Saturday, September 22, 2007

IPCC Working Group II full report released to silence.

The IPCC process can be confusing. In a nutshell, there are three working groups looking at science of, impacts from and response to climate change, respectively. Each group releases a "Summary for Policymakers" and then a full report.

Working Group II, which looks at impacts, released its summary back in April and the full report earlier this week (Sept 18). While the summary was noticed, did anyone notice the full report? Not that I can tell.

Adam Siegel pointed out the lack of coverage and also noticed this depressing quote from an article in the U.K.'s The Independent:
"If warming is not kept below two degrees centigrade, which will require the strongest mitigation efforts, and currently looks very unlikely to be achieved, the substantial global impacts will occur, such as species extinctions, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, flooding."

If preventing a two degree warming is now "very unlikely" and the IPCC says so, that's news. But I can't find that phrase in the report itself. The source of the quote is referred to as "the body" by The Independent. A google search turned up an article on the same subject and with the same quote in Marie Claire U.K. (!?) But here the quote is "A spokesman said". Maybe a reporter can fill me in on the distinction.

The source of this quote must have been from the press conference. In a way, its good that this wasn't in the full report because its supposed to not contain any surprises: all the main conclusions are supposed to be in the Summary for Policymakers. That may also be why the full report isn't getting much coverage. Still, that's a newsworthy quote whatever the source.

(I'm back home for a week. But now each evening I have a choice: unpack or blog?)

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