Monday, September 30, 2013

"some delegates wanted to remove all references to a slowdown...[perhaps] felt it would be seized on by climate-change deniers"

Has the U.N. Climate Panel Now Outlived Its Usefulness? by Fred Pearce: Yale Environment 360
...It is not called an “intergovernmental panel” for nothing, and every last nation had to agree to the text before it was published.
So is this science or politics?
Another contentious topic was how the report should deal with the recent warming hiatus. The draft acknowledged the scientists' concerns and noted that climate models "do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years." This was reportedly met with opposition from some delegates who wanted to remove all references to a slowdown. Some argued that the hiatus had not lasted long enough to be considered a temperature trend. Perhaps they also felt it would be seized on by climate-change deniers.
David Keith, a Harvard University professor who recently resigned as an author of the IPCC report, says "The IPCC is showing typical signs of middle age, including weight gain, a growing rigidity of viewpoint, and overconfidence in its methods. It did a great job in the early days, but it's become ritualized and bureaucratic, issuing big bulk reports that do little to answer the hard questions facing policymakers." It needs, he says, "a reinvention."

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