Monday, June 28, 2010


The July 1 deadline for submitting comments to the Inter Academy Council on the IPCC is approaching. Eli will submit the one on a new category "Reviewers" and encouraging open review. Nick Barnes' petition has been well supported. Are there other suggestions out there that merit consideration?


Rattus Norvegicus said...

The one thing that I might urge them to do is not invite clowns like McIntyre, Watts, etc. to comment.

carrot eater said...

Has anybody submitted a comment about coordinating or cross-referencing between WGI and WGII?

As well as some provision for correcting basic errors, after publication?

Anonymous said...

Well, it does not pertain to the review process but, IMHO, they (the IPCC) need a full-time PR team-- ideally one which has some members who are familiar with the science, and which includes a wizard of a graphics artist (who can generate images similar to those used by UCAR/MetEd/COMET). They would also have a professional spokesperson/liason officer.

The reason for such a team would be to provide regular updates to the public, to explain the science, to provide graphics and media kits/summaries for media outlets etc.

Did this in a rush, so probably did not sell my case terribly well. My point is that the IPCC need to improve dramatically in communicating the science, risks etc., as well as have someone to respond immediately to BS spouted by those in denial about AGW/ACC (quash BS).


Ron Broberg said...

Some serious improvement on the web/html portion of the published report is needed. I should be able to read the report in html without having to open a PDF reader for every chapter.

Anonymous said...

Another reason to go to web/html, is that it allows to reference a single page, table or graphic directly. It is quite difficult to have people peruse a 150+ PDF file to look up page 165 if they don't understand a word of English.

Compared to the 'original' WGI, WGII and WGIII reports, the Summary (the only part of AR4 available in other languages) is a real mess, and lacks most of the interesting tables and figures.


carrot eater said...

I thought it's all up in html now (?)

I don't like how they did it, so I still use the PDFs, so maybe it's not perfect yet. But I didn't think you have to open a PDF reader to access the html, or anything like that.

In other news, somebody at WUWT has dubbed me a noted sycophant of Tamino. The nerve. How can somebody named carrot eater be anything but a sycophant of dear old Eli?

Ron Broberg said...

CE, maybe you have a different link?
This is just an html toc to different pdfs.

carrot eater said...

I haven't looked at it carefully to see if this links to the whole thing, but

Anonymous said...

carrot eater gets a free carrot from me. I spend some time in the past looking for those html pages, but only found the AR3 stuff. This is great. Thanks


oca sapiens said...

Dear Prof. Rabett,
could you please ask for proof-readers?
e.g. in WGII-10.6.2 first paragraph the notorious glaciers "cover about three million hectares". In the second, they are still plural and "to disappear" soon, but "_Its_ total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2" soon.


seamus said...

Come on people, the full AR4 report is fully available in html. Go the the IPCC website ( click on "Publications and Data", click on "Assessment Reports", and you arrive here: On this page you may notice the large "CLICK HERE" links. There you go.

Ron Broberg said...

Okay - my mistake! Thanks for the urls.

carrot eater said...

Mistakes, like the eating of cereals, are not forgiven.

oca sapiens said...

@carrot eater
When I had to report about the -gates, my favourite was glaciers that managed to disappear while getting a lot larger. Everyone could see the mistake was honest and the fuss wasn't.

@Prof. Rabett
Tks for the droppings, IOU.

cereal eater, journalist - no forgiveness expected

Gareth said...

FWIW, I second Maple Leaf above. The IPCC needs a permanent, well-funded communications team (secretariat/bureau whatever it is in UN speak), tasked with presenting AR5 directly to the global public (and media), rather than relying on interpretations of the "summaries for policy makers" by media or governments. It would also give strategic communications advice in the event of further attempts to find gates swinging open.

carrot eater said...

I'm guessing that ideas that require budgeting and staffing by the IPCC will be less popular than ideas that can be borne on the backs of academics working on IPCC stuff in their "spare time".

carrot eater said...

Hat tip to Nick Stokes: you can retire all over again.

Swiss Re commissioned somebody to rebut some sceptic arguments, and they've done a pretty impressive job of it. Carefully written, well cited, covers a wide range of points succinctly - better than what most bloggers manage.

Dallas said...


I wish you well on IPCC reform. As a side liner I feel there are too many tempests in too many teapot domes for there to be realistic change that has any addition to true science. At least until some proponents determine how to calculate realistic margins of error for creative statistical methodology.

Opps, that may be a suggestion. An intensive statistical review. Perhaps, you can consult Eric on the need.


EliRabett said...

Dallas, without our friends noticing, the ipcc is moving from fundamental science to regulatory science, so there is a need to change procedures. Eli DOES need to reretire.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

I think the ****storms over non-peer-reviewed research we saw with the last go-round are going to intensify as the regulatory effort accelerates. In part, I think this is because people are even less familiar with procedures of probabilistic risk assessment than they are with the scientific method.

Most people can at least state a cartoon-version of the scientific method--they don't even know probabilistic risk assessment exists, or if they do, they don't understand the whole idea of bounding risk.

A non-peer-reviewed study maybe fine for bounding risk. In fact, it might be the best bound (i.e. lowest conservative bound) available. What matters is that the bound is finite and that it does not drive the overall risk. If it does drive risk, you sharpen your pencil and find ways to get a better (lower) bound. I wonder if a description of this process might not be appropriate for the general reader or policy maker.