Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nick Barnes has a say

From the comments

The procedures I would like to see improved are "Principles Governing IPCC Work", and in particular Appendix A - "Procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of IPCC Reports"[PDF].

UPDATE: Nick's submission is now available for signature by others at the link

In section 4.2.3: "Preparation of Draft Report". Currently that says "Contributions should be supported as far as possible with references from the peer-reviewed and internationally available literature, and with copies of any unpublished material cited. Clear indications of how to access the latter should be included in the contributions. For material available in electronic format only, a hard copy should be archived and the location where such material may be accessed should be cited."

A sentence like this should be added: "Contributions should include, wherever possible, access instructions for any original data, and computer source code used for analysis or processing, and an indication of the public availability and licensing of such data and code."

The other change I would like to see would be the establishment of a public-access coordinated AR bibliography, including a repository of any open materials, with links to anything linkable, DOIs for anything with DOIs, and so on. There is already the IPCC Data Distribution Centre, but it's much too narrow.

Note that this is something which could be done outside the IPCC (watch this space) but it would be better done under IPCC aegis and with IPCC clout.


Nick Barnes said...

Cor, promotion, and to the post title too!

Nick Barnes said...

What I want to do is to draft a comment, along the lines of the above, which can get a goodly number of signatures, ideally from across the spectrum of opinion and including at least some senior people. I'm working on it today and tomorrow, with some help, and will make it public for comments when it's done.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I love the idea of more open code and accessible data... I'm not sure that the IPCC is necessarily the way to do it. They survey the existing literature rather than doing their own work: to the extent that the IPCC encourages things like the development of RCP scenarios and AR5 ensemble analyses, it would be great for the IPCC to make sure that _those_ are fully open, but... if they cite Rabbit et al.'s model result that carrots grow larger in high-CO2 environments, what leverage do they have over Rabbit to archive his code and data? If he has already done so, they could link to it, but otherwise?


richardtol said...

Note that AR4 was written in the ancient past when these things were awkward.

AR5 will be different.

EliRabett said...

But it has to be said before it can happen

Nick Barnes said...

@Richard: AR4 was written between 2004 and 2007, when "these things" - by which I assume you mean the technology - were almost exactly as they are today.

@M: There are already several initiatives and efforts underway to spread open-ness and transparency throughout science. Open Knowledge Definition, Open Knowledge Foundation, Panton Principles, BioMed Central, PLoS, Science Commons, and so on.

The point of this proposal is two-fold: firstly - immediately - to get the IPCC to record any open science in its submissions, so that where climate science is open it can be readily accessed; and secondly - consequently - to use this visibility through the IPCC to encourage climate science to become more open.

It's all with the broad goal of increasing public confidence in climate science results.

Ron Broberg said...

There seems to be a fair number of people with IT backgrounds (as opposed to physical science backgrounds) who have become involved in climate blogging as bloggers or commentators. Not sure of the reasons for that. But for those others of you that aren't, you may not be aware of one of the core essays about the open source (code and data) movement The Cathedral and the Bazaar



It wouldn't surprise me if many researchers (or at least their grad students) are already familiar with the essay or at least its open source principles. After all, many science geeks are computer geeks and vice versa. But for those who are unfamiliar with the Raymond's work, or who haven't thought about it for a while, I would those readers to at least check out the wiki article and think about those design principles (without any presumptions of their inferiority/superiority) in the context of scientific computing.

richardtol said...

Yes and no. We had a blog in 1998 but that was for geeks until a few years ago. Online tools for data sharing (e.g., dataverse), for document management (e.g., knowledgetree), and for reference management (e.g., refworks) were not ready for prime time until recently.

Steve Bloom said...

The nice HTML version of the AR5 text should be done while the document is still topical, preferably not later than the release of the Synthesis SPM. It was done fairly promptly with the TAR but so late as to be useless with the AR4.

Also, if the expert judgement of the authors is that a given paper is crap, that ought to be said.

Roger Jones said...

A lot of code is still covered by IP agreements and this would need to be unravelled before scientific models become fully open.

Also, just because there's an open code movement in parts of interspace, doesn't mean there's a scientific open code movement. While I think this is desirable in many cases, there are wrinkles(that my opinion will have no bearning on). IP is still a source of income for some institutions and individuals. There isn't a clear-cut public good test. (Many think that public funded science is public property - this legally is not the case)

There are also overheads in that code reflects a combination of theory, prior assumption and contingency that refer to communities of practice. People can pick up code, use it for their own ends (i.e., zombie science) and the authors have to come back and argue appropriate use. Other champions need to step in - Tamino is a great example of this. On the other hand sometimes community practises are socially constructed and don't have a good theoretical base, so can be over-turned by sharing of methods. And sometimes there are mistakes. But it does increase overheads, with both positive and negative impacts.

Lawyers hate OS because it exposes research institutions to something or other. /contempt for risk-averse legal barriers

I agree that the AR5 should be Web2.0 Doing this is far more important than funding authors IMO. The IPCC is run on a small budget out of Geneva, with working groups funded by individual governments. Ensuring transparency and legitimacy requires resourcing.

G-Man said...

One of the AR5 participating models, CCSM, is already open-source (you even get access to the svn repository) and most modeling groups will be using PCMDI's "CMOR" code (also readily accessible) to do their processing of climate model output.

Nick Barnes said...

@Roger Jones: I'm not sure what you mean by "an open code movement". Open Source software runs the internet; it's not some trifling hippie pipe-dream. It's also not especially a new movement; a great deal of software, including science software, was free long before the creation of either the Free Software Foundation (1985) or the Open Source Initiative (1998). There continues to be some open-source science software (thank you, G-Man, for pointing out CCSM and CMOR), and it is fairly easy to argue for more open-ness in science software. The code behind most papers is a few lines of R or FORTRAN, which would be trivial to publish; the main unspoken reason not to do so is that the scientists know just how scruffy their code is.

Anyway, although I use and create open source software, and although I am coming at this issue from a software background, my current aim is not primarily about software. It is about increasing transparency in scientific process, to bolster public confidence in climate science results. The first step towards that transparency is open-access papers. The second step is open-access datasets. A subsequent step is open-source software.

A different path towards the same goal would be to make the IPCC authoring and review process more open.

SCM said...

Nick says:

The point of this proposal is two-fold: firstly - immediately - to get the IPCC to record any open science in its submissions, so that where climate science is open it can be readily accessed; and secondly - consequently - to use this visibility through the IPCC to encourage climate science to become more open.

I think you're spot on with this second point in particular. I understand climate researchers are already keen to see their work cited in the IPCC reports and to have their open access articles cited and linked by the IPCC would I'm sure do wonders for the citation rate (which as we all know is a major yardstick by which us scientists are measured these days). A great motivation for open access science.

I've noticed that one of my core papers which is open access gets cited quite a bit more than a similar and earlier one which is not. Appealing to the baser instincts of researchers (you will get cited more, your H factor will rise etc etc) would work well in this context :-)

Roger Jones said...

Nick Barnes,

I'm trying to agree with you - but am just pointing out the legacy issues in science. It's not directed at your comments specifically, but many who have been hitting at CRU for not being transparent since the early 1980s, for example, forget that science has its own history and that has legacy that needs to be overturned. There are many legal and institutional barriers to this. So the point is not principle, it's practice.

I admire the open source movement and glad it's geting to journals (but how widely - who knows?)

As a participant in the IPCC process and a user of the results the most frustrating aspect of the reports is that the data behind key ouputs is not made available and in some cases is not transparent, so cannot be constructed independently. So it is impossible to construct a mean global warming curve from the 2020, 2050 and 2080 ranges in AR4, without making some assumptions about how the process should be managed, because they were guess-timated. Sea level rise projections were in an even worse state. This is an issue I would like to see solved in the AR5 and if not will go ballistic.

So if this is difficult from an insider's point of view, how does it appear from the outside looking in?

G-Man said...

Roger Jones writes:

"As a participant in the IPCC process and a user of the results the most frustrating aspect of the reports is that the data behind key ouputs is not made available and in some cases is not transparent, so cannot be constructed independently. So it is impossible to construct a mean global warming curve from the 2020, 2050 and 2080 ranges in AR4, without making some assumptions about how the process should be managed, because they were guess-timated."

What do you mean, exactly? All the necessary output from all the climate models that submitted data for the AR4 is located at PCMDI; the field you want is called "ts_A1" (monthly mean surface temperature). Granted, not all the output is at the same horizontal resolution, but all are netCDF format and are readily manipulated by many software packages.

There is also sufficient metadata in each file to contact the relevant modeling groups if there are additional questions about the output.

Anonymous said...

Things are happening so fast that the IPCC proccess has to be a continuous one. Preferably online, models updated as the new data comes in. Self updating timelines.

Just say for example this year is a realy low record summer ice minimum, less next year and all gone the year after. Will this not affect the estimates for sea level rise this century.

Much more needs to be done on adaptation. Even if we start mitigating now there are still consequences to be faced. Those consequences will lead to other consequences.

We cannot wait years to incorporate new data.

A very scared
Little Mouse

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Personally, I still think sharing code is a mistake. Independent validation means just that--independent. If a result is so kludgy that you have to run the exact same code to get it, then it isn't really a result.

Sharing code is a recipe for sharing bugs and other systematic errors. I think there is some value in the efforts of Nick et al. if only to silence idiots such as Anthony "Micro" Watts. However, if code is to be shared, I think researchers should make it a point to avoid even looking at code from colleagues working on similar problems.

Roger Jones said...


I mean exactly what I said. The individual model runs are available, but the ranges of change collated from that output are not at all translatable to other applications. One model projection is a sample. Ranges of potential change are information about a population (of projections) under a set of initial assumptions about forcing etc.

The links between different layers of information, particularly when one is juggling uncertainty and confidence and wanting to communicate the results clearly, is critical. It needs to be traceable and reproducible, e.g. working group II needs to be able to access what working group I produces.

When Australia did their new projections in 1997, it was compiled from the original climate model runs but could not be linked directly to the results in the WGI Summary for Policymakers, other than qualitatively. This is because WGI subjectively combined the outputs from two different sets of models to get their ranges.

G-Man said...

I think I understand - but the relevant body to issues of this nature is the WGCM, not the IPCC. It's WGCM that decides which sorts of simulations ought to be run, what forcings to use (but not always), how the output will be accessed and by whom. The IPCC really doesn't participate in those discussions.

Roger Jones said...

No G-Man,

it's the IPCC ranges of change summarised into the Summary for Policymakers. The design of the experiments is another process and that is a managed process with lots of consultation (auspiced by the IPCC but managed by the science community.

Nick Barnes said...

I've got a draft comment here. Please go there to suggest improvements. I will finalise the comment on Monday and then solicit signatures. I will submit the comment at the end of next week.

@Roger: sorry if I was intemperate earlier.

EliRabett said...

Sorry, the ads on live journal before letting you comment drove Eli away.

A couple of suggestions:

1. Even pay for play journals now let authors open their articles, at a cost, to the public. You need to capture this trend.

2. If Expert Reviewers are the Richard Courtneys of the world, only CLA, LA and Review Editors should be allowed to add directly to the bibliographic data base, otherwise it will be filled with trash such as G&T and the NIPCC report.

Nick Barnes said...

Items such as G&T will certainly get into the bibliographic database. It will be up to the LAs and CLAs to give them appropriate space and consideration in the report.

I can post the draft comment in here, if one of these comment boxes will hold it. But suggestions should be posted over at LiveJournal so I don't have to collect them from here, there, and everywhere.

Nick Barnes said...

Here is my draft comment. I am soliciting suggestions for improvement. If you have any such suggestions, please post them as comments on my blog, here.

On Monday 2010-06-21 I will revise this and post it in various places. I will then solicit signatures. I will submit it to the IAC review committee on Monday 2010-06-28.

---- draft comment ----
1. Summary

The IPCC procedures should be amended to increase the transparency of the science and of the IPCC process itself. The proposed amendments are small, but would have a large effect on confidence in IPCC reports.

"Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." - Louis D. Brandeis, 1913.

2. The Problem

IPCC reports contribute to global public policy debates and processes, which may have major effects on the daily lives of every person in the world. Every government and large enterprise has already been affected. As the century continues, the effects of policies based on IPCC work will increase in their scope and impact: they will create whole new industrial sectors, thousands of businesses, and many ways of life.

For this reason, the IPCC reports and the processes which create them have been under increasing scrutiny. Questions are asked and doubts are raised, both about the IPCC process and about the underlying scientific research. Both the research, and the processes of review and synthesis, have been criticised for opacity. Very serious accusations have been made: of a lack of rigor, of group-think, of conflicts of interest, of deception, and even of conspiracy and fraud.

This has led to doubts about the validity of IPCC conclusions, and to serious difficulty in making national and international policy regarding climate change.

All this is well-known and need not be rehearsed further here. Indeed, the recognition of these problems has led directly to the United Nations request for a review, and the establishment of this IAC review committee.

Nick Barnes said...

---- draft comment continues ----
3. The Solution

A key part of any solution to these problems is to increase the transparency of the research underlying IPCC reports, and of the IPCC process itself. While the research and the process remain closed and opaque to commentators and to the public, doubts will flourish and will impede progress.

3.1. Bibliography

The IPCC AR4 WG1 report included references to around 5000 items of peer-reviewed research. Thousands more were referred by the WG2 and WG3 reports. To assess or fully understand any part of an IPCC report, an interested reader will want to follow the bibliographic references and read the underlying research. For this reason the bibliographic function of an IPCC report is very important. However, the IPCC AR4 bibliography does not perform it well.

Each chapter of each report of AR4 has its own separate bibliography. These bibliographies are not linked together, within a report or between reports. The formats of these bibliographies varies. There is no way to see whether any given paper is referred in more than one working-group report, in more than one chapter, or at all. In the online published text of each chapter of AR4 each citation does not link to the matching reference in that chapter's bibliography. In turn, in each chapter's bibliography, each reference does not link to any online materials relating to that piece of research.

AR5 should have a single unified bibliography, containing all references in all working group reports. Each citation in the body of a report should link to the matching entry in the bibliography. If a reference is to material which is published online, the bibliography should link to that publication. The bibliography should also reproduce whatever part of the publication and supporting materials is available for reproduction (possibly just the abstract, but see below). To protect these references against future change or loss, wherever possible the IPCC should also archive copies of any online publication on its own server (for instance, at the IPCC Data Distribution Centre

There are many free tools available for managing online bibliographic databases and repositories such as this. Such tools allow collaborative enterprises such as the IPCC to readily create, populate, update, search, and publish bibliographic data. The IPCC should adopt such a tool, and mandate its use by lead authors and contributing lead authors.

3.2. Underlying Research

Each piece of research lies somewhere on a spectrum of transparency and open-ness. Some publications are open-access: freely available for anyone to read and assess. For instance, some are published in open-access journals. Many are not open-access, but describe results such as datasets which are publicly available. Still more may have some additional materials, such as computer source code used to produce or analyse the datssets, freely available for download. Finally, a great deal of research is entirely closed: only the abstract is available, and neither the scientific paper, nor the data described in the paper, nor the computer source code (or other processing details), is generally open.

In recent years, and especially since AR4, it has become clear that public confidence in research is directly connected to this spectrum of transparency. The more open the research, the less vulnerable it is to criticism, and especially to the more serious accusations of fabrication and fraud. As argued above, this criticism seriously damages the reputation of the IPCC and impedes progress in the use of the IPCC reports.

Nick Barnes said...

---- draft comment continues ----
For this reason, all contributors to AR5 should be encouraged to open their work as much as possible: to make their contributed papers available online, to publish their datasets and supporting materials such as computer source code, design documents, and additional text, images, and charts. This can be very simply done by the IPCC routinely gathering and publishing information about the transparency of each piece of underlying research. This information can easily be stored in the IPCC bibliographic database.

As noted above, whenever possible a publication, and/or supporting material, should be copied to an IPCC repository, to protect against change or loss. As publications in climate science become more open, such reproduction should be increasingly possible.

3.3. The IPCC Process

Much of the IPCC process itself is already open. Draft reports, review comments, and responses are all published. However, the IPCC reports themselves are not open. It is not possible to freely reproduce and disseminate them. The IPCC should immediately change this, and adopt an open licensing policy. All IPCC reports, past and future, should be freely available under a license which conforms to the Open Knowledge Definition, for example the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license CC-BY-SA

The existing transparency should also be increased. There have been prominent recent calls for the review and synthesis process to take place in public, for instance by adopting a wiki-style drafting mechanism. Such a move would protect the IPCC against certain accusations of group-think (or even conspiracy). However, such a move is somewhat outside the scope of the detailed recommendations below.

4. Recommendations

This is a series of concrete recommendations for amendments to the document "Principles Governing IPCC Work, Appendix A - Procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of IPCC Reports", with the effect of implementing the solutions described above.

In section 4.1, "Introduction to Review Process", this paragraph should be added:

The IPCC Secretariat should identify, implement, and provide a bibliographic system and repository for the use of Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors, Expert Reviewers and Review Editors. The content of this bibliographic system and repository shall be shared between all the Working Groups and the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, and shall be publicly available on or before completion of the Report for a period of at least five years.

In section 4.2.3, "Preparation of Draft Report", this sentence should be added to the first paragraph:

Contributions should include, wherever possible, access instructions for any original data, supplementary materials, computer source code used for analysis or processing, and an indication of the public availability and licensing of such materials.

In Annex 1, under "Lead Authors", this paragraph should be added:

Lead Authors shall record all contributed material in the IPCC bibliographic system. Where any access to original data, supplementary materials, or computer source code is provided, Lead Authors shall record such access in the IPCC bibliographic system and, wherever possible, copy such material to the IPCC repository.

Nick Barnes said...

---- draft comment continues ----

In section 4.2, "Reports Accepted by Working Groups and Reports prepared by the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories", this paragraph should be added:

Reports accepted by Working Groups, or prepared by the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, shall be made publicly available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license CC-BY-SA.

In section 4.4, "Reports Approved and/or Adopted by the Panel", this paragraph should be added:

The Synthesis Report shall be made publicly available under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license CC-BY-SA.

Furthermore, the IPCC should make its existing reports publicly available under the same CC-BY-SA license.

5. Conclusion

The IPCC reports have been questioned and attacked on many fronts, and this has been a source of great difficulty in making national and international policy regarding climate change. A principal ground for complaint has been the transparency of the underlying science and of the IPCC process of review and synthesis. Progress can be enabled by addressing these complaints: by making the science and the process far more open.

The IPCC doesn't have a direct influence on the working practices of the thousands of researchers who contribute work to its reports. However, it can shine a bright light on those practices by the simple and cheap step of requesting and recording certain information in its bibliography, and by making that bibliography readily available to the public.

Finally, by making its own processes more open, and by making its own reports more freely available, the IPCC can both avoid any further criticism on these grounds and set a leading example for the research community from which it is drawn.
---- draft comment ends ----

EliRabett said...

Sorry Nick, if you open the data base it will be subject to a denial of sense attack, and will be quoted as in "in the IPCC bibliographic data base". The CLAs and LAs need to have a veto about what gets in.

Nick Barnes said...

I guess the bibliography only needs to refer to items cited in the text, which is all written by LAs and CLAs, so maybe they are the only people who need to be able to update it. But like any document or project, low-quality items will creep in (if you think there's no rubbish in the AR4 bibliography, look again). We have to take that on the chin.

EliRabett said...

Nick, your suggestion will clean some of the chaff out, because the writers will realize that others can easily read the references. As long as the possibility of a DNS attack is eliminated your suggestion is excellent.

Anonymous said...


I don't agree that bibliography should be open. In any scientific text, the bibliographic information is not a simple list of papers, it has a sense in the text. Every citation plays (or should play) a role in the paper. It must point the reader to the known facts, the known unknowns or the existence of previous controversy over some facts that make some parts of the textbook/paper interesting. If we want a lot of references (in fact, all the references that exist...) ... we already have Just search "water vapour feedback" and there will appear a lot of references. The bibliography in AR5 must be the result of the discussion and agreements/disagreements of the CLA, LA and so on, and it must play a role in the text, and the authors of the text must tell us why every single paper they quote is important. That's the way MickeyMinnieMouseJon sees it.

Nick Barnes said...

Anonymous: having an open bibliography does not mean having a bibliography into which Fred Bloggs can post links to Playboy. It simply means making the bibliographic database available to the public.

In this comment, it's actually a lever: if the bibliography is open, and contains information about the open-ness of the referred papers, then scientists, journals, institutions, funding bodies, etc, will be encouraged to make their work more open.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nick.

I see I misunderstood something from your text. I thought that you meant "open" in the same sense as wikipedia (lots of editors adding references and quarrelling about the importance of Lindzen+Chou versus the world...). I see from your reply that is not your position. As I understand now, you refer to "making the bibliographic database available to the public". If you refer to the bibliographic list, it is currently open, as the whole AR4 report can be downloaded from a web server. If you mean that public in general should be able to freely download papers cited in the bibliography. I "ideally" agree, but ... somebody has to pay to AMS, AGU, Springer, Wiley-Interscience and so on. The amount of money will be very high. Who is going to pay? Last times I have had my papers accepted I have had the option to make them open, but the amount "per paper" is over 2000-3000 US$. I can not afford that. If the IPCC has to pay that amount for each paper they are citing... They go probably to one million of US$

The funny thing is that taxpayers would have to pay that amount of money so that others can not say that taxpayers are being cheated by scientists ;-)

Anyway ... I don't think it is the important point in this issue. There are thousands of journalists/bloggers/opinion drivers out there that do not know what is the adiabatic lapse rate, people that do not understand what is the difference between power and energy, or people that do not know how does Planck equation look like or what is the difference between latent heat flux and sensible heat flux. Still, they write nonsense "in the name of science" everyday. So ... I am afraid they will continue to do so, since their guts tell them that "somebody" (evil scientists) is cheating them. Even if papers where open, they are not able to understand them. I think that lots of the contrarian bloggers know for sure they are lying, but they continue to do so. Openness in bibliography is not the issue, I guess. There exists the politically motivated position, and open bibliography would not change that. People at the Hxxxx or Cxxxx Institutes or the SE__ have money to pay subscription to JGR/GRL, the AMS journals and Climate Dynamics. They probably have subscriptions already. That is not the problem.

But I might be wrong.


EliRabett said...

Eli's take on this is that Nick is asking that the list of references contain links to all references (and notations when such links do not exist). Even when the reference itself is behind a paywall, the abstract is available.

Since the list of references are part of the text, the list should be controlled by the CLAs and LAs.

Another important point that Nick has made is that the list of references be unified between chapters and working groups. This is equally important and in keeping with electronic publishing.

Ron Broberg said...

People at the Hxxxx or Cxxxx Institutes or the SE__ have money to pay subscription to JGR/GRL, the AMS journals and Climate Dynamics. They probably have subscriptions already. That is not the problem.

MickeyMinnieMouseJon, there is an implication in your statement that the world is divided into contrarian bloggers and institutional scientists. I can assure that the set of interested parties is larger than that ... and as an unaffiliated interested party, I can afford the subscription to one mainstream journal, but not the full bevy. Lately I've been browsing Ruddiman 2003 and many of the responses. But not all of them, as several are unavailable to me. Having open access to the relevant papers would help me educate myself.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Ron.

1) I really think that there exists a politically motivated position on this topic. You understand that I say that "the world is divided into contrarian bloggers and institutional scientists". I don't say that. I know for sure that the "most active" members of the contrarian movement have money to pay for the papers. I am not naive enough to think that all people interested in the issue live in black or white. But it is truly certain that black and white are colors that exist in a 0->1 palette of gray tones. And some of the most influential ones have money to pay for access to the original literature. And they, still, write what they write.

2) I agree that openness in the papers would be great. My previous questions was: Who is going to pay the million US$ (or more) that it takes to make all of the papers cited in AR5 free for all the world? If the Society as a whole decides the papers must be open I think they must also know that it costs a prize.

3) I (still) think that, even if the papers were 100% open and free, things would not change too much. I can't imagine right-wing TV faces such as ... (their names here) changing their minds because JGR papers tell ... (whatever).
Sorry, I don't believe it will happen. I'd better say that they start shouting that the money of the taxpayers is being wasted because it is being used to pay for the openness of scientific rubbish written by leftist academics.

As I told before ... I might be wrong. Even more, I hope that I am wrong and openness in literature leads to an end of this absurd campaign, but I am afraid it will not happen.


J Bowers said...

It might be worth taking a look at Nature News' article on the IPCC inquiry, if only to make sure you're aware of its progress and get an idea of what's being discussed:

The usual denialist nonsense is being posted in the comments.

Nick Barnes said...

Sign it now, here.

EliRabett said...

Ron, for a small amount of carrots you can have access to the AGU archive. Costs less than a single subscription in many cases.

Arthur said...

Not that I've been following closely, but I think there's a germ of an idea for public discussion that could be fruitful... Let me try to flesh it out in perhaps a bit different direction.

I think it would be useful to have an open wiki-like forum to raise points from the general public that seem relevant. Then have that same public vote the most important/relevant/[some other criterion] of them that they want to see addressed by IPCC - something like what EPA did with all their comments, but with the public specifically encouraged to identify the best ones, so IPCC authors don't have to respond to every last little thing.

Also, I think the forum should require positive identification (a real name and email address) from each commenter as well - for credit and to avoid some of the perniciousness of anonymity.

One part of this could be in gathering a bibliography - these are the best articles we think should be addressed or discussed or included in the report somehow. But scientific questions people want answered in a clear fashion would also be helpful...

Just a thought...