, the counter-arguments you see posted on anti-AGW blogs are altogether trustworthy and authoritative by comparison. And there aren't any conceivable thugs and/or haters of democracy and the western world, that might be behind the anti-AGW movement. **cough**Saudi Arabia**cough**cough***

You know, any time scientific findings threaten an established and powerful industry (or a set of such industries) and an ever-escalating acrimonious "controversy" ensues -- guess where I'll place *my* trust. Haven't you had enough Big Tobacco tactics, yet? Or are you still in the business of purchasing bridges?
3 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2009
The Sauds love America and love Democracy. We pay cash for their oil and don't attack their country even though we have every right to.

If it weren't so tragic, this statement would be comical.

Why is it that you're unaware of Saudi Arabia being a dictatorship with not a single democratic institution in its government? An ultra-repressive society with zero freedom of speech and no freedom of religion, that easily gives Stalin a run for his money.

Why is it that you're unaware of Saudi-funded and Saudi-sponsored Islamic schools all over the world teaching the most radical, extremist, anti-Western virulent interpretation of Islam (the Wahhabi version) all over the world? Did you not know that Wahhabi philosophy is what drives Al Qaida?

WOW, talk about ignorant....
5 / 5 (1) Dec 16, 2009

The changes we're seeing are happening on a timescale far shorter than 20,000 years. It's the combination of the amplitude of change, together with a dramatic compression of the time scale, that's going to cause the real damage, when compared to natural climate variability. Mass extinction is under way, and overall productivity of the world's food chains is going to plummet, because many plants and animals will not succeed in adapting to such *geologically rapid* change, exacerbated by escalating exploitation/harvesting/pollution pressures from human activity.

Aside from the tragic and irreversible loss of biodiversity and its potential applications, and devastated food production (especially seafood), the costs ultimately incurred by the burgeoning human population are going to be quite astronomic. Look at the Netherlands, the sub-Saharan region, and Alaska for a hint of things to come all around the globe.
5 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2009
In that case, Velanarris, your sarcasm blended a little too well with the earnestness of certain others. I missed it, and took you literally. My mistake, though I think I can be forgiven for interpreting your rather ambiguous post the way I did.
not rated yet Dec 29, 2009
"Published works by Dr. Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, Dev Nyogi of Purdue University, and Georg Taylor of Oregon State University have demonstrated that a significant number of USHCN and other weather stations used in the climate record have some significant, and in some cases severe measurement biases near the thermometers in these climate stations of record. "

This evidence above shows that any "biases" in land based temperature records have either been calculated for, or balanced out by "biases" in the opposite direction.

The above data brought to you by the CRU (a major source of fudge-factored data recently and in part exposed).
not rated yet Dec 30, 2009
Much of the data at the Woods for Trees website also comes from the CRU. It would appear that more than half of the material comes from potentially tainted data.

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