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« Questions and non-rebuttals | Main | The view from the Whitehouse »

Cheating at the IPCC

Donna Laframboise has a must-read article about the IPCC creating made-to-order journal articles:

IPCC officials know that the papers to be published in that issue of the PNAS have not been written yet. Their own document says the submission deadline isn’t until January 31, 2013.

So why is the IPCC giving its authors this kind of heads-up? Is it clairvoyant? Does it already know that these papers will be so ground-breaking the IPCC won’t be able to ignore them?

Perhaps. Or perhaps IPCC officials are telling authors where to look for material that fills inconvenient gaps in their narrative.


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Reader Comments (53)

Hi Hilary

Thanks for your response. No, I didn't write the document, I just passed it on.

The papers will have to be submitted before 31st Jan in order to be eligible for citation. They will also need to be sent to the TSU, who will need to make them available to reviewers on request.

No, we've not put everything on hold waiting for this stuff, as there is other literature out there - this is just one extra thing to be able to consider along with everything else.

It was inappopriate for senior figures to pre-empt the AR5 conclusions. They don't know what's going to be in the report as it's not finished yet - in WG2 we're at an even earlier stage than WG1, we are still writing our 2nd Order Draft! I told Yvo de Boer this myself on Twitter - Richard Tol will remember, as he then backed me up.

Dec 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Thanks as always to Richard Betts for sticking his head above the parapet!

Dec 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJockdownsouth

Dec 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Richard Betts

Thanks for your reply, Richard.

I haven't been able to find any acknowledgement or retraction from de Boer. Are you aware of any communication which will confirm that he has acknowledged that he had no basis for claiming, as he did:

“That report is going to scare the wits out of everyone,” Mr de Boer said in the only scheduled interview of his visit to Australia. “I’m confident those scientific findings will create new political momentum.”

I hope you'll also appreciate that - while I do not hold you to be in any way responsible - it is somewhat difficult to imagine how AR5's credibility can in any way be enhanced by Pachauri's proclamation (prior to the selection of authors) of Sept. 2009:

"When the IPCC’s fifth assessment comes out in 2013 or 2014, there will be a major revival of interest in action that has to be taken. People are going to say, ‘My God, we are going to have to take action much faster than we had planned.’"

This followed the July 2009 "scoping meeting" where - presumably - the skeleton outline of AR5 was determined (although it would be interesting to know by whom!)

So while it is not beyond the realm of possibility that both de Boer and Pachauri were talking through their respective hats, perhaps one can be forgiven for wondering why they would make such premature pronouncements. In both instances there is no record of any subsequent public retractions and/or apologies.

At the very least, they certainly do undermine the IPCC's "arguments" against disclosure of any drafts, don't you think?!

Dec 24, 2012 at 7:41 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

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