Expect scare stories from Friday's release to be all over the press come the weekend.
To be fair, a clarification is needed here. What is much quoted is not so much the science behind the reports, as the so called 'Summary for Policymakers' -- which have in the past tended to stray a little from the science itself, not least in their peddling of the now notorious 'Mann hockey stick.' NZ scientist Dr Vincent Gray, an IPCC reviewer himself, explains the difference between the science and the summary:
The "Summary For Policymakers" which appears in all the Reports is an openly political document compiled by the Governments sponsoring the report. It is actually a Summary BY Policymakers as it is agreed line-by-line by Government representatives. It is compiled by a panel of senior scientists, but there is no reason to suppose that it is agreed by any other contributing scientists... Although a few scientists who are openly critical of "Climate Change" participate in the IPCC process (examples are Richard Lindzen, J.R. Christy) choice of the lead authors usually falls on sympathisers.So just to clarify, what is being released tomorrow and what you'll see all over the media this weekend and beyond, is not in fact the science. It is not the Fourth Assessment Report itself, but the 'Summary for Policymakers,' with all the inaccuracies thereof. The science itself -- that is, the "WG1 report" that contains the science -- that won't be made public until, wait for it, May.
Thus [as computational mathematician Steve McIntyre reports], there will be no possibility for external readers to verify what IPCC insiders say will be an “iconic statement” against the actual WG1 report during that period. By making access available only to insiders, IPCC has created a structure where IPCC insiders will try to shape perceptions of the WG1 report for 3 months before any critical appraisal of the final report (available since October 2006) is possible.It gets worse. McIntyre, who with his colleague Ross McKittrick was chiefly responsible for discrediting the Mann hockey stick by examining the mathematics behind it, points out [the emphasis is his own]:
If you’re wondering about this procedure which, to my knowledge, is unprecedented in public commission reporting, here’s what IPCC procedures (section 4) say about Technical Report acceptance:Concludes McIntyre, "IPCC insiders should not be allowed to change a comma of the WG1 Report after Feb 2, 2007 to “ensure consistency” with the Summary. If the two are inconsistent, let the chips fall where they may."Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.So the purpose of the three-month delay between the publication of the Summary for Policy-Makers and the release of the actual WG1 is to enable them to make any “necessary” adjustments to the technical report to match the policy summary. Unbelievable. Can you imagine what securities commissions would say if business promoters issued a big promotion and then the promoters made the “necessary” adjustments to the qualifying reports and financial statements so that they matched the promotion. Words fail me.
LINKS: IPCC Schedule: WG1 Report available only to insiders until May 2007 - Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit
NZ Climate Truth Newsletter, No. 74 - Dr Vincent Gray
Breaking the 'Hockey Stick' - David R. Legates, NCPA
RELATED: Global Warming, Science, Politics-World