Friday, May 05, 2006

IPCC Report Leaks

Every five years or so, the IPCC, which is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, comes out with a concensus report. Many of us have been waiting for the Fourth Report to be released, but the real date of the release is sometime early next year.

Meanwhile, in a curious way that has the faint odor of something that is decaying, the report has become available on the internet.

Here is the response of the early public release from the reasonably conservative and responsible Real Climate:

"As everyone has now realised, the second-order draft of the new IPCC report has become very widely available and many of the contributors to this site, commenters and readers will have seen copies.

Part of the strength of the IPCC process are the mutliple stages of review - the report is already significantly improved (in clarity and scientific basis) from the first round of reviews, and one can anticipate further improvements from the ongoing round as well. Thus no statements from this draft report can be considered 'official'.

While most of the contents of the report will come as no surprise to frequent visitors here, we have decided that we are not going to discuss the report until it is finalised and released (sometime in February 2007)."

Meanwhile, there is this story.

Warming threatens famine, drought
Copyright 2006, Australian
By Mark Henderson
May 5, 2006

THE World will warm by 3C, even under the most optimistic emissions projections for 2050, according to the UN group that studies global warming.

The increase, which would cause drought and famine for 400 million people and devastate wildlife, is predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its most confident assessment yet of how greenhouse gases are affecting global temperatures. A draft of part of the panel's fourth report, which the US Government has released on the internet, shows that it has, for the first time, placed a likely figure on the progress of global warming, indicating a degree of scientific certainty that it has avoided in the past.

It says that temperatures could increase by between 2C and 4.5C when atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches double the pre-industrial level, but it declares 3C to be the "most likely value" for such change.

A 3C rise is the level at which a British Meteorological Office conference last year judged that "dangerous" climate change would occur.


The unusual manner of its release has alarmed some scientists and environmental groups, who questioned whether President George W.Bush's administration was seeking to defuse its bold conclusions before the final version is published in February.

Roger Pielke Jr, of the University of Colorado, told Nature: "If the report is already out there in circulation, then the 'news' value is likely to be much diminished when the official report is finally released."


Apart from providing the most precise estimates yet of the likely course of climate change, the document's language is much more confident than that of the IPCC's third report, which was published in 2001.

It points to decisive new evidence that the rising temperatures recorded over the past 50 years are the result of human activity and not natural variation.

The pattern of warming ocean, surface and lower atmosphere temperatures, together with melting ice at the poles and falling temperatures in the stratosphere, now make it "highly unlikely (less than 5 per cent)" that natural changes could be responsible.

And here is another version from the Scotsman

"The draft document is the report of the IPCC's Working Group 1, which examines scientific findings related to the physical cause of climate change. The analyses of Working Groups II and III, which lay out consequences from the first group's findings and suggest mitigation strategies, have not been released.

The report's strong language should refute climate change sceptics who say rising temperatures are the result of natural variation rather than human activity, environmentalists said.

Stuart Hay, the head of policy and research for Friends of the Earth Scotland said: "This is the most definitive scientific evidence yet that climate change is happening and humans are to blame.

"The IPPC report clearly shows we must end our addiction to fossil fuels or face serious and irreversible consequences for society."

I know a guy with a Utility who will still not be convinced.

He is a smart guy, but he wants to build coal plants.

But the only economic way to really sequester carbon from coal,

Is to leave the coal in the ground.

He doesn't believe that either.

When he and and his company are sued for blowing their smoke

just like the cigarette companies were,

we'll probably find hand written notes in their files too.

One should never confuse "an obstinant "

with an opportunist.


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*photo courtesy of James Kerrick


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