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Clintel Report: IPCC snow job on snow cover

21 Jun 2023 | Science Notes

In this week’s installment of our review of the Clintel Report on the IPCC AR6, we examine their chapter on Northern Hemisphere snow cover. We’ve mentioned a few times (most recently as part of our Cool Climate Data series) the Rutgers Snow Lab data which shows declining Spring and Summer snow cover in the NH, but increasing Fall and Winter snow cover. Which, as the Clintel Report explains, contradicts climate model projections, not to mention all the hysterical warnings about snow disappearing altogether. Of course the danger of mentioning the Rutgers data is that the IPCC might realize people are paying attention to it and find a way to plow it into the memory hole. And sure enough it happened in AR6. The IPCC found another data compilation from a different author, which mingles actual snow observations with fluffy model-generated stuff to come up with a downward trend in Autumn snow cover. So guess who they picked to write the chapter on snow cover trends, and which data set got highlighted?

Right. As Clintel notes, whenever there’s a genuine area of controversy you can tell which side the IPCC is going to push simply by looking at who they pick to write the chapter. The author who had cobbled together a data set getting rid of the pesky increase in autumn snow cover was Lawrence Mudryk, a scientist at Canada’s Environment Ministry. Yes, that bastion of free scientific inquiry whose main job is to come up with convincing reasons why Canadians should keep paying higher and higher carbon taxes. Mudryk did a bit of statistical legerdemain and voilà, the increasing fall and winter trends melted away into decreasing trends.

The Clintel team discuss some of the questionable statistical modeling done by Mudryk. And they invited him to answer their questions about his results but he apparently was too busy shoveling the driveway and declined to respond. By contrast the lead scientist at the Rutgers Snow Lab, David Robinson, responded to their questions and they thanked him in the acknowledgments. The IPCC however didn’t invite Robinson to help write the chapter on snow cover because, well, the IPCC is very careful only to ask for input from people they know will tell them what they want to hear. It’s called consensus.

So when the IPCC concludes that there is medium confidence snow cover is declining in the fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, which only means a coin toss anyway in their terminology, we respond with high confidence that this claim is based on cherry picking the author and the data they want the public to see, while ensuring that the contrary evidence will be buried under a tall snowbank and forgotten until after the next ice age.

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