back to article Next IPCC climate assessment due 2014 now everywhere online

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 …


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  1. hplasm Silver badge

    Like any serial fiction

    Each book is written years before release, to a pre-determined story arc.

    Who'd have thunk it?

  2. Chris Miller

    The spin is in

    The true believers are already claiming that the IPCC underestimates the pace and impacts of global warming - e.g. Scientific American.

  3. Isendel Steel

    Is Lewis on leave ?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      No, he's busy being editor.


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Isendel Steel

      I am guessing you believe in the whole MMCC co2 is bad, all gonna die, 4 horsemen prophecy? I guess that because I have noticed a strong and irrational opposition to lewis by pro MMCC cultists (although absolute deniers seem to get gooey for him). While there are a few articles leaning towards the pro camp and not only lewis identifies flaws from the pro camp, he seems to get most of the hate.

      Comparing that to the pro cults theories on climate change, it has been demonstrated that while we dont know enough about climate to understand what is actually happening there is an absolute certainty and tunnel vision against co2. Even to the exclusion of actual and measurable cleaning up of actual pollution that we would see real world results for.

      This tunnel vision opposition to co2 seems just as funny as the tunnel vision opposition to lewis. While I am not a lewis hater/supporter I do like that he brings balance to a religious debate (he pokes holes in the MMCC bible). Just as the contributions so far from any of the reg writers.

      1. Isendel Steel

        Re: @Isendel Steel

        Nope - was commenting that Lewis usually handles the topic...I am just an interested reader, and enjoy the balance provided by El Reg to the overwhelming "we're all gonna die" from everywhere else.

        1. Tom 13

          Re: just an interested reader, and enjoy the balance

          Given that Andrew has posted almost as many skeptical articles as Lewis, but doesn't generate the hate mail, I find that a very curious statement to make.

  4. itzman

    I was dissappointed too..

    after watts up heralded it as a breakthrough.

    It isn't. but there are signs that they are generating some wriggle room in case they need to make a dramatic U turn when the Mediterranean freezes over or something.

    But as you say its all getting a bit like a soap opera. "Who shot Climate Change? read the next thrilling IPCC report on how rapidly falling global temperatures are all part of Global Warming, CO2 and definitely YOUR FAULT.

  5. Jason Buckley

    I can never quite understand how people who have the brains to drive cars or indeed do complicated stuff with computers can still display such extraordinary stupidity with regard to climate change, variously denying ti's happening, pretending it just happens to coincide with the mushrooming of the human population and our impact on the environment, or that even if it is happening and it's our fault, there are better things to be doing than worrying about it.

    Nobody in two hundred years time is going to give a damn who won the US presidential election in 2012, or that there was a recession. But they are quite likely to give a damn that nobody did anything to stop them frying. We already live in an era of unparalleled prosperity and wellbeing, where anyone in a developed country with the good sense not to eat himself into the size of a manatee can probably enjoy a standard of health and opportunity limited to very few in the past. We don't even have any serious sized wars to worry about. Yet we can't see our way to put a fraction of the money we waste on the status conferred by branded goods towards applying the solutions already within the reach of science to the problem of global warming. It's selfish and pathetic, and only possible if you have a total absence of historical and future sense, and can't see beyond the release of the next iPhone.

    1. Dr Stephen Jones


      You sound like someone who spends a lot of time in the mirror, practicing speeches no one will ever listen to.

      If you are that clairvoyant, please can you tell us who will win the 2013 FA Cup?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Szzz

        Crystal Palace will as a follow on from beating Manchester Utd at Old Trafford last season, and winning the Championship this season....

    2. danR2


      There you have it folks. They laughed and pointed when I soberly stated the warmZombies claimed the planet would 'fry' by 2100.

      No, they really believe that. Get out your pans because it's gonna be bacon and eggs time on the 3 degree warmer lawn.

  6. FartingHippo

    "Thus the IPCC appears to be designed for a bygone age."

    And yet my energy bill and flight costs make me want to weep, and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future.

    It's all Nick Clegg's fault (this is a facetious comment, so calm down, lentil-eating sandalistas).

  7. NomNomNom

    "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 was acknowledged in AR4:

    "Empirical associations have been reported between solar-modulated cosmic ray ionization of the atmosphere and global average low-level cloud cover but evidence for a systematic indirect solar effect remains ambiguous. It has been suggested that galactic cosmic rays with sufficient energy to reach the troposphere could alter the population of cloud condensation nuclei and hence microphysical cloud properties (droplet number and concentration), inducing changes in cloud processes analogous to the indirect cloud albedo effect of tropospheric aerosols and thus causing an indirect solar forcing of climate. Studies have probed various correlations with clouds in particular regions or using limited cloud types or limited time periods; however, the cosmic ray time series does not appear to correspond to global total cloud cover after 1991 or to global low-level cloud cover after 1994. Together with the lack of a proven physical mechanism and the plausibility of other causal factors affecting changes in cloud cover, this makes the association between galactic cosmic ray-induced changes in aerosol and cloud formation controversial."

    The leaked AR5 says pretty much the same thing, except with more citations since AR4 to support it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      NomNomNom Global Warming Fanatic

      More citations, eh?

      I am impressed. Doubleplus good.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC: Re: NomNomNom Global Warming Fanatic

        NomNomNom is very credulous.

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      ..The leaked AR5 says pretty much the same thing, except with more citations since AR4 to support it...

      My reading suggests a subtle difference. AR4 said that this has been suggested, but it there's no proof, so it's 'controversial' - eg, ignore it.

      The draft of AR5 now says "something like this MUST be happening". The precise words are

      "...The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. .."

      This is a major change. The first 4 ARs always said that the ONLY explanation for temperature changes had to be CO2, because there was no other mechanism operating. The minute that another mechanism is accepted as existing, a major plank supporting the suppression of CO2 goes out of the window....

      1. NomNomNom

        AR4 didn't claim the only explanation for temperature changes had to be CO2. Evidence for indirect solar effects were mentioned in AR4. Eg it said: ""However, empirical results since the TAR have strengthened the evidence for solar forcing of climate change by identifying detectable tropospheric changes associated with solar variability, including during the solar cycle....The most likely mechanism is considered to be some combination of direct forcing by changes in total solar irradiance, and indirect effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the stratosphere. Least certain, and under ongoing debate as discussed in the TAR, are indirect effects induced by galactic cosmic rays...""

        There is no difference in this regard between AR4 and AR5 but in both reports the evidence is presented that the direct and indirect solar influences are far smaller than the CO2 influence.

  8. dmcq

    Yet more denial

    So now the the Register says the IPCC is putting out the same message so it is boring and anything in the report should be ignored. That 'adapation' idea too, is that in any way different from saying our children will just have to live through all the consequences that have been predicted by the IPCC if we don't do anything?

    1. PT

      Re: Yet more denial

      It's not that it's boring, it's that it's discredited.

    2. danR2

      Re: Yet more denial

      The report (after a mild rebuke by its own review panel) dropped the 'more violent storm' rhetoric.

      That leaves us with (with only computer ouija-board invocations posing as hypothesis-testing) a 3 degree rise by 2100. The trick then is to convince world leaders the untold consequences of that are too horrifying to imagine. Or repackage the drivel that CO2 itself is the real villain, and that it is a environmental Zyklon-B that will exterminate crops, or turn the oceans into a frothing pop-can of carbonic acid that will eat the flesh and bones of lovable dolphins and turn brightly coloured coral beds into dolorous bleached tombstones.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conclusions arrive before the facts

    This is just what we'd expect of IPCC. The conclusions are decided, and then the facts are 'adjusted' to fit the story.

    Do they still have ANY credibility?

  10. Doug Bostrom

    Rawls surely could have done better than getting it backwards?

    Needs coffin nails and nothing to hand but a bag of hammers. Tsk.

  11. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Only 17 comments?

    That surprises me.

    The draft is now shown to contain:

    1 - An acceptance that previously unrecognised and unquantified solar effects have had a warming impact

    2 - A graph showing that the model predictions are all excessive, and that real temperatures are far below them.

    3 - A statement that there has been no change in water vapour levels (which are required to change for the AGW hypothesis to be true).

    If it is published in this state, the AGW hypothesis cannot survive. It it's not published in this state, inquiring minds will want to know why...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    climate res unit - sorry, university of east anglia norwich 1971 - global cooling

    when founded in 1971, initial sponsorship came from likes of Shell and BP, investigating mainly the chance of a forthcoming ice-age, aka "global cooling"

    post 1976 summer of much heat and water shortages, research switched to "global warming"

    underpinning the IPCC reports, one wonders if 20 full time staff really know what they are doing and are in a position to dictate to the world?

    are we cooling or warming and if the latter,

    is it more due to the chance of interplanetary systems alignments, coupled with the rare 350-odd year cycles of solar minima and maxima, superimposed on the well know 11 year cycles and 22 year equatorial change

    we'll never ever know - no-one is researching SUNSHINE, UV, COSMIC RAYS and its effect on Oz and Blighty

    too busy reed warbling on the Norfolk Broads

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This article says you're all wrong

    "The most interesting aspect of this little event is it reveals how deeply in denial the climate deniers are," says Steven Sherwood of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia – one of the lead authors of the chapter in question. "If they can look at a short section of a report and walk away believing it says the opposite of what it actually says, and if this spin can be uncritically echoed by very influential blogs, imagine how wildly they are misinterpreting the scientific evidence."

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      This is the problem

      Fundamentally, the science has simply vanished from the IPCC and the publicised debate.

      The public face of Anthropomorphic Climate Change currently consists of two entrenched groups, each with their fingers in their ears and shouting "Nyah Nyah you're a poopy head" at the other.

      This has probably happened because the politicians and nutter greenies got involved.

      You can tell because the strategies being proposed can simply never work and are mostly self-defeating or self-destructive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This article says you're all wrong

      That climate change is already happening and that the primary cause is CO2 from mankind hasnt been in any serious doubt for at least a decade now. The only real question still to be answered is how bad will it get....

      You will always get a few weirdos and trolls denying overwhelming observable evidence.. Not really surprising that people don't believe in climate change on a forum where people still seem to believe Linux has a future on the desktop....They are clearlly making denying reality a way of life....

  14. Chris007


    "That climate change is already happening and that the *** primary cause is CO2 from mankind*** hasnt been in any serious doubt for at least a decade now. "

    Sorry but this has been in serious doubt since it was first postulated.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge

      Re: bollocks

      Not by any credible sources for years now. For instance every single scientific representative from every single country in the UN supports the concept that climaite change is a reality and that we are the primary cause.

      You can hang on to far out and outdated theories like a Republican, but the facts are that almost zero scientists and especially climate scientists dispute the overwhelming evidence.

      Here is some recent evidence for you:

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bollocks

      Actually it's been without credible doubt for over a decade now:

      Establishing the mainstream scientific assessment, climate scientists agree that the global average surface temperature has risen over the last century. The scientific consensus and scientific opinion on climate change were summarized in the 2001 Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The main conclusions on global warming were as follows:

      1.The global average surface temperature has risen 0.6 ± 0.2 °C since the late 19th century, and 0.17 °C per decade in the last 30 years.

      2."There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities", in particular emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

      3.If greenhouse gas emissions continue the warming will also continue, with temperatures projected to increase by 1.4 °C to 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. Accompanying this temperature increase will be increases in some types of extreme weather and a projected sea level rise. The balance of impacts of global warming become significantly negative at larger values of warming.

      These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized nations.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: bollocks

        You are kidding, right? Most climatologists will not admit that there is serious trouble with the gathered data and the stations used to gather that data. So what if my station is mounted right over the exhaust fan of a big air conditioner? So what if it is surrouned by pavement. All of that comes out in the wash, right?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In 2004, a review of published abstracts from 928 peer-reviewed papers addressing "global climate change" found that none of them disputed the IPCC's conclusion that "Earth's climate is being affected by human activities" and that "'most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations'

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