from: Susan Solomon
subject: Re: [Wg1-ar4-clas] draft to sign
As a CLA of the TS, I am on the CLA mailing list and have had a
chance to read your very helpful messages. I would like to
personally thank each and every one of you for your very thoughtful
remarks (including Richard Wood, who is the only one expressing
reservations about replying - and I think that both Richard Wood and
others who suggested the importance of care and dignity are
absolutely correct). In fact I have been quite moved by this
entire correspondence and found it to be one of those 'IPCC moments'.
I feel that your letter will be most helpful and have the greatest
impact if it is prepared and signed by you and if the co-chairs and
Dr. Manning (who also is a CLA of the TS) do not sign. Please
ignore it as you like. Please make your own decision about what to
say, or to not say anything at all is fine too, about the chair.
I also agree with Ram that this is neither the first nor the last
such piece we will be dealing with of this nature, so it is your call
but I would like to suggest making this letter as 'versatile' as it
can be. Again I want to emphasize that it is totally up to you but
you might want to consider a short cover note sent to the editors of
New Scientist (I believe Richard Somerville has their email
addresses) that indicates concern over the fact that New Scientist
would publish such inappropriate material, followed by a separate
Then the letter you could attach, and ask that they publish, since
they have published so much wrong stuff could be broad rather than
getting into specific rebuttals. It could be brief, indicating what
was done to prepare the SPM by us as a group, and indicating in
closing that anyone who has no personal knowledge of what occurred
could refer to this letter in future if they wish to cite an informed
Regarding Paris: If you wish to refer to the fact that you as a
group feel that the changes that occurred in Paris were essentially
editorial issues of language or presentation style, that you were
indeed surprised by how minor the changes were (as many of you have
said to me) this would be good to have in a document if you feel so.
'Presentation style' is good language, I think, since even the
famous change regarding 'likely five times' and solar in the RF
headline was a non-change, really, since we fully retained all the
information in the figure and in the main text - so in essence even
that was a matter of presentation in the end, which is a key reason
why I didn't push harder to keep it. I don't suggest you get into
details but this is FYI.
Regarding earlier drafts: It could also be useful to state that at
no point during any step in the drafting and revision process was
there any inappropriate input by 'government agents' to the framing
of the document that was the starting point for Paris (rather that it
was prepared jointly by the authors in order to present the report
clearly in the collective judgement of those authors). I had to
write a short description of how the SPM was prepared in response to
a question after our congressional hearing (and I add that Kevin,
Jerry, and Richard Alley all saw this and agreed with it). A
little more detail than I put in here could be useful for this. The
fact that collectively the authors made choices based entirely upon
their own expert judgements about clarity, conciseness, and accuracy,
bearing in mind the need for brevity in the document could be
helpful. I am not trying to put words in your mouth but rather make
a suggestion about the type of thing to say - in fact it will be
better if you rewrite this so it is your own words. Such a broad
letter could have great utility: we could all use it whenever
appropriate, rather than just for New Scientist. We might consider
putting it on the WG1 web site too.
The cover note could then also express your surprise at New Scientist
using sources who cannot possibly have any personal knowledge of what
occurred (Wadhams, Wasdell, and Mann), and that the writer of the New
Scientist articles quite clearly ignored information that WAS sent to
him by people who DID actually know what happened (Jones, Denman, and
actually myself as well, probably more). Not only was none of what
we gave them quoted, but our responses were misrepresented as 'lack
of transparency' and such nonsense. You could cite a simple
statement out of one of your messages regarding the fact that the
substance of the SPM was not altered. You could then express your
concern that New Scientist does not seem to following any proper
standard of objective reporting.
(I suggest not using the word 'biases' nor referring to early
information and further data - that is not needed. Nor is the issue
of 'emerging' conclusions needed - it was our judgement to look
deeper as we went along and we should not be trying to explaining
anything more than that. Short is probably best here...).
Bear in mind that New Scientist could well choose to publish your
cover note and not just your letter if you follow this route - so
both could best be kept quite short and concise, as Kevin and others
My correspondence (two sets) with Pearce follows. I kept the
second one deliberately short as he was obviously fishing for
nonsense and my first response had already addressed how the report
revisions were carried out. The first came to my attention because
it was sent to NOAA public affairs, who forwarded it on to me. My
response obviously did not stop him from making inappropriate
statements in the article - cleverly by baiting Mike Mann and Peter
Wadhams into doing it for him, and not properly quoting anything of
what I told him (or what Phil or Ken told him). This is just for
your information. I suggest taking something out of Phil's or Ken's
responses to him rather than mine if you think that is helpful. But
it isn't needed - doing the above seems to be 'dignified' and
sufficient to me personally.
I will stress in closing that this entire note is intended only for
your consideration, and whatever you do it is a pleasure and honor to
be your colleague.
Second message and response:
>Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 06:30:16 -0700
>From: Susan Solomon
>Subject: Re: fred pearce
>This is a ridiculous assertion.
>>Thanks for your note. I am quite happy to accept, and publish, your
>>assurance that there was no undue political interference in the drafting of
>>the SPM. It is, as you say, signed off by 33 authors. I accept
>>that reviewers do not have direct personal knowledge of how the
>>draft was prepared. But they can compare different versions of the draft
>>and apply textual analysis.
>>I think what David Wasdell does highlight in his analysis is that there has
>>been a fairly systematic removed from the April draft of certain types of
>>statements and observations. Specifically, references to positive
>>feedbacks and possible acceleration of climate change.
>>It would be useful if we could include in our reporting of Wasdell's
>>analysis your own interpretation of this. Is he right in his textual
>>analysis? Did this happen in an ac hoc way or as the result of a stretagic
>>decision about what should be included and excluded? And what were the
First message and response:
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 13:07:48 -0700
From: Susan Solomon
Subject: Assertions by Fred Pearce
X-DPOP: Version number supressed
The attached has come to my attention.
All of the assertions below are utterly false, and it would be a
disgrace to scientific reporting if they were to appear.
Reviewers of the document do not have direct personal knowledge about
how the draft was prepared and so do not represent appropriate
All drafts of the document you appear to be referring to (for the
Summary for Policy Makers or SPM) were prepared and revised by a
subgroup of 33 authors of the IPCC (2007) Working Group 1 report and
reflect their joint evaluation and agreement upon all material.
The list of names of those 33 scientists is given on the front page
of the Summary.
>I hope I have got the right person to ask for a comment on a story I have
>on NOAA's role in the IPCC process.
>I am based in London, UK, so I don't normally deal with NOAA and therefore
>am relying on your web site for media contact names.
>Maybe if you are not the right person you will pass this on.
>I have a story quoting a British scientist involved in reviewing the IPCC
>working group 1 report (which was, as I inderstand it, drafted within a
>secretariat run out of NOAA). In it he charges that significant
>watering down of the report took place
>after the first draft was completed in mid-2006. Specifically, he says
>references in the first draft to positive feedbacks and possible
>acceleration of warming were removed or watered down. He characterises
>this as governmental intereference in the scientific process. He
>does NOT directly charge NOAA in this regard, but basically says it
>happened under your watch, and you are a governmental agency.
>I cannot give you the name of this scientist at this stage. But I thought
>you ought to have the option to respond to the charge, which is backed by
>some other researchers I have spoken to.
>Specifically you might like to answer the following questions:
>1. What role did NOAA and Department of Commerce officials who are not
>working scientists play in the drafting of the IPCC working group 1 report
>summary for policy-makers released in Paris earlier this month?
>2. As secretariat for the report, how do you respond to suggestions that
>NOAA either initiated or was party to the watering down and removal of
>references in the report to "positive feedbacks" from climate change (for
>instance from water vapour and carbon-cycle changes) and the resulting
>potential for accelerated warming, and of references to recent reports of
>accelerated loss of ice sheets and resulting sea-level rise?
Your assertions are utterly false
>I have a deadline tomorrow (UK time) on this story.
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