Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eli can retire Part XV - Bart blushes

Hi gang, the EPA has made sure that Eli will never have to go back to work, dumping another load on the petitioners for reconsideration. Remember the great scandal about only 26% of the Netherlands being below sea level while the WGII report said 55%, wonder where that came from?
2.1.2 Accuracy of Statement on Percent of the Netherlands Below Sea Level

Comment (2-1):
Peabody Energy and the State of Texas contend that the IPCC erroneously stated (in Working Group II’s contribution to the AR4) that 55% of the Netherlands is below sea level, whereas the actual number is much lower according to Dutch materials (26%).

Response (2-1):
The statistic quoted in the IPCC AR4 is inaccurate. When this error was identified, PBL (2010b) published a correction:

In the 2007 IPCC report by the Working Group 2 (Climate change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) a mistake has entered the text that was supplied by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, regarding the risks of flooding for the Netherlands. In the chapter on Europe, on page 547, it says that 55 per cent of the Netherlands is below sea level (‘The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level’). This should have read that 55 per cent of the Netherlands is at risk of flooding; 26 per cent of the country is below sea level, and 29 per cent is susceptible to river flooding. Examples of the latter are the near floodings, in the mid-1990s, of areas along the rivers Meuse and Waal – areas that are well above sea level.
The IPCC agrees that this statistic is incorrect in the AR4, and also notes that the same mistake was made by other reputable groups (Reuters, 2010). For example, the IPCC—in a written statement provided to Reuters—indicated that a report from the Dutch Ministry of Transport had stated “‘about 60%’ of the country is below sea level,” and referred to a European Commission study saying “about half” (Reuters, 2010). As noted by the IPCC statement, the error was not made by authors of the AR4, but originated with PBL, which supplied the text. To correct the mistake, the IPCC published an official erratum (IPCC, 2010d):
2) Page 547. Section 12.2.3. Line 20: Delete “below sea level” and replace with “at risk flooding”.
The IPCC was further quoted as saying (Reuters, 2010): “The sea level statistic was used for background information only, and the updated information remains consistent with the overall conclusions.”

In its independent report Assessing an IPCC Assessment (PBL, 2010a), PBL, which was responsible for the error, states:
We acknowledge that this error was not the fault of the IPCC (Coordinating) Lead Authors or Co-Chairs. The error was made by a Contributing Author from the PBL, and the (Coordinating) Lead Authors [of the IPCC] are not to blame for relying on Dutch information provided by a Dutch agency.

Oh yes, what did this all mean, the EPA says nothing much

EPA concludes that this error is minor and inconsequential to the Administrator’s Endangerment Finding. EPA does not refer to or rely on this statistic in the Endangerment Finding or supporting documents, and this information does not pertain to endangerment of public health and welfare in the United States in any meaningful way. It does not call into question the integrity of the IPCC, and it has no impact on the scientific support for EPA’s Endangerment Finding. Furthermore, as the error pertains to a statistic outside the United States, it is not relevant to the Endangerment Finding. As noted in Subsection 2.1.1, the Endangerment Finding states (Section III.D): “The Administrator looked first at impacts in the United States itself, and determined that these impacts are reasonably anticipated to endanger the public health and the welfare of the U.S. population. That remains the Administrator’s position, and by itself supports her determination of endangerment.”


Rattus Norvegicus said...

I've only looked at the Volume 1 portion about paleo reconstructions. It deals with the issues raised by the "auditors" quite well. I would highly recommend that Judith Curry read it -- the EPA has done their homework, unlike a certain atmospheric sciences professor at Georgia Tech.

hveerten said...

Yes, but what are the Dutch going to do about it? General elections were recently held and as a result a new right-wing party (PVV) has emerged as one of the biggest and they are now in government coalition negotiations. The following is translated straight out of their political manifesto ('partijprogramma'):

"The subsidized Green movement has to come up with new issues all the time in order to maintain the flow of subsidies. Everytime they are helped in this by their henchmen at the public broadcasting organisation. Thus we bounce from ‘acid rain’ to ‘hole in the ozon layer’ to the Brent Spar affair. The latest hype is called global warming

The climate is changing, of course, but it always does. Man cannot set the earth’s temperature any higher or lower. What’s more, the global temperature has been declining since 1998. Meanwhile socialists employ these climate theories to do what they always want: higher taxes, feelings of guilt and a lot of regulation -while only 3 to 4 percent of all CO2 emission is produced by man. The rest is produced by nature itself (vulcano’s, oceans and swamps). We have to stop panicking about the earth warming and we have to stop giving money to an unproven climate hype. Eventually we should get rid of European climate commitments. We are against capturing and storing CO2 underground.”

I go trough the text line by line over here,
but I guess most readers on this site can spot a lot of the errors in the text from a mile away.

Jim Bouldin said...

It warms my heart to know that the State of Texas and Peabody Energy are so concerned about how much of the Netherlands is below sea level.

dhogaza said...

"Oh yes, what did this all mean, the EPA says nothing much"

yes, but with admirably understated snark and sarcasm ...

"this information does not pertain to endangerment of public health and welfare in the United States in any meaningful way..."

made me laugh, anyway!

John Mashey said...

Again, if people haven't already written a quick email to the EPA thanking them for their competence, think of skipping one quick blog post and doing that instead.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers cite Wattsup blog.... fifth amendment link at bottom of page:

Incredible The citation...

20 “North American snow models miss the mark – observed trend opposite of the predictions,” by
Steven Goddard, available at
the-mark/, last visited March 3, 2010.
21 “Why is Winter Snow Extent Interesting,” by Steven Goddard, available at, last visited March
3, 2010.

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Must be the name...