A new blog for the new IPCC Report

For some time I have been thinking about starting a blog. The imminent arrival of the 5th Assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seems a good time to start.

This blog will initially focus entirely on the AR5 Report, though it may move on to other topics later. I won’t be commenting on what may or may not be in the report, until the final version comes out. Here’s a reminder of the timescale:

  • 23 – 26 Sept: IPCC Working Group 1 meets in Stockholm to agree on the final wording of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM)
  • 27 Sept: Press conference with webcast (see recent IPCC announcement)
  • 27 Sept: SPM posted online
  • 30 Sept: Final draft of the full WG1 Report released (see this IPCC announcement)

The IPCC Working Group 1 has set up a shiny new website for the new report, containing lots of useful background information about the process. That’s where the SPM will be posted on 27th Sept.

What finally tipped me over into setting up this blog was a misrepesentation of the role of the IPCC by Met Office climate scientist and IPCC author Peter Stott. Stott writes

The IPCC is an international scientific organisation that provides research-based information about the risk, effects and consequences of human-influenced climate change.

But this is not correct. If you look at the role of the IPCC at the main site or the new one given above, they refer to climate change without the addition “human-induced”. Furthermore, if you look up their definition of climate change, it is clear that it covers man-made and natural changes:

Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity

Next post: IPCC basics

By the way, if anyone else is thinking of starting a blog, it really is very easy. You just sign up with WordPress and you can be blogging in about half an hour.


Update September 19: The Met Office have promptly updated their website, so it now says “The IPCC is an international scientific organisation that provides research-based information about the causes and consequences of climate change, including both human-influenced and naturally-occurring climate change.”

6 thoughts on “A new blog for the new IPCC Report

  1. It’s been a strange day in the Clmate Wars.

    You had to correct a Met Office scientist about the definition of the IPCC’s role – and another Met Office scientist (Richard Betts) had to correct Greenpeace about the contents of AR4.

    It seems as if some of the people who make their living out of climate science aren’t any better informed about it than us civilians.

  2. Excellent initiative. This is where I’ll come for analysis of the British media coverage of AR5, particularly the hard bits involving sums. Already the sceptic blogosphere is looking well-prepared for rapid reaction.

  3. I thought the “I” in IPCC stood for “Intergovernmental”. If it is run by governments and government reps have the last word on IPCC scientists’ drafts, how can the IPCC be an
    “international scientific organisation”?

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