The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seems to have a problem.
The international group has expressed concerns after a blogger posted an early copy of their upcoming report. The IPCC, which is part of the United Nations (U.N.), is currently working on a climate change report titled the Fifth Assessment Report, which will be published next year. Noted global warming skeptic Alec Rawls, who created the blog Stop Green Suicide, leaked part of the report online, prompting an outpouring of criticism after the agency reaffirmed its agreement that the report was to remain sealed until its official release.
The report complies research from many labs around the world in order to create a statement on the current and future outlook of climate change and global warming. During the drafting process, the document is allowed to be shared with reviewers as long as they share no details with the public. In a statement, the organization said it “regrets this unauthorized posting which interferes with the process of assessment and review.”
The draft that was posted online is called Working Group 1, or WGI, and outlines the first portion of the IPCC’s next report. The leaked part of the document highlights the physical effects of climate change, such as temperature recordings and computer models that predict future warming.
The IPCC has said it is regrettable that one of the hundreds of reviewers broke the terms of silence. The panel is also worried the leaked report will confuse future readers, saying that is “may lead to confusion because the text will necessarily change in some respects once all the review comments have been addressed.”
BBC News later attempted to access the report from Rawls’ blog, only to find it was not available. However, many other people had reportedly picked up the document and posted it on different websites where it could be easily viewed. Excerpts obtained from the report paint a damning picture for climate skeptics.
”There is consistent evidence from observations of a net energy uptake of the Earth System due to an imbalance in the energy budget. It is virtually certain that this is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations,” reads an excerpt.
It says that carbon dioxide is the biggest cause of climate change, far outweighing natural causes. The concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is the highest in 800,000 years. The draft expresses even more confidence than the 2007 report that changes being observed across the planet are historically ”significant, unusual or unprecedented’.”
On his blog, Rawls pointed out a section of the report that blames cosmic rays in part for global warming, despite the popular belief that all climate change is man made. Scientists involved with the report have said this “cherry picking” attitude is one of the main disadvantages of the leaked report. They have said subsequent portions of the report discuss the more central reasons for climate change.
Richard Betts of the Met Office, a lead author on the IPCC report, tweeted that the document is likely to be under major construction in the coming months. “Worth pointing out that the wording in the leaked IPCC WG1 draft chapters may still change in the final versions, following review comments,” he said. Next mont in Tasmania, the lead authors will all have a chance to review and change the report.
This isn’t the first hiccup for the IPCC, in 2007 following the leak of its most recent, published report, multiple errors were found throughout the document. In 2010, the Academy Council announced that the IPCC must develop better management in order to report accurately on the complicated science involved in climate change. The IPCC reports aims to provide clear and concise information about global warming in order to help governments take action.