Climate Countdown: D-Day Today

As mentioned yesterday, the IPCC today began releasing its next major assessment report, starting with the Summary for Policy Makers Headline Writers, but withholding the actual 2,000-page report on the state of climate science until Monday.  Just a quick perusal of the 36-page SPM this morning shows a number of refinements and changes from the 2007 IPCC report, but it will take a while to figure out what they all mean.  Matt Ridley noted in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago that some of the changes and refinements to key charts and schematic summaries make it hard to match up this report with previous reports.  More on these later today or tomorrow perhaps.

All of the talk in the media over the last few weeks about the pressure politicians have brought on how the SPM will treat the unexpected/unpredicted/unexplained 15-year pause in warming makes clear that the IPCC has become a wholly political exercise, as no one in the media seems to be asking the question—what does the body of the main science report say about the pause?  Shouldn’t the findings of the main report, not yet leaked, be reflected in the SPM, and not the wishes of governments?  That’s what we’ll aim to find out when we get our hands on the expected 2,000-page text Monday.

That’s if we can figure out anything from the 2,000 pages.  The BBC story out Tuesday about the imminent report buries the lede in the last paragraph, where it quotes Dutch scientist Arthur Petersen:

“It is a major feat that we have been able to produce such a document which is such an adequate assessment of the science. That being said, it is virtually unreadable!”

Oh goody.  Petersen is unfortunately right about this up to a point.  I suspect you could hide Jimmy Hoffa’s corpse in the main IPCC report, but there’s still some ways of delving into it that should be revealing.

Meanwhile, here’s one chart from Britain’s Met Office—a key node in climate world—that appears not to have been included in the SPM, along with observations on what is going on from the Met Office.

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