UN climate science body IPCC rejects secrecy accusation

The leading UN climate science body has dismissed the recent release by sceptical bloggers of documents relating to a forthcoming report.

Data from three USB sticks with 661 files was uploaded onto the WattsUpWithThat website yesterday, with claims that environmental activists have submitted comments to authors on the study and that the process is not open enough.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a panel comprised of  leading climate scientists from around the world, has rejected these claims, saying that anyone is able to take part in the review.

In a statement it says: “The quality of IPCC reports and the integrity of the IPCC process depend on thoughtful comments from the widest possible range of experts, representing the full spectrum of scientific views.

“The Working Group II review process is open to anyone interested in submitting comments. All scientific comments submitted through the review process will be considered and addressed by authors, and all comments are made public when the report is completed.

“Comments in blogs or other communications will not contribute to the review process. The recent posting of drafts should not distract potential reviewers from the important opportunity to play a role in developing a balanced report of the highest quality.”

The IPCC say the review process is open – and invites anyone keen to take part in the next round to register by February 2013

In December 2012 another section of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, due to be published later this year, was released by climate sceptic blogger Alec Rawls.

Claims were then made by a number of commentators that cosmic rays were responsible for climate change. These were dismissed as “completely ridiculous” by the lead author of the leaked chapter Steve Sherwood.

Subsequent paragraphs dealing with the theory that increased solar magnetic activity was deflecting cloud forming cosmic radiation past earth, concluded that it was highly unlikely to have an impact.

IPCC author Dr Richard Klein from the Stockholm Environment Institute told RTCC these leaks were “nonsense”, arguing that attempts to make the organisation more open were resulting in a huge range of reviewers with various views getting involved.

“Anybody who considers themselves to be an expert, and that includes sceptics, can sign up to be a reviewer of the draft chapters. This is done in good faith, and the more experts that provide genuine review comments, the better the IPCC chapters will be,” he said.

“This means that draft chapters are by no means secret, and therefore to suggest there has been a ‘leak’ is silly.”

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