Roger Pielke, Jr.
Friday, Dec 12, 2008
The Guardian reports a remarkable statement by Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC:
What the IPCC produces is not based on two years of literature, but 30 or 40 years of literature. We’re not dealing with short-term weather changes, we’re talking about major changes in our climate system. I refuse to accept that a few papers are in any way going to influence the long-term projections the IPCC has come up with.
According to The Guardian, Pachauri’s comments are not made in reference to the nefarious climate skeptics, but to Jim Hansen who has said that the IPCC is out of date and the problem is worse than suggested by the IPCC.
I suppose that Pachauri’s dismissal of a few papers takes care of our own criticism in Nature last spring that the IPCC may have gotten its emissions scenarios dramatically wrong and thus significantly underestimated the scale of the problem.
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I presume it is safe now to conclude that the science is indeed settled, if it is indeed the case that a few new research papers have no chance of changing the conclusions of the IPCC. Even if Pachauri was talking about the work from those skeptical of the IPCC consensus, his statement that no new research papers can alter his views is not really the position that inspires confidence in the ability of the IPCC to evaluate evolving science.
From where I sit it is clear that the IPCC’s views on the magnitude of the challenge of decarbonization need to be dramatically revised, no matter how many people and governments signed on to the IPCC.
This article was posted: Friday, December 12, 2008 at 5:12 am