UN climate panel denounces fresh data leaks (Update)

Jan 09, 2013
Wind turbines next to high-tension lines at sunrise near Bergheim, western Germany. The UN's climate science panel bemoaned Wednesday a fresh leak of data from a landmark report on global warming that will start to be released this year.

The UN's climate science panel bemoaned Wednesday a fresh leak of data from a landmark report on global warming that it will start releasing this year.

"Clearly, it is regrettable, all the leaked material is in draft form, internal working documents," Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told AFP.

This is the second leak in as many months from the panel's work to update its ground-breaking 2007 climate change report.

In the latest incident, blogger Donna Laframboise published thousands of pages of the draft Tuesday, denouncing what she called a lack of transparency in the process.

"These drafts are always available with the greatest transparency after the publication of a report, but to publish them beforehand just creates confusion," van Ypersele said on behalf of the panel by phone from Louvain in Belgium.

"It is not the IPCC report that was published on the web, but merely a draft that does not contain the same text as the final version."

In her blog, since republished several times on the Internet, Laframboise claimed the IPCC was attaching too much weight to the input of environmentalists rather than scientists.

The IPCC responded in a statement that the review process was open "to anyone interested in submitting comments."

"All scientific comments submitted through the review process will be considered and addressed by the authors," said the body.

A rally in Doha last month to demand urgent action on climate change. Donna Laframboise has published thousands of pages of a draft report on global warming, denouncing what she called a lack of transparency in the process.

Some 90,000 comments were scrutinised for the 2007 report, and even more are expected this time, van Ypersele said.

Jean Jouzel, a member of the IPCC's scientific group, said the leak was regrettable but would not hinder the panel's work.

"It would be good if these bloggers made their comments to us rather than the public," he added.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, the IPCC is a favoured target for climate sceptics.

It comprises around 3,000 atmospheric scientists, oceanographers, ice specialists, economists, public-health specialists and other experts.

Their task is to give policymakers a neutral update, known as an assessment report, of the latest knowledge about climate change and its impacts.

The final draft is vetted by outside assessors and governments before it is published.

The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report had a huge impact for it declared there was scientific consensus that Earth was warming as a result of fossil fuels and that signs of climate change were already visible.

But it came under fire in the runup to the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, as climate skeptics exposed several flaws and some shoddy sourcing.

The panel was forced to apologise for claiming that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

It had also wrongly stated that more than half of the Netherlands was below sea level, instead of 26 percent as claimed by Dutch authorities.

The Fifth Assessment Report will be published as climate negotiations aim for a new global pact on greenhouse-gas emissions by the end of 2015.

The first leak from the draft concerned Working Group 1, which gives a scientific assessment of the state of the climate. Its summary for policymakers is to be published in Stockholm this September.

The second leak concerns Working Group 2, which looks at the impacts of climate change, and whose summary is due to be issued in March 2014.

A third volume, by Working Group 3, looks at options for mitigating these impacts. Its summary is due in April 2014. A synthesis of all three volumes is scheduled for October 2014.

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User comments : 13

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Doug_Huffman
2.2 / 5 (23) Jan 09, 2013
Over at WUWT we're cheering the leakers on.
VendicarD
3.5 / 5 (22) Jan 09, 2013
These leaks aren't relevant to anything in the real world.

They just give denialist fools something to whine and moan about.
Maggnus
3.2 / 5 (20) Jan 09, 2013
Over at WUWT we're cheering the leakers on.


That's because you are an idiotiotic shill who has no morals nor any understanding of how science actually works. Crawl back under your stone.
full_disclosure
2 / 5 (23) Jan 09, 2013
More proof we are experiencing climate within natural variation....any death threats left in you Vendicar?
djr
4.1 / 5 (14) Jan 09, 2013
"More proof we are experiencing climate within natural variation"

sorry - I did not see any proof to that effect in this article - could you elaborate?
deatopmg
2 / 5 (12) Jan 09, 2013
So much for the total transparency promised for the AR5 review process by that parasite, Pachouri. When the final AR5 report is issued only the smoke and mirrors will remain.
Eikka
3.6 / 5 (5) Jan 10, 2013
"It would be good if these bloggers made their comments to us rather than the public," he added.


They have to be made to both, otherwise the public will never know which comments the panel ignored. That's what it means to be transparent.

A complaint box is just bluff if you're going to empty it straight to trash. That's why it's mandatory that the complaint be public so that you'd have to adress them in public, and your refusal or inability to adress them would also become public.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (11) Jan 10, 2013
That's why it's mandatory that the complaint be public so that you'd have to adress them in public

It just seems sort of pointless to start making comments/arguing on something that isn't released. That it isn't released doesn't mean it's secret. It just means it isn't ready, yet.

When it's released the data is available for all to see and it's been put into a format for analysis.
Just taking a raw dump of unfinished stuff will lead to people drawing a lot of unwarranted conclusions and a lot of confusion.

Especially with scientific publications: because you don't get it right the first time. You make your analyses and do your statistics over and over again. Occasionally you find that you missed somthing, or are using the wrong statistical approach (yeah, that happens more than you might think), etc.

So it's important to wait till the work is done and has been throughly reviewed - and not just take this as some kind of 'cool leak'.
Howhot
3.9 / 5 (7) Jan 10, 2013
Well you know who it is! Its the big oil and fossil fuel industry paying big bucks for pre-copies of the IPCC reports! Nothing to see, business as usual. Only the winer deniers have any protests about it's content, even though its a fact heavy document.
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 11, 2013
In exposing the lies of Pachauri and hia cronies in the IPCC it is Donna Laframboise who deserves the Nobel prize. How many times were we told that the IPCC only uses peer reviewed science to compile their reports? Thanks to Donna we now know Pachauri continually lied and that 30% of the referenced papers used to compile the reports were actually 'grey literature' from green activists like the World Wildlife Fund. Moreover many of the lead authors where actually young, barely qualified, activists who acted to effectively sideline the real scientists to further their preconceived agenda.
Howhot
3.5 / 5 (8) Jan 13, 2013
Gregor dude; why all of the concern about Pachauri and his cronies. You imply that the IPCC is somehow criminal. Is that really the case or are you just repeating talking points from some rightwing clown website? Since I know the subject, it's the later. So read my middle finger hater.

Moreover many of the lead authors where actually young, barely qualified, activists who acted to effectively sideline the real scientists to further their preconceived agenda.


B.S.

I hope the young people you refer to just come over to your world and make a mess of it, like you support with your mountain-top removal, drill-baby-drill attitude.

gregor1
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 15, 2013
Quite clearly the IPCC has been conning us all. The science has been blatantly hijacked to serve a political agenda. If there is a problem with the climate it serves nobodies interest to obscure the facts in this way. To the young and naive the ends justifies the means but fortunately Western Governments are not that stupid. They'll be very polite and play lip service while actually doing nothing at all. Meanwhile there maybe a problem with the climate, but the boy has cried wolf and the horse has bolted.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Jan 15, 2013
If there is a problem with the climate it serves nobodies interest to obscure the facts in this way.

Nobody has obscured any facts. Someone just put out data before the report was finished. How is that obscuring the facts? ALL scientific reports are put out when you are done typing them up and making the relevant analyses. Do you claim that ALL scientific reports are 'obscuring the facts' in the interim betwen measurement and writing up the article?

As for these 'obscured facts'. You haven't even looked at the leaked facts. So how would you know?

many of the lead authors where actually young, barely qualified

Are you aware that most all science is done by graduate students? Take a tour at CERN or similar - for one guy over 40 you'll find 20 guys working on their PhDs who are around 30 or younger.
PhD students are the MOST qualified - because they are the most up to date with what goes on in their specialty (more so than their professors who have a broader view