What People Will Read and See with the IPCC’s Lead-Off Illustration from the AR5 SPM

Anthony Watts published an illustration and an excerpt of the draft of the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers due out later this month. See the WUWT post Excerpts from the Leaked Summary for Policy Makers. Included with his post is the IPCC’s Figure SPM.1. See my reduced size copy in Figure 1.  Based on the numbering, that’s the first illustration policymakers and the public will see when they open the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers.

That lead-off illustration is obviously one of the IPCC’s focal points.  It includes:

  • in the top graph of cell a, annual surface temperature anomalies from 3 suppliers (who all rely on the same source data, so it’s overkill) from 1850 to 2012;
  • in the bottom graph of cell a, decadal surface temperatures from the same suppliers for the same time period; and
  • in cell b, a surface temperature trend map on a Robinson projection, in which the contour levels have been tweaked so that it appears the Earth is ready to burst into flames.

ar5_spm_fig1 reduced

Figure 1

(Original from WUWT post is here.)

The IPCC then goes into a detailed discussion of the warming of global surface temperatures.


With all of the discussions of the recent hiatus period, this is what the public and policymakers will take away from their discussion:

Blah, blah blah.

And this is what the public and policymakers will concentrate on and understand from Figure SPM.1.  (See my Figure 2)

ar5_spm_fig1 cropped

Figure 2


I’ve redone about 40 graphs from scratch and completely rewritten 2 of 10 sections—all at the recommendation of the (non-technical) person doing the proofreading.  And I’m more than halfway done incorporating the other recommended changes to the text, which make it much easier to read. (I’m having to tone down the language of the person doing the proofreading—she is becoming more and more critical of climate models being used by the IPCC as she progresses through the book and sees how poorly they simulate sea ice, precipitation and surface temperatures.) All in all, I believe Climate Models Fail will be published and available in pdf and Amazon Kindle formats before the IPCC releases their SPM for AR5.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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4 Responses to What People Will Read and See with the IPCC’s Lead-Off Illustration from the AR5 SPM

  1. Steven Devijver says:

    Excellent and hilarious, I hadn’t noticed it yet. Unfortunately this means that this graph won’t make it the final draft. Still, how clueless can you be?

  2. catweazle666 says:

    Seems these people haven’t caught on to the ‘Inconvenient Truth’ that after the Agricultural Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, we are now undergoing the Information Revolution, with all that that entails.

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    catweazle666: Thanks

  4. ianh says:

    At the rate CO2 is rising, no.

    That’s the difference between those past periods and the current one.

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