Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Zero order Draft of IPCC R 5 Working Groups I and II available

The IPCC WG II Technical Support Unit has informed:

"It has been brought to our attention that 28 of the WGII and several of  the WGI ZODs chapters have been posted on the website <<>>

This web site was apparently created for the specific purpose of  publishing the IPCC AR5 ZODs. The WGI ZODs were briefly posted on and  then removed from the file-sharing site MegaUpload in mid-December. The  first WGI ZOD chapter went up on gallopingcamel a bit over a week ago.  The WGII ZOD chapters were added 2 January 2012.

We are taking a two-pronged approach. First, we plan to post a document  on the WGII website explaining the philosophy of the review process. A  draft of that document is attached. We tried to clearly explain the reasons why drafts are not made publicly available and to encourage  experts to participate in the review process.

Second, we are working closely with the IPCC Secretariat and with WGI on drafting a letter to gallopingcamel to request removal of the chapters.  As it is doubtful that gallopingcamel will remove the chapters, we would  like to include the attached document as part of that request (with modifications to include relevant information on WGI); maybe they will  post it on their website.

We will keep you informed of any significant developments.

The mentioned bacvkground material is this:

"Background – On the status of early drafts of IPCC reports                3 January 2012

The IPCC is committed to preparing reports that meet the highest possible standards of scientific excellence, balance, and clarity.  To meet these high standards, every chapter of every IPCC report goes through four formal drafts and usually several more internal drafts.  Early drafts can be rough or incomplete.  Building on comments from scientific experts, the author teams refine successive drafts based on review comments from scientific experts.  The IPCC has a strong foundation of experience demonstrating that the process of refining reports through several drafts and several stages of expert review consistently produces outstanding products. Much of the value added by the IPCC process comes from these cycles of drafting and revision.

The IPCC seeks expert reviews from the broadest possible range of experts, in a process that includes three rounds of reviews by individual scientific experts and one round of reviews by governments. The rough, preliminary draft of each chapter, also called the zero order draft, is reviewed by invited experts who are asked to comment on the breadth of the coverage and on the structure of the chapter. Typically, zero order drafts are so far from mature that comments from a handful of thoughtful reviewers are sufficient to identify the major areas that need work.  The process then shifts to make the expert reviewer base as broad as possible.  All relevant experts are invited to provide review comments on the next two rounds of formal drafts, termed the first order draft and the second order draft by the IPCC.   Registration to serve as an expert reviewer of the first order draft of the WGII contribution to the AR5 will open in June, 2012.  For the second order draft, which will be reviewed in 2013, both scientific experts and governments are invited to provide review comments. 

The IPCC requires that author teams provide a response to every review comment submitted in the expert review of the first order draft and in the expert and government review of the second order draft.  IPCC tasks a dedicated group, usually two scientists for each chapter, to monitor the process of responding to each comment and to confirm that the responses are consistent with the changes made when revising the chapter.  These scientists, called “Review Editors” in the vocabulary of the IPCC, perform a uniquely important role in ensuring that the report development derives the maximum possible benefit from the repeated cycle of drafting, review, and revision.

When a completed assessment report is released, the First Order Draft and Second Order Draft are also released, along with all of the review comments and all of the responses to the review comments from the author teams.  This approach provides not only the final product of the IPCC process but also the record of how the report evolved through drafts, comments, and revision.

The IPCC does not publicly release drafts prior to the completion of a report because the contents of the early drafts do not yet meet the IPCC’s high standards of excellence, balance, and clarity.  These early drafts are not confidential, hidden, or protected.  To the contrary, the success of the process depends on cycles of extensive expert review.  All experts with the knowledge to improve and strengthen the reports are encouraged to register and provide review comments on the first and second order drafts."


wflamme said...

IPCC reports, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.

Harry Dale Huffman said...

"wflamme" said it well. The IPCC is utterly disingenuous even to put out "scientific reports" by its own rules (like the proverbial fox in the hen house), much less to claim "the highest standards". It is not the highest arbiter of climate science it pretends to be, it is merely the largest political pimp in the world today, and should not be given any respect by honest scientists.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the IPCC did not communicate the backstory of the secrecy - Phil Jones' worries about the prospect of IPCC being subject to the Aarhus Convention and Thomas Stocker's trick to add this confidentiality clause as a response to the Interacademy Report.

However, Interacademy Report demanded quite the opposite:

" is essential that the processes and procedures used to produce assessment reports be as transparent as possible.

Transparency is an important principle for promoting trust by the public, the scientific community, and governments. Interviews and responses to the Committee’s questionnaire revealed a lack of transparency in several stages of the IPCC assessment process, including scoping and the selection of authors and reviewers, as well as in the selection of scientific and technical information considered in the chapters..."

Anonymous said...

I recommend people to read the full text of the Aarhus Convention, and then get back here and explain how the Aarhus Convention would require this drafting of the IPCC report to be subject to that Convention.

Simple challenge, but please make sure you are willing to answer follow-up questions. Also remember that this little challenge may challenge the narrative of people like Steve McIntyre.