The IPCC and The Null Hypothesis
With great fanfare, the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release the first part of its 5th full assessment of climate change next week.
Its last major assessment, called AR4, was released in 2007. The new report is called AR5. It took 5+ years and a cast of thousands to create.
The IPCC has ignored a fundamental concept of science in every one of its reports:
“The Null Hypothesis“.
Ignoring the null hypothesis is a fatal flaw in all IPCC reports and why they must be rejected outright as science-based proof that humans are the cause of global warming.
Perhaps the reason the IPCC commits such an elementary error in basic science is that it isn’t a scientific organization. It is a political arm of the UN staffed by government appointees.
What is ‘The Null Hypothesis’?
The null hypothesis must be assumed to be true unless statistical analysis proves it is outside the range of random probability.
That range has a strict mathematical definition. It is two or more standard deviations away from the prediction of the null hypothesis.
In laymen’s terms it means there is a 95% or greater chance that the null hypothesis is wrong.
In that case, the null hypothesis is rejected.
The purpose of the null hypothesis isn’t to prove anything. Its purpose is to eliminate possibilities. In the case of climate change it can be used to eliminate natural variability as a cause of climate change.
An IPCC Null Hypothesis
Currently observed changes in global climate indices and the physical environment, as well as current changes in animal and plant characteristics, are the result of natural variability
– IPCC null hypothesis example
The IPCC has never ever defined a null hypothesis to build its case for human-caused global warming, even though all climate change is statistically based. That is flawed science.
Above is a reasonable example of a climate change null hypothesis. It is taken from a new alternative report to the IPCC called, “Climate Change Reconsidered II“.
The null hypothesis above for climate change assumes that observed changes are caused by natural variability. If statistics prove it must be rejected, then the theory of human-caused global warming is strengthened.
To go about testing the null hypothesis, compare any climate variable, like temperature rise – that overlaps times of natural variability with times thought human caused. IPCC AR5 says 1950 is the starting point where non-natural climate change effects begin to appear. Apply statistical analysis to data before and after 1950 and if the result is 95% or greater that the change is 0utside what natural variability allows then the null hypothesis – results are consistent with natural variability – must be rejected.
That, of course, does not prove that human’s are the cause of climate change. It proves that climate change is outside the range of natural variability.
In the world of science, though, that is considered very strong support for the theory of human-caused global climate change, though not proven absolutely.
Since AGW theory attributes rising atmospheric CO2 levels to climate change, then a direct link beyond what cannot be explained by natural variability must be established.
That is a standard the IPCC has yet to meet.
The Error of IPCC Ways
Instead of using the standard scientific approach to support the theory of human-cause climate change, the IPCC takes the opposite and entirely false approach.
From its very first report the IPCC has always assumed all climate change is human-caused and seeks out data and builds mathematical modeling to support it. It’s a tainted approach that assumes true the very thing you are out to prove. That is both unscientific and illogical.
It is exactly the opposite of the scientific method as applied in statistics-based studies. Everything in climate science is statistics based. Therefore, the null hypothesis applies.
The IPCC has never applied the null hypothesis in any of its assessments.
The IPCC has always taken a fundamentally flawed approach with its reports. It assumes true the very thing it claims to be assessing. That doesn’t make sense.
No doubt, that is why the IPCC has always emphasized the 98% consensus, as if opinion defines scientific fact.
A couple weeks ago the IPCC leaked its own report to media-friendly sources. None was leaked to critics.
The only headlines coming out of that is the IPCC is 5% more certain now that climate change is human-caused than it was in 2007.
Now, the IPCC’s “confidence” level is 95% instead of only 90%.
That is the type of reasoning the IPCC has resorted to as more and more contrary science comes out that disputes its claims.