If IPCC authors think that it’s important to improve the measurement of some variable, should they say so in an IPCC report?
You’d think that this would be exactly the sort of recommendation that policy makers would appreciate in an assessment report. For example, maybe IPCC scientists could have observed that there was in reality no “Great Dying of Thermometers” and recommended that GHCN collect data from the missing but undead thermometers. Or observed (if this was in fact true) that some station data was encumbered by confidentiality agreements and called upon governments of the world to free this elementary data.
Surely there would have been a ready audience for this sort of recommendation. And yet AR4 was strangely silent on this sort of practical recommendation. We get a fleeting glimpse into IPCC reasoning in a Climategate letter.
On May 5, 2005 (517. 1115294935.txt), while preparing for a conference in Beijing, Jones emailed Trenberth making the following reasonable (and one would have presumed uncontroversial) observation:
I think we both believe we should be saying somewhere what we should be measuring (how accurately, where and with what). If we don’t say this somewhere, AR5 will be in a worse state… IPCC has a lot of clout – much more than GCOS and/or WMO. It should be saying something about what we should be doing.
However, this doesn’t seem to have happened. The reason appears to lie in the elided sentence:
[WG1 Chair] Susan [Solomon] is against this…
Jones opined to Trenberth that he thought that “on this point she’s wrong” – a point where many Climate Audit readers would undoubtedly be able to reach common ground with Dr Phil.
I wonder why Solomon was against IPCC “saying somewhere what we should be measuring (how accurately, where and with what)”.