For weeks, this document has been put in the hands of most every journalist that writes about climate issues, and many articles have been written about its contents. Given that much of the work done in it was publicly funded at universities, and because the discussion in the media has placed the issue in the public domain of discussion, plus with the IPCC Stockholm meeting to hammer out the final version convening this week, and with the announcement today that IPCC chair Rajenda Pachauri willl step down in 2015, (translation here) I feel it is time to make this document available so that the public also has the opportunity for (as the IPCC put it in their press release) line-by-line scrutiny.
It’s been suggested by Dr. Judith Curry that these leaks to some key MSM players from the IPCC were deliberate to equip sympathetic journalists with talking points so that they could promote interest and alarm ahead of time.
People have been asking me to comment on the leaked IPCC Final Draft Summary for Policy Makers. Apparently someone in the IPCC made the Report available to ‘friendly’ journalists, as part of a strategy to brief them before the formal release of the Report. – Dr. Judith Curry
Further, the IPCC has made it clear in their Principles and Procedures statement that they embrace transparency.
The IPCC’s processes and procedures are constantly being reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain strong, transparent and reliable.
Given the keen worldwide interest, and the many articles written about the AR5 draft SPM in media with access to it, there’s no reason anymore for the public to be left out of the process. It will also be interesting to compare to the final SPM to see what the politicians have morphed the document into. Reportedly, there are some 1800 changes that have already been requested by government representatives.
Here is the widely distributed PDF of the IPCC Draft SPM.
WG1AR5-SPM_FD_Final (1) (7.64MB)
For some insight into the IPCC process, and the pointless levels of secrecy they added on to reviewers, see this website by Paul Matthews, an applied mathematician at the University of Nottingham:
The IPCC Report – Looking into the 5th IPCC report
Drafts, reviews and leaks
I found this statement interesting:
Since the draft reports cite research papers that have been accepted but not published, reviewers have the right to see these papers. I requested three such papers and received the following response from the IPCC:
“Please find attached a copy of the non-published literature you requested. For security reasons, the attached copy is an encrypted version of a pdf. The copy can be viewed by a software (LockLizard) which is provided free of charge and is simple and quick to download. Below you will find instructions on how to download the software, register the license, and view the protected file.“
Take a look at the LockLizard website – especially the video at the top. This gives an insight into the secrecy paranoia of the IPCC. These are research papers on climate science, soon to be published, but in the view of the IPCC they are closely guarded secrets.
Dr. Judith Curry talks about the leaks:
The IPCC’s ‘inconvenient truth’ — a pause in surface warming for the past 15+ years
Publication of the IPCC AR4 in 2007 was received with international acclaim. The vaunted IPCC process – multitudes of experts from over a hundred countries over a period of four years, examining thousands of refereed journal publications, with hundreds of expert reviewers – elevated the authority of the IPCC AR4 to near biblical heights. Journalists jumped on board, and even the oil and energy companies neared capitulation. The veneration culminated with the Nobel Peace Prize, which the IPCC was awarded jointly with Al Gore. At the time, I joined the consensus in supporting this document as authoritative: I bought into the meme of “don’t trust what one scientist says; rather trust the consensus building process of the IPCC experts.”
Six and a half years later and a week before the release of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5), substantial criticisms are being made of leaked versions of the Report as well as of the IPCC process itself. IPCC insiders are bemoaning their loss of their scientific and political influence. What happened?
The IPCC was seriously tarnished by the unauthorized release of emails from the University of East Anglia in November 2009, known as Climategate. These emails revealed the ‘sausage making’ involved in the IPCC’s consensus building process, including denial of data access to individuals who wanted to audit their data processing and scientific results, interference in the peer review process to minimize the influence of skeptical criticisms, and manipulation of the media. Climategate was quickly followed by the identification of an egregious error involving the melting of Himalayan glaciers. These revelations were made much worse by the actual response of the IPCC to these issues. Then came the concerns about the behavior of the IPCC’s Director, Rachendra Pachauri, and investigations of the infiltration of green advocacy groups into the IPCC. All of this was occurring against a background of explicit advocacy and activism by IPCC leaders related to CO2 mitigation policies.
The IPCC does not seem to understand the cumulative impact of these events on the loss of trust in climate scientists and the IPCC process itself. The IPCC’s consensus building process relies heavily on expert judgment; if the public and the policy makers no longer trust these particular experts, then we can expect a very different dynamic to be in play with regards to the reception of the AR5 relative to the AR4.
Based upon early drafts of the AR5, the IPCC seemed prepared to dismiss the pause in warming as irrelevant ‘noise’ associated with natural variability. Under pressure, the IPCC now acknowledges the pause and admits that climate models failed to predict it. The IPCC has failed to convincingly explain the pause in terms of external radiative forcing from greenhouse gases, aerosols, solar or volcanic forcing; this leaves natural internal variability as the predominant candidate to explain the pause. If the IPCC attributes to the pause to natural internal variability, then this begs the question as to what extent the warming between 1975 and 2000 can also be explained by natural internal variability. Not to mention raising questions about the confidence that we should place in the IPCC’s projections of future climate change.
In my view, the IPCC now faces its ultimate test of credibility. Given its botched and dismissive reactions to errors pointed out by the public in the blogosphere in the past few years, I don’t expect they will rise to the occasion – the skills for presentation to the public in the current dynamic just aren’t there.
This LA Time’s story sums up the predicament quite well: Global warming ‘hiatus’ puts climate change scientists on the spot