Feeds

Next IPCC climate assessment due 2014 now everywhere online

No particular surprises - have a read yourself

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

A draft of the United Nations organisation's fifth climate report (IPCC AR5), due to be completed 2014, has been leaked onto the internet.

The International Panel of Climate Change is a time-consuming voluntary process comprising three working groups, that produce the three blockbuster reports (on physics, impacts, and mitigation strategies respectively) every seven years. Although the process produces no new science, it is intended to faithfully reflect the state of play.

Although anyone could sign up to "review" the draft, anyone who did was forbidden from disclosing the contents. Skeptical climate blogger Alec Rawls signed up and waited until the after the second review round closed on November 30th, then posted the draft to his blog - which promptly buckled under the weight.

Rawls' decision has won some support from surprising quarters. The New York Times Malthusian-in-residence Andy Revkin described the IPCC demands for secrecy as archaic.

What does it say, then? We shall refrain from cherry-picking all but the cherry-picked "Summary for Policy Makers". There's little change in the conclusion since AR4. Although only a small fraction of CO2 in the atmosphere is produced by human activity, and only half of that isn't absorbed, this remaining component is the dominant factor in determining the climate, say IPCC authors.

"Globally, CO2 is the strongest driver of climate change compared to other changes in the atmospheric composition, and changes in surface conditions. Its relative contribution has further increased since the 1980s and by far outweighs the contributions from natural drivers."

Computer models predict a 3°C rise over a hundred years, and they're more sure than ever "that many changes, that are observed consistently across components of the climate system, are significant, unusual or unprecedented on time scales of decades to many hundreds of thousands of years."

Dire predictions of an increase in violent weather aren't justified however, according to the IPCC.

Rawls says he was motivated to leak the draft because of the IPCC's refusal to accept any other solar factors other than irradiance, or 'brightness'. The refusal is a fact, but results largely from the failure of the scientific community to explore such factors. The Svensmark hypothesis on cloud nucleation is at least acknowledged, for the first time.

It is rarely noted that the IPCC process is voluntary, and the more distinguished skeptical scientists - those who accept the CO2 hypothesis but attribute lower postive feedbacks for CO2 in the climate model, such as Professors Christy and Lindzen, dropped out after AR3 was published in 2001. What's left is scientists with the time to participate and Governments (or more accurately, state apparatus: the bureuacracies) with the inclination and funding to take part.

If Revkin described the confidentiality demands as archaic, much could be said of the entire process, which is designed to chivvy policy-makers into adopting carbon mitigation policies (aka into reducing CO2 emissions), as a sister process to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks. Yet it is now evident, after the failure of successive conferences, that most countries favour adaptation rather than mitigation. China has surpassed the USA in CO2 emissions and now adds an entire "USA's worth" of CO2 to the atmosphere on top of that. This leaves a rump of Anglophone countries (the UK, Australia and New Zealand) still pushing for mitigation - allied to a cluster of small states looking for as much compensation as they can extract from the process. Thus the IPCC appears to be designed for a bygone age.

You can find links to the leaks to the AR5 WG1 draft all over the place, including via the Watts Up With That Blog here. ®

Bootnote

The Interacademy Panel made several recommendations to improve public confidence in the IPCC (pdf), after much criticism.

The WG3 part of the IPCC process was criticised for its heavy reliance on "grey literature" and the role of environmental activists in the editing process). It is left as an exercise for the reader to decide how much was incorporated into AR5.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.