Thursday, December 1, 2011

2887.txt

date: Thu, 08 Mar 2007 09:05:27 -0800
from: Ken Denman
subject: [Wg1-ar4-clas] [Fwd: Re: new scientist and IPCC]
to: wg1-ar4-clasatXYZxyzs.ucar.edu

HI All,

I talked to Fred Pearce briefly in Paris after the press conference, but mostly
to a lady from the New Scientist. Here is a response I sent yesterday to a query
from him (below) a week or so earlier while I was on vacation. I also include at
the bottom his terse response this morning. It is clear that he has an agenda
and would not have used my email even if it had been last week.

Ken Denman

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: new scientist and IPCC
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2007 10:33:01 -0800
From: Ken Denman
To: pearcefred , Ken Denman ,
Guy Brasseur , Martin Manning ,
"Francis Zwiers (francis.zwiersatXYZxyzgc.ca)"
References: <96A020E7C59DDF4DAC6560DAB6BEB95D06418D0EatXYZxyzxbh.ncr.int.ec.gc.ca>

Hi Fred,

Sorry I have been on a much needed vacation for the last few days, intentionally
without internet access. I have not seen your article, as our library only has
access with 1 month delay, and I have not managed to get to the library yet.
Others have seen the article and told me about it.

I do not really want to contribute to your manufacturing a controversy about how
our report has been watered down. Peer review is the backbone of good science
and AR4 has been extensively reviewed. We are required to respond in writing
to each and every comment submitted during the official review. It is not clear
to me whether you are comparing material from earlier drafts of individual
chapters with what has been selected for emphasis in the SPM, or whether you are
talking about an earlier version of the SPM. In the 2 periods of official
review, my own chapter (chapter 7) received ~3000 individual comments. At least
3/4 were constructive and we have endeavoured to respond to those comments by
making the appropriate changes in our chapter. Because we anticipated vigorous
scrutiny by the
so-called 'skeptics', we have revised or removed statements that we could not
defend with equal vigour. By the way each chapter has 3 'review editors' whose
job is to ensure that the Lead Authors have taken the review comments seriously.
In my chapter, one of the review editors for example is Mario Molina, who shared
the Nobel Prize with Paul Crutzen and Sherwood Rowland for explaining the
chemistry responsible for the 'ozone hole'. By the way, my understanding is that
all the review comments and our responses to them will be posted on the web for
public scrutiny.

We were also under pressure by the IPCC to keep the SPM short, so some
figures in earlier drafts had to be cut for us to reach our length target. You
are concerned that "this positive
feedback could lead to as much as 1.2 degrees C of added warming by 2100."
disappeared, but we have stated on SPM p 14 "For the A2 scenario, for example,
the climate-carbon cycle feedback increases the corresponding global average
warming at 2100 by more than 1°C." - the message is essentially the same but now
it is tied to a specific scenario which I think makes a more precise statement.

With regards to the 'water vapour' and 'ice sheet flows' items, you would have
to talk to the LAs involved (maybe Jonathan Gregory of the Hadley Centre for ice
sheet dynamics). I do know that the 'ice sheet and sea level' item in the SPM
received many review comments and was discussed extensively by the LAs involved,
and Table SPM-3 was created to replace the same information that was only in
text form (and as a result was apparently confusing), all before the plenary in
Paris. During the Plenary, we presented for approval all changes that we had
made in response to government reviews of the SPM done during the autumn of
2006. The line by line scrutiny of the SPM by governments during the Plenary is
the necessary step by which the governments 'take ownership' of the AR4. That
they do so is essential if the AR4 is going to have a maximal influence on
future policy.

These IPCC procedural rules for the reviewing process were well known before we
started AR4. If you as an editor of New Scientist sent out an article for
scientific review then made editorial comments, and the authors chose to ignore
all the review comments, you would probably not publish the article. Then Nature
or Science for example could publish a commentary how you are suppressing new
knowledge on a particular scientific issue.

I am not really trying to be adversarial here, but if we are not going to
respond to reviews, then we might as well have published the 'Zeroth Order
Draft'. I can assure you that the final version of AR4 is a much stronger and
tighter document scientifically as a result of the extensive review process.

I am also copying this to two other chapter Coordinators as well as to Martin
Manning, head of the WG1 Technical Support Unit, so it is 'on the record'.

Sincerely, Ken Denman

pearcefred wrote:
> Hi Ken,
>
> We met in Paris at the recent IPCC event. I quoted you in my piece for New
> Scientist on the nuts and bolts of the week.
> I have just received a copy of a critique of the report, based on a line by
> line comparison of the published summary and the mid-2006 draft. It
> suggests a fairly systematic removal during the editing process of
> references to "positive feedbacks" and suggestions of accelerating climate
> change and sea level rise. Here are some examples from my summary notes:
>
> The scientists' draft report, distributed in mid-2006, warned that natural
> systems such as rainforests, soils and the oceans would in future be less
> able to absorb man-made greenhouse gas emissions. It said that "this
> positive feedback could lead to as much as 1.2 degrees C of added warming
> by 2100." But the final version removes this figure. It acknowledges that
> the feedback could exist, but says that "the magnitude of this feedback is
> uncertain."
>
> Similarly, the draft report warned that warming will increase water vapour
> in the atmosphere. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas. "Water vapour
> increases lead to a strong positive feedback," it said. "New observational
> and modelling evidence estimates a 40-50 per cent amplification of global
> mean warming". But this paragraph disappeared from the published version,
> to be replaced elsewhere with a much milder observation that "water vapour
> changes represent the largest feedback".
>
> The 2006 draft said that "recent observations show rapid changes in ice
> sheet flows" as well as an "accelerating trend" in sea level rise. But
> neither made the final version, which observed that "ice flow from
> Greenland and Antarctica could increase or decrease in future".
>
> We are considering running an item on this, and I wonder if you would be
> willing to comment (hopefully on the record, but off the record if you
> insist!) on the veracity of this analysis.
>
> Regards
>
> Fred Pearce
> New Scientist
>
>THIS BELOW RECEIVED TODAY 8 MARCH

Thanks Ken,
We've gone to press on this. In fact it is in today's magazine.
I think the story is legitimate, especially combined with the leader, which
I also wrote.
Though I know some in the IPCC process will take a different view.
Regards
Fred Pearce
--

Ken Denman, FRSC
Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700 STN CSC
Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2

Phone: (250) 363 8230 FAX: (250) 363 8247
email: ken.denmanatXYZxyzgc.ca Room 263

Courier: CCCMA/Ian Stewart Complex/UVic
Rm 267 - 3964 Gordon Head Road Victoria, B.C. V8N 3X3


Also: Institute of Ocean Sciences
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
tel. 250 363 6335

web page: http://www.cccma.bc.ec.gc.ca/~kdenman


--

Ken Denman, FRSC
Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis
University of Victoria
PO Box 1700 STN CSC
Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2

Phone: (250) 363 8230 FAX: (250) 363 8247
email: ken.denmanatXYZxyzgc.ca Room 263

Courier: CCCMA/Ian Stewart Complex/UVic
Rm 267 - 3964 Gordon Head Road Victoria, B.C. V8N 3X3


Also: Institute of Ocean Sciences
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
tel. 250 363 6335

web page: http://www.cccma.bc.ec.gc.ca/~kdenman
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