IPCC Review Editors Comments Online

IPCC Review Editors have an extremely important function under IPCC procedures. In prior discussion of the Replies by WG1 Chapter Authors to Review Comments, we noted their unresponsiveness on issues that we were familiar with e.g. the deletion of the inconvenient post-1960 Briffa reconstruction results, the handling of the HS dispute. When the IPCC WG1 (grudgingly) placed the WG1 Review Comments and Replies online- url here they did not place the Review Editor comments online, despite the importance of review editors. Through the diligent efforts of David Holland, the IPCC WG1 and WG2 Review Editor comments have now been obtained and are now online for the first time here – at this point, another Climate Audit exclusive.

When you examine these review comments, as I urge you to do, please remember that this is supposed to be the most carefully reviewed document in human history, where entire stadiums of scientists have carefully weighed each word. Compare that impression to the actual review editor comments, which as you will see do not rise above a form letter for 64 of 69 Review Editor comments discussed here.

Duties of Review Editors

First some comments on the obligations of Review Editors set out by the IPCC here. The workload for a Review Editor is said to be “heavy”. They are supposed to ensure that all substantive comments receive “appropriate consideration” and that “genuine controversies are reflected adequately” in the Report.

Review Editors will assist the Working Group/Task Force Bureaux in identifying reviewers for the expert review process, ensure that all substantive expert and government review comments are afforded appropriate consideration, advise lead authors on how to handle contentious/controversial issues and ensure genuine controversies are reflected adequately in the text of the Report.

There will be one or two Review Editors per chapter (including their executive summaries) and per technical summary. In order to carry out these tasks, Review Editors will need to have a broad understanding of the wider scientific and technical issues being addressed. The workload will be particularly heavy during the final stages of the Report preparation. This includes attending those meetings where writing teams are considering the results of the two review rounds. Review Editors are not actively engaged in drafting Reports and cannot serve as reviewers of those chapters of which they are Authors. Review Editors can be members of a Working Group/Task Force Bureau or outside experts agreed by the Working Group/Task Force Bureau.

If there are particular points of controversy or areas of major differences – and readers of CA can probably think of a couple -, the Coordinating Lead Authors “in consultation with the Review Editors” are encouraged to organize a “wider meeting with principal Contributing Authors and expert reviewers” – something that obviously did not take place in the topic that was the most controversial in chapter 6.

Coordinating Lead Authors, in consultation with the Review Editors and in coordination with the respective Working Group/Task Force Bureau Co-Chairs and the IPCC Secretariat, are encouraged to supplement the draft revision process by organising a wider meeting with principal Contributing Authors and expert reviewers, if time and funding permit, in order to pay special attention to particular points of assessment or areas of major differences.

If “significant differences of opinion on scientific issues remain”, Review Editors are obliged to “ensure” that such differences are described in an annex to the Report.

Although responsibility for the final text remains with the Lead Authors, Review Editors will need to ensure that where significant differences of opinion on scientific issues remain, such differences are described in an annex to the Report.

Review Editors are required to submit a “written report”, though, as seen below, this proves to be nothing other than signing a form letter.

Review Editors must submit a written report to the Working Group Sessions or the Panel and where appropriate, will be requested to attend Sessions of the Working Group and of the IPCC to communicate their findings from the review process and to assist in finalising the Summary for Policymakers, Overview Chapters of Methodology Reports and Synthesis Reports.


WG2 Review Editor Reports

David has obtained 43 WG2 Review Editor reports, collated into one package here. All but 5 reports consisted of the following form letter:

The review process for the development of the Chapter in the Working Group II Fourth Assessment, as laid out in the Principles Governing IPCC Work, has been properly followed.
YES

My reading of the Final Government Draft of the Chapter confirms the satisfactory completion of this process.
YES.

My reading of the Final Government Draft of the Chapter confirms that it properly reflects scientific controversies.
YES

The form letter stated that they would welcome other comments:

We welcome any other comments on the report which may be appended, or written below. In particular, if you are unable to answer in the affirmative to any of the statements above, please provide further explanation.

Of the handful of 5 Review Editors that actually assessed whether the Authors had responded to the Review Comments, the observations of John Zillman (page 59-63) on WG2 chapter 19 (edited by Stephen Schneider and 2 others) is a striking departure from the standard signature to a form letter. Zillman observes of Schneider and others:

(b) Significant points not fully taken on board. In several places (eg E-19-9 (p 18), E-19-91, 92 (p 44)) where the balance of comments suggests an approach different from the Lead Authors’ preferred approach and they have chosen to stick with their own preference, responses such as ‘Unfortunately we cannot please everyone . . . ‘ do not really do justice to the points being made and give an arguably misleading justification of the basis on which they have rejected the Reviewer’s proposals.

(c) Misleading implications that comments have been taken on board. There are numerous places (eg G-19-86 (p 21), G-19-107 (p 22), G-19-111 (p 27), G-19-149 (p 34), G-19-166-169 (p 37)) where, by using words like ‘yes’, ‘OK’, ‘Text Revised’, ‘Text revised to deal with many of these issues’ etc, the Lead Authors imply that they have actually taken the Reviewers’ points on board whereas, in fact, they have either ignored them, deleted any relevant text where they might have been incorporated, or
actually taken a different position in their revised text.

(d) Uncompleted responses. There are several places where, in the ‘Notes of the Writing Team’ column, the Lead Authors have not gone back and tied off their final response. …

(e) Erroneous statements. There are some (but not many) places where it is stated that something will be done, or has been done, and it clearly hasn’t, …

4 I should also draw attention to one particular point on which it is arguable that the Lead Authors have tried to give the impression of having responded to Review Comments but have subtly avoided doing so to the extent implied. In lines 18-19 of the Introdution (p 5 of the Final Draft) they leave ambiguous whether ‘other judgements’ are ‘value judgements’ or ‘scientific judgements’ (‘other judgements informed by the state of scientific knowledge’); and then, while asserting (Notes of the Writing Team in response to G-19-22 (p 7)) that ‘the key vulnerabilities in this chapter are intended to provide information useful to policy makers in making their DAI judgements, not to provide those judgements’, the Lead Authors appear to build in quite a lot of value judgements and equate DAI with ‘key vulnerabilities’ in the later text (eg p 29, line1, p 30, line 35).

It would be interesting for someone to assess chapter 19 in the light of Review Editor Zillman’s comments. I might add that Zillman’s comments seem completely descriptive of WG1 chapter 6 as well, where there also, for example, are many cases of “misleading implications that comments have been taken on board” when they haven’t.


WG1 Review Editor Comments

David Holland has obtained 26 Review Editor responses, all submitted between mid-November 2006 and Jan 7, 2007. Again all but one Review Editor response is a form letter, although the form letter differs slightly from the WG2 form letter and reads only as follows:

I can confirm that all substantive expert and government review comments have been afforded appropriate consideration by the writing team in accordance with IPCC procedures.

Notice that the WG1 form letter does not even require the authors to confirm (as in WG2) that the document “properly reflects scientific controversies.”

The only Review Editor who did not submit the above form letter was John Mitchell in respect of Paleoclimate chapter 6 who stated:

I can confirm that the authors have in my view dealt with reviewers comments to the extent that can be reasonably expected.

There will inevitably remain some disagreement on how they have dealt with the reconstructions of the last 1000 years, and there is further work to do here in the future, but in my judgement, the authors have made a reasonable assessment of the evidence they have to hand. The other possible area of contention (within the author team) is on some aspects of sea level rise – this has gone some way towards reconciliation but I sense not everyone is entirely happy

With these caveats I am happy to sign off the chapter, to thank the lead author team for their cooperation, and congratulate them on the chapter.

Notice that he did not certify that Briffa and the chapter 6 authors had complied with IPCC procedures. Although IPCC procedures state clearly that “where significant differences of opinion on scientific issues remain, such differences are described in an annex to the Report”, Mitchell specifically noted the existence of such a controversy in respect to the 1000 year reconstructions, but failed to meet his obligation to ensure that there was an “annex”.

Comments

Aside from the particularities of the HS dispute, the overwhelming impression though is that of the Review Editors simply rubber stamping the process. Other than a few editors of WG2 (and at this point we don’t know whether even their comments had any effect), the recorded comments of Review Editors merely show rubber stamping.

It seemed almost impossible that these form letters constituted the entire corpus of Review Editor contributions. David Holland has followed up with John Mitchell, double checking whether there were some more detailed comments that perhaps had not been provided to Holland by IPCC. On Jan 31, 2008, he wrote to Mitchell asking (After some pleasantries):

Can you confirm that the attached is the complete report or let me have a copy of any supplemental information?

On February 20, Mitchell replied as follows:

I can confirm that you have had the complete Review Editors report and that there was no supplemental information submitted with the Review Editors report. I hope this answers your enquiry.

On Feb 22, Holland sent Mitchell a letter concerning chapter 6, asking inter alia:

Can you tell me if you sent a copy of your Review Editors’ Report, or any other report on the IPCC AR4 process, to the Met Office, DEFRA or any other UK Government agency?

On March 27, Mitchell responded, stating that he had not “kept any working papers” as he was not “required to do so”:

You should note that the review editors do not determine the final content of the chapters. It is the authors that are responsible for the content of their chapters and responding to comments, not the review editors. All of the comments and all of the authors’ responses have been made available, and are the proper source for anyone wishing to understand what comments were made and how the authors dealt with them. It would be inappropriate to provide more information beyond the web pages already freely provided.

For my own part, I have not kept any working papers. There is no requirement to do so, given the extensive documentation already available from IPCC. The crux of the review editors’ work is carried out at the lead authors meetings going through the chapters comment by comment with the lead authors.

When Mitchell says that there is no “requirement” to keep working papers, this seems at odds with the explicit IPCC statement:

All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process and will be retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years.

IPCC Principles Appendix A state that Review Editors should be drawn from the ranks of “independent experts based on the lists provided by governments and participating organisations” – so even though Mitchell is a Review Editor, he is also an “expert” and “all” of his comments are supposed to be retained for a period of “at least five years”. Why would Mitchell discard his papers on the topic? And BTW I’d be surprised if all trace of his comments and correspondence have disappeared from the Met Office as well (which can be FOIed).


86 Comments

  1. kim
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Around 30 lines from the bottom you have a ‘Holland responded’ that should be a ‘Mitchell responded’.
    =======================================================

  2. Bill
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    There is a mistype of the URL in your post (first supplied link as “here”. It attempts to direct you to .orf, not .org.

  3. ferris
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve, the very first link to the WG2 review editor comments is broken. It points to climateaudit.orf/ instead of climateaudit.org/

    REPLY: Link fixed, thanks. -Anthony

  4. M.Villeger
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Glad a reviewer caught that Lake Baikal was not in Europe!

  5. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    When I presented my paper on “What is the Hockey Stick Debate About” (see left column) to the APEC Center in Canberra (by video link) back in 2006, I think it was John Zillman who stood up to object to my rhetorical question of whether the IPCC betrayed a public trust by not actually enacting the due diligence it boasts about. He pointed to the roles of the Review Editors as a specific counter-example. I see that his objection had some merit, but only in his own case. I wonder if he would still say there was no betrayal of trust elsewhere in the process, in light of the above revelations.

    Also, I’d like to congratulate David Holland for his persistence in getting this information released.

  6. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Just a suggestion. You may want to place a link to the WG1 Review Comments and Replies online in this thread as well so readers can quickly refer to both. Thanks.

  7. SteveSadlov
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    M.Villeger says: April 1st, 2008 at 10:38 am

    It’s a common error on the parts of many Westerners. Their experience with Russia, if any, is St. Petersburg and Moscow. They fall into the trap of thinking that because 1/4 of Russia spills over into Europe, therefore, Russia is a “European” country.

  8. Steve Geiger
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    “Holland responded, stating that he had not “kept any working papers” as he was not “required to do so”:”

    – was this meant to be Mitchell’s response?

    Steve
    : Fixed.

  9. VG
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    Does this imply the first inklings of a philosophical shift at realclimate?

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/09/climate-insensitivity/

  10. jae
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    A big thanks to David Holland! Another shocking revelation about IPCC’s integrity.

  11. Anthony Watts
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    RE8, Steve G. I think so, as Kim pointed out in #1. But while I can fix links as ferris mentioned in #3, I won’t touch Steve’s writing. He’s away from the keyboard for a bit. I’m sure he’ll post a correction if that was meant to be Mitchell.

  12. Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Query: Does the IPCC have a “Compliments” page?

    I would like to praise AR4 on its handling of “ice”. They neatly dispose of the advancing glacier phenomena by segregating them as anomalous moisture responses, not cooling responses, and retreating glaciers as normal, dominant responses to GW. The way they finesse growing Greenland and Antarctic icecaps into a morass of verbal obscurity is a thing of beauty.

    One can admire deception, no?

  13. Glacierman
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    It is April 1st after all.

  14. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Follow the Money: is hand waving an art form now? All your ice cores are belong to me now!

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Ross, here is an excerpt from a Zillman article on IPCC:

    the Lead Authors’ assessments (which become the chapters of the full reports) are subject to an extremely comprehensive multi-stage peer and government review process in which every comment of every reviewer and every critic must be properly considered – and certified to have been properly considered by independent Review Editors who are themselves eminent experts in the subject matter of the chapter concerned; and

    I wonder what Zillman would say about the low quality of other Review Editor comments.

  16. anonymous
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    the Lead Authors’ assessments (which become the chapters of the full reports) are subject to an extremely comprehensive multi-stage peer and government review process in which every comment of every reviewer and every critic must be properly considered

    So 38 of the 43 “extremely comprehensive multi-stage peer and government review” comments were, in fact, rubber stamps ?

    No doubt those were the ones with the deep understanding of the non-centered PC method which generates a hockey stick from red noise.

  17. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    These comments on the science and what we’re looking at in this topic bring up an excellent point. Infrared absorbing trace gases that aren’t a major player in the hydrosphere are inconsequential.

    Besides the 6+ billion people and the way they change the land and the way they use energy, and the technology and infrastructure behind all of that. Any discussion describing weather short-term and climate long-term has to take two things into consideration besides the energy entering the planet; the atmosphere and the hydrosphere. Water in gas and a mixed form (clouds) are in both. Driven of course by liquid and solid as another part of the hydrosphere.

    Since the ocean and ice and glaciers always seem to come up in climate discussions, why not more consideration of the hydrosphere and how water acts in it in all its forms?

  18. Ian Castles
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #5 and #15. This isn’t answering Ross’s question, but it’s worth noting that John Zillman said in 2003 that the IPCC had become ‘cast more in the model of supporting than informing policy development’ (‘Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’, 2003, vol. 16:85, quoted by David Henderson in his written evidence to the HoL Committee Inquiry into the Economics of Climate Change, 25 January 2005).

  19. TAC
    Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    This whole story is fascinating. I would like to thank and congratulate David Holland, and of course Steve McIntyre, for getting it into public view.

  20. Posted Apr 1, 2008 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

    #18 By that I presume he meant that policy people were commissioning the IPCC science results rather than IPCC science results being determining independent of the policies developed?

  21. John McLean
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

    Many thanks for this information Steve and a big thanks to David Holland. It will be interesting to see for myself how it corresponds to the WG I reviewers comments, especially those for the crucial 9th chapter.

  22. John McLean
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

    Now that I’ve had a closer look I have to say that it’s a sham.

    David Karloy, just one of 3 review editors for chapter 9 but the only one whose comments we have, says only that all substantive expert (in whose opinion?) and government reviews have been afforded appropriate consideration.

    What does that really mean? That he and the writing team (a co-ordinating lead author or two and just a few lead authors) ignored the reviewers’ comments that they didn’t like?

    Is this what passes for transparency in the IPCC world?

  23. Aynsley Kellow
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 4:10 AM | Permalink

    As a reviewer for WG2 Chapter 19, let me make a couple of comments. I have enormous respect for John Zillman, though he has a higher regard than I for the IPCC and its integrity. In particular, as these documents show, John demonstrates a degree of diligence and professionalism that is neither widespread nor deeply embedded in the IPCC process. I considered that there were systematic biases in the chapter, and while (thanks to John’s vigilance) many parts were improved, there was one telling point. In response to my criticism that the chapter focused on negative impacts to the neglect of any positive effects of climate change, the response was made that this was because the IPCC had decided this was the way it should be. In other words, a political decision was made to ignore positive consequences. My response was to the effect that, it that was the case, what was contained in the chapter should not be described as a risk assessment, since a risk assessment must (by any standard definition) include an assessment of risks and benefits. (Note that risks today are always considered to be negative, a change from the days when risks could be considered positive or negative).

    I gave my views on the process in an interview here:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3111/

    By way of shameless self-promotion, readers here might be interested in my recent book:
    Science and Public Policy: The Virtuous Corruption of Virtual Science (Edward Elgar, 2007) It covers, inter alia, the Hockey Stick controversy and the Castles and Henderson critique of SRES. Details here:

  24. Bob B
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    #14

    Way too funny! It was only after my son , a gaming geek, came back from Defcon with a bumper sticker that I realized that joke!

  25. Bernie
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    #23 Aynsley
    $110!! You are going to need all the shameless promotion you can get. ;)
    Anyway welcome. It is going to be hard to find your book. It sounds like you are making many of the same points as Roy Spencer.

    As for the topic to hand: The casualness of the sign offs is staggering. It reminds me of the oversight in the sub-prime derivative markets, and look where that got us.

  26. Bernie
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    #24
    I am not sure I get Craig’s bon mot.

  27. jws
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    #27

    Bernie, see this link.

  28. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    Re: bon mots–It didn’t help that left out a word.

    Is hand waving now a “Martial” art?

  29. Bernie
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    jws, Craig:
    I understand, but I don’t understand. It must be a generational thing. Kind of like using text messaging abbreviations in ordinary correspondence.

  30. retired geologist
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    The substandard work of the reviewers of the IPCC is simply incredible. Do you suppose they learned to be “competent” by following the examples of El Baradei and the IAEA? snip

  31. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    In post #427 in Unthreaded 32, Judith Curry has posted a link to the NOAA modelling meeting. One of the contributors has posted a schedule for the next IPCC. The picking of Reviewers and Leads is in 2010. So then we will have a good idea of the out come of the next proclamation.

  32. Paul
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    There is so much to read, some of it very interesting some of it very trivial. It is obvious from the comments and the notes that there is strong bias in the entire process. Some of the commentators are obviously nothing more than cheerleaders. The treatment of the paleo reconstructions and the “hockey stick” in particular seems to show a deliberate willingness to [snip]!

    Most of the responses seem off the cuff and slanted a bit but on the proxy record it’s full speed ahead with blinders on.

    Then you have commentators like Mann…

  33. J. Peden
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Aynsley #23, thanks:

    In response to my criticism that the chapter focused on negative impacts to the neglect of any positive effects of climate change….

    Yes, that was the second thing which suddenly struck me like a bolt of lightening about AGW proclaimations eight years ago when I first decided to look into the matter: “Where are the benefits of AGW?”

    The first questions were: “Is it warming?”, “What is it?”, and, “How do we know?”

    From there it just got worse. Immediately, the ipcc obliged by not producing the TAR “science” until months after the Summary, and so on – now involving the Review Editors’ process.

    I would never have believed that this sort of thing could have been going on among scientists.

  34. J. Peden
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    n.b. to #33:

    Actually the “Summary” I referred to above was probably only the ipcc Press Release prior to the TAR, which I mistook for an official ipcc scientific summary of some kind. At any rate, I was really frustrated and mystified that I couldn’t find the TAR on the ipcc website until months after the ipcc Press Release about the TAR.

  35. Keith Herbert
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    Am I missing something here? I read the files and only the last one seems to have any comments. And those seem to be residual concerns, not the original comments. Surely the reviewers had comments and presented them to each working group. Those are the comments that are of interest…but are unavailable. So when the IPCC says they are releasing the comments, they aren’t being truthful as they only released the “sign off” by the reviewers of each chapter.

  36. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    I can’t see what the problem is. There was obviously no need for any comments on the IPCC findings.

    This just goes to show what a strong scientific concensus there is on this subject……

  37. Patrick Henry
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    I put together a short slide show showing some recent changes in NASA temperature data.

    http://docs.google.com/PresentationEditor?id=ddbr44ks_95f8t448cx

    The first three slides show Dr. Hansen’s pre-1999 and post 1999 graphs of US temperature data. Slide number three overlays the two graphs, and shows how since 1999 the 1920-1950 data has been adjusted downwards. It also shows how the 1970-present data has recently been adjusted upwards. 1990 and 1991 being the extreme cases – both were recently adjusted upwards by about 0.4C. The blue line represents the pre-1999 graph, and the red line shows the more recent graph. The overlay is precise with the grid lines matched to within 0.02 degrees.

    Slides 6 and 7 show how the Antarctica temperature trend map changed drastically last year. It used to show a strong downwards trend, and now shows a strong upwards trend.

  38. David Holland
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    # 35 Keith Herbert,

    The expert and reviewers’ comments and authors’ responses together with the earlier drafts for Working Group One (WGI), “The Scientific Basis,” were released in June last year as a result of Steve’s efforts. However they did not release the review editors’ reports, which are the only thing near to an internal audit on the process. After asking in the UK for the review editors’ reports from the UK’s nominated scientists they were eventually all released by the WGI Technical Support Unit in the USA.

    WGII, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, has a web site run by the UK Met Office who have put up their drafts and reviewers comments. (go to Fourth Assessment report then Review Archive) They promptly and fully released he review editors’reports when asked.

    WGIII, Mitigation of Climate Change, is run by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency who also show their drafts and comments. I suspect if asked they too will send their review editors’ reports.

  39. Keith Herbert
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    David,
    #38 Thank you for the info. The review comments and meetings seem to be password protected on all of the sites. Do you know who is granted password privileges?

  40. Ian Castles
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Re #39. Keith, The review comments and author responses aren’t password protected – e.g., for the Working Group I comments and responses, go to http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Comments/wg1-commentFrameset.html

  41. Ian Castles
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    And for the Working Group II comments and responses, go to the IPCC website. Select ‘About IPCC’ from the menu at left, then go to ‘Working Group II’ and click on the link to the Technical Support Unit at the foot of the page. Finally, select ‘Review Archive’ from the menu on the left (second last item).

  42. EJ
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    First let me thank Steve and everyone for their time and efforts here.

    I have become thoroughly … bewildered and disgusted… the more I learn about climate “science”. I am at the point where I am going to tell anyone who will listen that “climate science”, IMHO, is a “soft science”, much like politics.

    There are so many assumptions being made in the models and data manipulations going on with the record that it is way to soon to consider this a hard science. Not to mention the refusal of study authors to not achive and share data, calculations and methodology. If you don’t offer an opportunity for others to verify your results, then said results are in no way rigorous science and should be treated as “soft”. Peer review obiously is not verification.

    We have a long way to go before we can realistically claim that we can accurately predict our climate.

  43. Keith Herbert
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Ian. The “Review Archive” is actually under the “Fourth Assessment Report” link.

    There is a Procedures flow chart on the IPCC website; the “IPCC Reports” link from the IPCC home page. Where is the reviewer “sign off” as linked to in Steve’s article above? I presume it is before final distribution and government review. Or does that form letter “sign off” constitute one of the listed review steps? Perhaps it is the final triangular step before “publication of report”?

  44. Ian Castles
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    Re #44. Keith, . I’m fairly sure that some of the Review Editors’ sign-off letters were sent before, and some after, the closing date for comments by governments on the draft Summary for Policymakers, which was 8 December 2006. The final government distribution of the text of the Working Group I report as a whole was 27 October 2006. Comments were invited only on the SPM, not on the body of the report.

    It’s not clear to me how this all fits in with the IPCC Procedures, but I think that the key point is that there were no annexes to chapters recording remaining areas of disagreement. And, at least in the case of (say) Chapter 6 of WGI, there should have been such an annex. Thus Review Editors John Mitchell (UK) and Jean Jouzel (France), failed to carry out the responsibilities of the positions to which they’d been appointed by the IPCC following nomination by their respective governments. In my view, the same is true of some other Review Editors.

  45. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Apr 2, 2008 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    (#23)

    I considered that there were systematic biases in the chapter, and while (thanks to John’s vigilance) many parts were improved, there was one telling point. In response to my criticism that the chapter focused on negative impacts to the neglect of any positive effects of climate change, the response was made that this was because the IPCC had decided this was the way it should be. In other words, a political decision was made to ignore positive consequences. My response was to the effect that, it that was the case, what was contained in the chapter should not be described as a risk assessment, since a risk assessment must (by any standard definition) include an assessment of risks and benefits. (Note that risks today are always considered to be negative, a change from the days when risks could be considered positive or negative).

    That is an interesting comment. Of course the IPCC cannot look at the reward side of the equation or the third world might decide that global warming is good for mankind. Here is what Dr. Freeman Dyson said on the subject:

    Dyson says that we need to consider “the mystery of the wet Sahara. This is a mystery that has always fascinated me. At many places in the Sahara desert that are now dry and unpopulated, we find rock-paintings showing people with herds of animals…The glaciers that are now shrinking were much smaller six thousand years ago than they are today. Six thousand years ago seems to have been the warmest and wettest period of the interglacial era that began twelve thousand years ago when the last Ice Age ended. I would like to ask two questions. First, if the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is allowed to continue, shall we arrive at a climate similar to the climate of six thousand years ago when the Sahara was wet? Second, if we could choose between the climate of today with a dry Sahara and the climate of six thousand years ago with a wet Sahara, should we prefer the climate of today? [I answer] ‘yes’ to the first question and ‘no’ to the second.”

  46. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    Because we have a Prof at Melbourne Uni now who filed a brief IPCC form starting-

    As review editor of Chapter 9 Understanding and Attributing Climate Change of the Working Group 1 contribution to the IPCC 4th Assessment Report…..

    I sent an email starting –

    A dreary subject, but in your participation with the IPCC did you submit any working papers, clarifications, work that was to be completed then forwarded, etc, or is the attached the sole document and commentary that you used to attest to your satisfaction with Chapter 9 of the 4th Assessment Report?

    This seems a rote report, essentially similar to some 60 others I have seen, but markedly different to a handful where substantial comments were appended for action. Is that how consensus was achieved?

    Thank you, Steve, David Holland, Ian Castles and others whose diligence provided the means. And, thank you to John Zillman for intellectual honesty. Zillman had a review author named Stephen Schneider who was using this graph as late as 2002 in a paper

    The text from Schneider, Rozencranz and Niles 2002 says of it –

    Figure 1.2 shows the results of a remarkable study, completed in 1999, that
    attempts to push the Northern Hemisphere temperature record back a full thousand
    years.2 In this work, climatologist Michael Mann and colleagues performed
    a complex statistical analysis involving 112 separate indicators related to temperature.
    3 These included such diverse factors as tree rings, the extent of mountain
    glaciers, changes in coral reefs, sunspot activity, volcanism, and many
    others. The resulting temperature record of Fig. 1.2 is a “reconstruction” of what
    one might expect had thermometer-based measurements been available.

    Knowing what we know now ……

  47. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 4:37 AM | Permalink

    @Patrick Henry
    You’d think Antactica would be melting looking at Hansens map.
    But let us reassure the readers – it is not!

  48. Judith Curry
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Much IPCC reviewing is done informally, on relatively early draft versions. I recall for the TAR (IPCC #3), i wrote an extensive review on the section for aerosols, after being invited by one of the lead authors to look at the draft text. I doubt that this early informal review was included as part of the archived reviews. So there is much informal reviewing that occurs, as well as the more formal reviews.

  49. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    Judith, IPCC policies state:

    All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the
    review process and will be retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on
    completion of the Report for a period of at least five years.

    This does not exclude “informal” reviews of relatively early draft versions, as long as they were “written”. If this is an important part of the review process, then why isn’t it included in the archive?

    In addition, Mitchell stated that, in effect, he had done what, in business terms, can be described only as destroying his records. If you think that a more charitable interpretation can be placed on the following statement, please advise me and I will amend the above statement.

    For my own part, I have not kept any working papers. There is no requirement to do so, given the extensive documentation already available from IPCC.

    With present day computer memory and storage, I find it a lot easier to bundle up my 2007 correspondence and notes in one archive and save them, than to manually go through a year’s accumulation and delete things. I find it hard to believe that Mitchell would go through his emails and working directories and delete all record of his review correspondence with IPCC. If he did, what was on his mind when he was doing so? The only circumstances in which I can picture a company director doing something like this leads to comparisons which are very invidious, to say the least.

  50. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    I browsed through the WG2 Chapter 19 Review Comments (this is the Stephen Schneider chapter criticized by Zillman) and noticed the following handling of a review comment:

    E-19-160 A 14 Cold stress kills quite a few people. (Richard Tol, Hamburg University)

    The response was:

    Not clear if it will be reduced; also doesn’t seem to kill large numbers, nor are causes— physiology versus density dependence–as clear as for cold stress as for heat stresses. We follow Chpater 8 conclusions.

    No direct reference or support for this opinion was given, nor was one required by the Review Editor. I looked at chapter 8 and was unable to locate any mention of the word “physiology” or relevant mentions of “density dependence” that supported this point. In a browse, I could locate nothing in chapter 8 that directly supported the notion that “causes” were “clear” in one case, but not in the other (please correct me, if I’m mistaken here as I browsed the chapter using keywords).

    In passing, they mention that cold stress impacts tend to be more severe in temperate countries that are poorly adapted to cold, than in very cold countries. Doesn’t this also apply to heat stress?

    In passing, I was struck by almost exactly the same number of references (10) to urban heat islands in this WG2 chapter as in WG1 chapter 3 on the Surface Record. WG2 stated:

    Populations in high-density urban areas with poor housing will be at increased risk with increases in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves, partly due to the interaction between increasing temperatures and urban heat-island effects (Wilby, 2003). ..

    For instance, during hot weather, temperatures tend to be higher in built-up areas, due to the urban heat-island effect.Almost all the growth in population in the next 50 years is expected to occur in cities (and in particular, cities in poor countries) (Cohen, 2003).

    So WG2 seems convinced of the existence of a UHI effec, while Jones, Folland and Parker argue that the effect is inconsequential. Hansen, as noted elsewhere, “adjusts” for the effect, but his adjustment requires the view that the UHI effect worldwise is evenly balanced between negative UHI adjustments and positive UHI adjustments – a memo that the WG2 authors don’t seem to have received.

    P.S. please don’t turn the thread into a discussion of the pros and cons of heat and cold effects. What we’e talking about here are review comments.

  51. Glacierman
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    #48 – Judith Curry

    I don’t see where very much formal review was done at all. As to the extensive informal reviews, at what point is the process transitioned to a formal process? Who decides?

  52. Bill Mecorney
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    Can Mitchell’s statement be construed to mean that he didn’t retain docs, but they are archived, and satisfy the requirement?

  53. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    In every single paper I have submitted to a journal, it is required that I deal with every reviewer comment in a substantive way. It is not uncommon for a paper to be rejected based on reviewer comments that are erroneous or biased. Yet here the process was that the chapter authors could simply ignore comments, even substantive comments, like not acknowledging that cold kills more people in cold climates than heat kills or that malaria was common in Europe at one time. Where can I find a journal that lets me simply ignore reviewer comments? Sounds like a sweet deal.

  54. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    #53 Craig,

    I agree with you that the way the review is carried out has little to do with a normal journal peer review, as per my own experience as well. Probably the reason is that this is not a journal paper. It’s more like a review paper. From what I’ve seen, the reviewers all seem very friendly with the authors, and many of the comments have to do with whether they cite this or that of their own papers. In chapter 7, all the authors and reviewers (most of whom are the authors themselves anyway) in the oceanography field seem to be from the same “Wegmanian” network (they’ve all published together). So it’s an exercise in self-gratification, not an unccommon occurence for review papers.

    #50 Steve, I still disagree about whether Mitchell should have kept his records or not. It’s the IPCC’s responsibility to keep the records, and it is normal procedure for a reviewer to destroy or hand his documents back to the institution. At least for grant applications that’s how it works. Journals don’t ask that, but you still have to keep your review and the manuscripts confidential. Maybe Mitchell just did this out of habit. I’d rather blame the IPCC.

  55. SteveSadlov
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    IPCC: “Don’t annoy us further, we have our work to do, think about the average, what use have they, for you!”

  56. Alan S. Blue
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    53 & 54

    To be fair, “dealing with every reviewer comment” doesn’t always mean changing the text of the article. Sometimes it involves writing a short explanation of why the reviewer’s comment is fundamentally flawed, is a non sequitur, or is otherwise inapplicable. There may be some rewording to sow less confusion, but I’ve also received several reviewer comments that indicated a cavalier attitude by the reviewer.

    But all of this correspondence would be on the top of the heap of things to retain! If there’s a dispute, that email becomes key info. While a review “Looks good, nice use of Bessel functions” is completely worthless. IOW: Emails that generate replies are inherently more interesting — and thus more likely to be retained — than emails that do not.

  57. Paul
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Patrick Henry

    Are there reasons for the changes he has made? Are they legitimate reasons?

    If they are not legitimate this is a very big deal.

  58. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    While I find these separate stories about the IPCC AR4 review fascinating, insightful and with human interest content, I think, for my purposes, I need only keep in mind, when reading and evaluating the worth of these writings, the general attitude and purpose of the AR4.

    One can argue about the specifics of each case and even obtain some concessions with sufficient persistence, but in the end the driving force behind issuing AR4 will win out and particularly when there is a consensus (or at least a significant majority view) on most points of contention. An overview of the AR4 process for me permits a rather narrow reading of the driving force: presenting evidence for immediate mitigation of AGW. The singular reporting of bad effects of AGW is a strong clue for this driving force. The process has no relationship to the adversarial judicial process that we have in the US with both sides of the case being presented in an intended balanced fashion.

    I do find that with the due considerations of the above influences and the nuances derived from the word smithing used in the AR4 reports, a reasonably intelligent adult can learn from the material presented by AR4 in matters of the strength of arguments for immediate AGW mitigation and of providing a starting point for some independent analysis of topics presented.

  59. Keith Herbert
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    Kenneth,
    Your stated purpose for IPCC AR4 is contrary to the proscribed goals as set by the IPCC. From the IPCC website “About IPCC” page:

    The IPCC was established to provide the decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change. The IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. Its role is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they need to deal objectively with policy relevant scientific, technical and socio economic factors. They should be of high scientific and technical standards, and aim to reflect a range of views, expertise and wide geographical coverage.

    This suggests the IPCC should also provide information regarding the controversy and opinions that are not in agreement with the majority. There is nothing in their goal that speaks to AGW or its mitigation.

  60. Keith Herbert
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Oops, scratch that last sentence. It should read nothing in their goal speaks to “immediate mitigation of AGW”.
    One might assume from the goal that human contribution is up for debate and options for mitigation are not suggestions for policy.

  61. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    Keith Herbert,

    What you state is in line with my thesis on the matter, i.e. one only needs to put all the comments, word smithing, actual processing (and not what is purported to be the process) and emphasis on bad outcomes together to realize what is the actual (and not stated) intent of the AR4 report. I doubt very much that if one wanted to market the idea of immediate mitigation one is going to admit that the material presented is in evidence of need and exclusive of very much counter evidence. The approach may be motivated by sincere individual conclusions that there is little or no counter evidence or that that evidence is not well supported in the scientific literature or it could be more politically motivated by thoughts that spurring to action is of prime importance. It really does not matter to me when I take my stated precautions in viewing the material.

    Arguing the specific cases as to what the AR4 process should do and what it actually does will lead to those lawyerly defenses that one sees presented at CA by the ardent supporters of the IPCC (and coincidently, in almost all cases, of support for immediate mitigation). Unless there existed a significantly large counter group, the defenders and supporters will have their way and I am just saying that given that situation and acknowledging it, I am still free to make independent judgments.

  62. Ian Castles
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    John Mitchell’s work as Review Editor of Chapter 6 of the WGI report was carried out as an officer of the UK civil service. He was presumably nominated for the role by the UK Government. His salary and costs related to the Review Editor functions, including his travel expenses to WGI Lead Author meetings during the review process, were borne by the British taxpayer. In the light of these facts and the information in #49 above, it is difficult to see how Mitchell could justify going through his emails and disposing of those relating to this part of his role in the intergovernmental panel process. I find it difficult to believe that he did so.

  63. rhodeymark
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    #55 – very nice. Maybe our host recognizes the apt IPCC description by fellow Canadians.
    Meanwhile, we call SteveM the “Working Man”.

  64. BDAABAT
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    #55 and #63: Isn’t the next IPCC report due in 2112??? :)

    Bruce

  65. Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    BDAABAT #64

    I guess the priests of Syrinx have a 21st century counterpart. Poor old Steve M and his guitar. (If you know what this references you are old!).
    :)

  66. John Knight
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    Here Come the Seventies

  67. Jaye Bass
    Posted Apr 3, 2008 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    Rush 2112

  68. Posted Apr 4, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Dr. Myles Allen was review editor for WG1 Chapter 10, ‘Global Climate Predictions’, arguably the most influential chapter in the whole assessment report; it’s the one with the really scary bits.

    Here is a transcript from a BBC radio program that provides some interesting background on Dr. Allen, but as it is a rather long I’ve posted it at my own site:

    Myles Allen Interview

    This mainly concerns criticism of a press release about research that Dr. Allen was involved in, but may also provide a sidelight on how the IPCC arrived at its prediction projection of global temperatures if CO2 doubles.

  69. Posted Apr 4, 2008 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

    “@Patrick Henry
    You’d think Antactica would be melting looking at Hansens map.
    But let us reassure the readers – it is not!”
    Indeed

    Vostock Weather Station.
    -61

    http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/89606.html?bannertypeclick=miniWeather2%E2%80%B3%3E%3Cbr%20/%3E%3Cimg%20src=

  70. jeez
    Posted Apr 4, 2008 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    Hot spell coming Thursday. Almost up to freezing.

  71. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 4, 2008 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    #68. I previously discussed the Myless Allen press release here

  72. rk
    Posted Apr 4, 2008 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    #68 TonyN…thank you for posting this, for those of us who haven’t seen this bit of chicanery. I listened to most of the BBC program, until I couldn’t take it anymore.

    During the interview with Allen I was reminded of the classic corrupt politician trying to weasel out of a previous statement. Either a) it is someone-else’s fault b) it depends on what the meaning of “is” is or c) the problem is those lazy journalists (you know the ones we aimed our press release at so they wouldn’t have to read the whole article)

  73. Jaye Bass
    Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    So does a guy like Allen think everybody else is stupid?

  74. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

    Re # 58 Kenneth Fritsch

    Re mitigation. In Australia there are preliminary recommendations for GHG emitting companies to pay an impost to Government, which then distributes the funds to worthy causes. However, there is a strangs silence about the definition of a worthy cause and even more silence about how it will get to work without emitting GHG of its own, possibly from less efficient machines and methods and thus more polluting than the sources being taxed. And this is dressed up with mentions of incentives and Property Rights a la Ronald Coase, whom I just happen to have studied deeply.

    Can you provide me with a list of tradeable activities against which the GHG emitters of today can trade emissions? Can you calculate the emissions of the recipients? Would you concede that perhaps there is an element of more revenue for the Government and bugger industry?

  75. Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

    re #71: Steve M

    Sorry I missed that. I’ve added a link and lead in to your more detailed discussion.

    Its not the press release, or even Allen’s attempt to defend it, that worries me. Its the system that allowed him to become gatekeeper to the integrity of the most newsworthy chapter in AR4.

  76. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    Apart from the IPCC reports, there seems to be an entire industry of publishing papers about the “potential” adverse effects of AGW, all based on modelling this or that, with more or less apocalyptic predictions. Reading those is really annoying when you realize that the models, and the projections, are all very uncertain. One would wish that the scientists spend more time understanding climate and all the various subtle phenomena that drive it, rather than extrapolate their very incomplete knowledge in only one direction. But it makes for an endless source of references for the IPCC reports, and it always looks good on a grant application if your work has the noble goal of saving the planet.

  77. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    I do not have any special knowledge of cap and trade mechanisms but I find the link below to be a good reference and review for me.

    http://www.junkscience.com/Cap_and_Trade_Economic_Analysis_September_2007.pdf

    I think the following excerpt hits the nail on the head when it references problems due to “a natural consequence of policies that arbitrarily cap quantities”.

    The European experience with cap-and-trade exemplifies these fundamental flaws. The value of the GHG allowances in Europe nose-dived in April 2006 due to a mismatch between the allowances granted and actual market demand. While some observers try to explain these variations as a result of poor planning on the part of governments, such extreme price volatility is a natural consequence of policies that arbitrarily cap quantities. As shown in Appendix II, this price volatility is what should have been predicted prior to Europe’s implementation of cap-and-trade. The European experience supports the contention that cap-and-trade is not the appropriate policy response for addressing the issues related to GHG emissions.

    Ross McKitrick has outlined a carbon tax (T3) that would be related to a (reliable) measure of AGW (using temperature changes in the tropical troposphere) going forward that for me has some advantages of at least not being based on a subjective and arbitrary measure. As a tax that would be imposed by political entities, it is not at all clear how well the derivation of the tax would be objective and related to the cost of GHG emissions. As a libertarian I would ideally rather see one go deeper into the matters of private property rights protections and proofs of infringements under a reasonable tort law adjudication. I too have some knowledge of the Coasean (and realize that cap and trade systems draw on the ideas of Ronald Coase, who argues that a clear specification of property rights can improve environmental conditions in many instances more effectively than a tax on undesired behavior) “no-fault” approach and reservations about its applications in the real world.

    But placing politics aside, as we should do here at CA, I think that it is the consequences of AGW mitigation that one portends for it that determines rather closely the assurances needed for going forward with mitigation. In my case and in today’s world, I need lots of assurances.

  78. Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    Myles Allen is very busy at RC defending the ClimatePrediction 11C temp increase press release:

    Blogs and peer-review

    Includes comments from the BBC’s Richard Vadon who produced ‘Overselling Climate Change’ defending his program. Methinks that Myles doth protest too much!

  79. steven mosher
    Posted Apr 5, 2008 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    re 78. Is miles fighting with gavin? (he he)

    kinda like this

  80. Ian Castles
    Posted Apr 6, 2008 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #75. I agree. The IPCC Principles state that ‘Review Editors are not actively engaged in drafting Reports and cannot serve as reviewers of those chapters of which they are Authors.’

    The cover page of WGI, Chapter 10 lists Myles Allen (UK) as a Review Editor and James Murphy (UK) as a Lead Author. The climateprediction.net website shows Dr. Myles Allen of Oxford University as ‘Principal Investigator’ and Dr. James Murphy of the Met Office-Hadley Centre as a member of the project team. Dr. Allen reviewed a chapter that was co-authored by a member of the team that he headed.

  81. Posted Apr 6, 2008 at 3:05 AM | Permalink

    Apart from the IPCC reports, there seems to be an entire industry of publishing papers about the “potential” adverse effects of AGW

    And all a waste of time. Yes to …

    more time understanding climate and all the various subtle phenomena that drive it

  82. Posted Apr 6, 2008 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    Re: 80, Ian Castles

    Following on from what you say, he is still trying to defend the press release at RC. I seem to remember that when Stainforth was interviewed as part of GGWS he took a far more diplomatic line, admitting that lesson’s should be learned form this fiasco.

    Is having someone who is prepared to defend the indefensible, and apparently incapable of admitting to a mistake, the wrong person to have as Review Editor on Chapter 10, or the the perfect person?

  83. Peter Martin
    Posted Apr 6, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    The idea of a cap and trade in emissions, of SO2 , was pioneered by the US government in the 1990 clean air act. See: http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=1085
    Canada, who were arguably the chief beneficiary of the reduction in SO2 pollution also joined in the scheme.

    The results were spectacularly successful. So, although there are bound to be problems in the operation of larger CO2 scheme, the US and Canadian experience with S02 proves that they aren’t insurmountable.

  84. PaulM
    Posted Apr 7, 2008 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    May I put in a plug here for the thread I started on the message board,
    List of errors, distortion and exaggeration in IPCC AR4.
    For example it would be great if Steve could write a paragraph summarizing the misrepresentation of his work.
    Or Follow-The-Money’s remarks about ice.
    Or a summary of how review comments were handled.

  85. David Holland
    Posted Apr 21, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    ‘The hockey stick is alive and well and still beating up sceptics’.

    So says Christopher Conder, the man from the Ministry, replying to my letter to the Rt Hon Hillary Benn, the British Cabinet Minister responsible for Climate Change Policy. He also said,

    ‘I can confirm that I am replying in my official capacity as a Defra official and as such represent the views of the Government. You are of course free to quote my response in any publication.’

    When I had got hold of the Review Editors’ reports, I had written to Hilary Benn at DEFRA to ask if “any Minister or official of HMG has studied the working papers of the latest IPCC, 2007 Working Group I (WGI) assessment reports?”

    I have put my original letter to Mr Benn and the reply, just received from Christopher Conder here so you can judge the level of the discussion we have to deal with in the UK. Once again the ‘hockey stick’ doesn’t matter but its ‘still valid anyway’.
    For completeness I have also put up an earlier letter from another Minister at DEFRA, Phil Woolas, which is referred to in the other letters. Phil Woolas had written to my MP who had sent him a copy of my Energy and Environment paper ‘Bias and Concealment’. Two points to note in his letter. One is how he justifies the Briffa deletions and the other is the justification for the IPCC’s refusal to enforce disclosure of data that its studies rely upon and which Steve had asked for.

  86. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 4:58 AM | Permalink

    More on review Editors.

    Prof David Karoly, now at Melbourne University, had this email exchange a few weeks back:

    Hi Geoff,

    There were no significant differences of opinion between the Review Editors for Chapter 9 and the Lead Authors of that chapter, so there is no annex to the report for chapter 9.

    The Review Editors agreed that the chapter provided a thorough assessment of the peer-reviewed literature relevant to the chapter.

    Best wishes, David

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Prof David Karoly
    School of Earth Sciences
    University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, AUSTRALIA
    ph: +61 3 8344 4698
    fax: +61 3 8344 7761
    email: dkaroly@unimelb.edu.au
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: Geoff Sherrington
    Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 15:41:13 +1100
    To: David Karoly
    Subject: Re: IPCC paperwork

    Hi David,

    So re the IPCC section that reads –

    “Although responsibility for the final text remains with the Lead Authors, Review Editors will need to ensure that where significant differences of opinion on scientific issues remain, such differences are described in an annex to the Report.” (my emphasis)

    Were there such differences, is there an annex to the report and if so, where is it to be found?

    We ordinary folk cannot navigate the IPCC paths so well as you participants.

    regards Geoff S.

    —– Original Message —–

    From: David Karoly

    To: Geoff Sherrington

    Sent: Friday, April 04, 2008 1:54 PM

    Subject: Re: IPCC paperwork

    Hi,

    Thank you for your interest in the IPCC process. The document that you have attached is the final approval document confirming that I considered that the author team for Chapt 9 of WGI of the IPCC AR4 afforded appropriate consideration of all review comments on multiple reviews of their chapter.

    There were numerous other communications, including working papers, drafts and email messages (that are not publicly available) leading to the final approved chapter and detailed responses to the review comments, which are also available.

    Best wishes, David
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Prof David Karoly
    School of Earth Sciences
    University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, AUSTRALIA
    ph: +61 3 8344 4698
    fax: +61 3 8344 7761
    email: dkaroly@unimelb.edu.au
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ——————————————————————————–
    From: Geoff Sherrington
    Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2008 22:16:13 +1100
    To:
    Subject: IPCC paperwork

    A dreary subject, but in your participation with the IPCC did you submit any working papers, clarifications, work that was to be completed then forwarded, etc, or is the attached the sole document and commentary that you used to attest to your satisfaction with Chapter 9 of the 4th Assessment Report?

    This seems a rote report, essentially similar to some 60 others I have seen, but markedly different to a handful where substantial comments were appended for action. Is that how consensus was achieved?

    Regards

    Geoff Sherrington
    Scientist.

    p.s

    I ask because of IPCC rules that say in part (these from WG2 directions)-

    Although responsibility for the final text remains with the Lead Authors, Review Editors will need to ensure that where significant differences of opinion on scientific issues remain, such differences are described in an annex to the Report.

    Review Editors must submit a written report to the Working Group Sessions or the Panel and where appropriate, will be requested to attend Sessions of the Working Group and of the IPCC to communicate their findings from the review process and to assist in finalising the Summary for Policymakers, Overview Chapters of Methodology Reports and Synthesis Reports.

    Is the assertion of unavailability in

    numerous other communications, including working papers, drafts and email messages (that are not publicly available)

    applicable to the public, or are the papers open to certain other IPCC authors?

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  1. [...] requires close reading of blogs, scientific papers, leaked mails, FOIA requests, IPCC drafts, and expert reviewer comments. There is no simple take away. Except this: the Climate scientists corrupted the IPCC [...]

  2. [...] De Brit David Holland kreeg na veel aandringen voor elkaar dat de rapporten van de Review Editors openbaar werden. Te zien was dat op een na (Mitchell) alle Review Editors een standaardformulier ondertekend [...]

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