Yesterday Alec Rawls, a self-described climate sceptic and IPCC reviewer, has put a draft of the next IPCC report on the web. The website went down immediately down under overload. Commentators and twitterati are divided: some see it as a fullfilment of the demand for more transparency, others are up in arms about the unethical breach of the terms of confidentiality (each IPCC reviewer has to sign up to a secrecy clause when registering, see the experience of one of my colleagues at my university for an inside view).
Andy Revkin has spoken out in favour of the leaking and posted new links to alternative servers. So if you want to read the draft, I suggest you follow these.
Revkin has something very interesting to say about the changing climate of these pre-release leaks:
It’s important, before anyone attacks Rawls for posting the drafts (this is distinct from his views on their contents), to consider that panel report drafts at various stages of preparation have been leaked in the past by people with entirely different points of view.
That was the case in 2000, when I was leaked a final draft of the summary for policy makers of the second science report from the panel ahead of that year’s round of climate treaty negotiations. As I explained in the resulting news story, “A copy of the summary was obtained by The New York Times from someone who was eager to have the findings disseminated before the meetings in The Hague.”