(via Tom Nelson) Ken Caldeira resigns as IPCC lead author, saying:
“…it is not clear how much additional benefit there is to having a huge bureaucratic scientific review effort under UN auspices…”
Clearly, at the outset, the early IPCC reports played an important role showing that there was a high degree of consensus around the reality and basic science of human-induced climate change. It was important to show that, despite a few climate-science deniers, the fundamental science was well-accepted by the mainstream scientific community.
But can anybody point to any important positive outcomes resulting from the IPCC AR4 process? [AR4 is shorthand for the panel's fourth assessment, which was published in 2007.] Is there reason to expect a greater positive impact from the IPCC AR5 process? [This is the forthcoming fifth assessment of climate science and policies, coming in 2013 and 2014]
I am all for scientific reviews and assessments, and I think the multi-model comparisons reviewed by the IPCC have been especially useful. However, it is not clear how much additional benefit there is to having a huge bureaucratic scientific review effort under UN auspices…
(As an aside, I recently resigned as a lead author of an IPCC AR5 chapter simply because I felt I had more effective ways of using the limited amount of time that I have to engage in scientific activities. My resignation was made possible because I believe that the chapter team that I was part of was on the right track and doing an excellent job without my contribution. Had I had a scientific criticism of my chapter team, you can be assured that I would have stayed involved. So, my resignation was a vote of confidence in my scientific peers, not a critique. It is just not clear to me that, at this point, working on IPCC chapters is the most effective use of my time.
His bio page says:
Ken Caldeira is a staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution, where his job is “to make important scientific discoveries.” He also serves as a professor (by courtesy) in the Stanford University Department of Environmental Earth System Science. Caldeira is a lead author for the upcoming IPCC AR5 report and was coordinating lead author of the oceans chapter for the 2005 IPCC report on Carbon Capture and Storage. He was a co-author of the 2010 US National Academy America’s Climate Choices report. He participated in the UK Royal Society geoengineering panel in 2009 and ocean acidification panel in 2005. He was a lead author of the 2007 U.S. “State of the Carbon Cycle Report. Caldeira was invited by the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board to deliver the 2007 Roger Revelle Lecture, “What Coral Reefs Are Dying to Tell Us About CO2 and Ocean Acidification.” In 2010, Caldeira was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.