IPCC releases early drafts of reports to counter deniers: will it work?


For those that deny climate change, the work of the IPCC is not merely anathema, but subject to a relentless campaign to discredit it in the eyes of the public.

The sceptic community has made a small industry out of picking over every line of IPCC reports in order to find errors. In their mind a typographical error incorrectly cited article falsifies decades of science.

As the Irish Times reports, it now seems the IPCC is trying to get the jump on sceptics by publishing early drafts and written comments:

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has taken the unprecedented step of publishing earlier drafts of its latest report on global warming and all 54,677 written contributions by expert and government reviewers.

This is seen as a co-ordinated effort by the IPCC to bolster its own credibility and disarm climate change deniers in the wake of controversies over such “mistakes” as a poorly grounded forecast that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

The report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, was published last September. It confirmed that warming was “unequivocal”; human influence on the climate system was “clear”; and huge reductions in greenhouse gas emissions were needed.

The full report, released yesterday as part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment of climate change, runs to more than 1,500 pages, includes 600 diagrams and cites in excess of 9,000 scientific publications since the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment in 2007.

The full report is here:

Will it satisfy the sceptics?

Obviously even the most compelling evidence won’t convince the sceptics.

But personally, I think the move to greater transparency is a good thing. Especially when it comes to assuring the public the process is open and mistakes can and will be fixed early.

21 thoughts on “IPCC releases early drafts of reports to counter deniers: will it work?

  1. uknowispeaksense says:

    Nothing will satisfy deniers. The move to greater transparency is probably a good thing though. There has been talk of moving away from the current process with its years of compilation and years between reports to some sort of streamlined process with more regular but smaller reports. Given the rapid changes we are seeing and the deadlines for action fast approaching that can only be a good thing. It could also allow the message to get out more often and overwhelm the disinformation campaigns.

    • john byatt says:

      agree, like how an encyclopedia works, annual updates to any changes, increased confidence etc and as uki states getting into the public arena more often,

      first thing to get through to everybody is that we are already at the threshold of COo2 levels that given time would take us beyond two degrees, the orderly pathway to getting back below this level needs to be spelled out clearly in laypeople’s language,”no fucking budget left”

  2. Nick says:

    Since a heady combination of confusion, self-pity, bad faith and incompetence characterises climate pseudo-skepticism, it does not matter what path the IPCC takes in regard to transparency.

    More versions of more drafts, more of the time will only confuse them more. What fun!

  3. john byatt says:


    has everybody noticed how quiet the labor opposition is regarding the dumping of dredge spoil and the shipment approval of 9000 million tons of coal through Abbott point approved by the GBRMPA.. ARE?

  4. john byatt says:

    Fr. Rod sticks it up the IPA


  5. john byatt says:


    No not arguing that renewables should get more just manufacturers

    MINERS get more government funding than manufacturers to support their operations, despite reporting five times the profit margin, official statistics show.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics puts the amount of export grants, diesel fuel rebates, apprenticeship subsidies and other support for operational costs provided to the mining industry at $1.1 billion in 2009-10, compared with $887 million for manufacturing.

    For the same period miners reported a 33.4 per cent profit, against manufacturing’s 6.5 per cent

    • Nick says:

      Good to read info like that in the Government Gazette, though I guess the ideology is extremely dry, as ever….and they don’t call them the COALition for nothing!

      The ‘principled’ COALition refusal to chip in at SPC-Ardmona is of course a cover for union-busting starvation of Labor coffers, and an attempt to drive up unemployment to further add ‘weight’ to calls for lowering wages and conditions.

      Abbott is implacably opposed to politically organised labour… except when it comes to ‘professional bodies’ of course.

  6. john byatt says:

    Sou…. scientists who deny both climate and evolution science


  7. john byatt says:

    I think that studies like this if confirmed are one of the reasons we need updates more often than six or seven years apart


  8. john byatt says:

    So much for claims that abbott’s policy is about saving lives

    “the lifeboats are a good idea but they should be made out out water soluble material”

  9. FrankD says:

    OT, but I thought the regulars might be interested to know that serial WtD pest Eric Worrall has a guest post at Watts up with That which is so bad even Willard Anthony’s chorus of approval thinks its stupid. For once they have it right – mind-bogglingly dumb, even by his low, low standards.

    Sou has the story: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/02/global-warming-by-numbers-and-ice-age.html

  10. […] 2014/02/01: WtD: IPCC releases early drafts of reports to counter deniers: will it work? […]

  11. Nick says:

    Stoat has dug up some of the rejected reviewers…the usual suspects—Monckton, Gray,etc– are up to their posturing wrongness. Very amusing reading

    • Nick says:

      Abbott and the Libs are digging themselves a huge hole and tossing whatever remained of their credibility into it….I cannot remember a worse week for a government, and a worse one for the truth and for the public.

      Bellicose confected outrage over the ABC’s asylum seeker story, with really puerile demands for apologies from a man who wouldn’t apologise to SBY, or to the Aborigines.

      Completely debunked claims about SPC work conditions, a debunking by the company themselves. Condemnation from one Liberal who has the guts to stand up to his bullying.

      Depending utterly on the debauched support of the wretched News Ltd loo paper, and intellectual pygmies like the bully Ray Hadley.

      Childishly flag-waving and calling Ed Snowden a ‘traitor’, just before another revelation that the NSA spied against a friendly government, and after a far cleverer if token conceding response from Obama.

      It’s like a bad dream. The man is an utter fool and he’s our PM!

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