Spiegel journalist Axel Bojanowski writes here how the German flagship weekly has obtained a version of a draft of the upcoming Summary 6th IPCC Report on Climate, the so-called “1.5°C Special Climate Report”, whose final version is expected to be made public in October this year.
Spiegel calls the confidential draft “controversial”.
The preliminary massive climate reports generally do a fair job in reviewing the latest scientific literature, but trouble and controversy begin as soon as results get filtered out or ignored and thus by the time the Summary for Policymakers gets issued, all that remains is something that does not accurately reflect the science. Expect the same in the upcoming report as the current draft gets hammered out.
According to Bojanowski, what finally ends up in the report will be a matter of “heated debate”, politics, egoism and “a competition for one’s reputation”.
IPCC: 1.5°C warming by 2043!
According to the draft of the report, the planet may not emit more than 600 billion tonnes CO2 into the atmosphere, or about 12 years worth of current global emissions, Bojanowski writes.
The report also maintains with “robust certainty” that the 1.5°C warming will be reached in 25 years at current CO2 emissions. The report also says that coal energy will need to be reduced 5% every year, a target considered by many as one that would be excruciating, especially for poor and emerging countries.
The Spiegel science journalist also writes that the latest draft maintains that 2°C of warming would lead to “generally stronger impacts”, especially regarding sea level rise (10 cm more).
IPCC admits: “Radical transformation of society” would daunting
Spiegel also writes that the UN openly admits in the confidential draft that the task of changing the energy system over to one relying mainly on renewables would be daunting in that “such a radical transformation of society has never been planned before.” and the “experience for this is lacking”.
Spiegel’s Bojanowski also notes that there is intense discussion on topics such as “changes in extreme weather” and the “social impacts from climate change”, and reports:
The draft will change, and in some places in a major way, the IPCC informed.”
Negotiating what goes into report “like a bazar”
When it comes to deciding what goes into the report Bojanowski describes the process as being “like a bazar”.
In drafting the climate report the process is similar to that of a bazar. The results of scientific publications are negotiated in intense debates. For climate scientists it gets down to their personal reputations.”
The results of assertive scientists will be later considered as “standard knowledge”. It’s the ego factor.
The deadline for submitting new papers and results is May 15.
Assessment of data goes through a long political process
Bojanowski also describes the drafting of the document as being done by “scientists with differing world views” and that the wording of the summary will be negotiated by “government representatives from all countries”. What comes out at the end of this process and what is left of the science is anyone’s guess.
At the end Bojanowski issues a warning with respect to the IPCC’s credibility and the organization’s assessments:
If they are not adequately supported by the data, then the IPCC will be vulnerable to attack.”
Let the target practice begin!