Thursday, December 22, 2011


From: "Rasmus Benestad" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Figure 7.1c from the 1990 IPCC Report
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2007 17:58:46 -0000 (GMT)
Cc: <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>, <>

I think that this story could possible catch on and make headlines, so I
agree that we should be careful. But it's important that we bring the
*true* picture out, and it is best that this is done by RealClimate rather
than a sceptic site. The general scientific side of the IPCC report (i.e.
all the peer-reviewed papers ad the scientific theories) is still sound,
but to explain how *one* figure was shoe-horned into the report is harder
to defend. The sceptics may argue that the IPCC reports are political
after all, and this is also what it sounds like if governments 'hoisted
the national flag' by having it's own figures inserted last minute.
However, by providing an account of the 'evolution of the IPCC report
writing', we could possibly give the story a softer landing. E.g. how many
times of review the first report underwent as compared to the present
report. We should also put this in perspective - the report is large and
covers a wide range of topics, and most (all but our case?) is true to the
science. There are sometimes a few rotten apples in a good batch,
unfortunately. But the important part is that we don't accept rotten
apples and that we sort it out! Forthcoming and up-front. Another
important side is that this can provide a lesson for the scientific


> Phil, I fully agree. The point is not to blame anyone at all - at least
> my point was to track down the source in order to be able to show the
> skeptics (or in my special case, the school authorities) that this old
> graph is completely superseded and should not be used any more in
> teaching! And I also see your problem: what we are finding out now makes
> the IPCC process look somewhat unsophisticated back in 1990, so it is a
> diplomatic conundrum how to be completely truthful in reporting this, as
> we need to be as scientists, without providing the skeptics undue
> fodder for attacking IPCC. But maybe we're too concerned - the skeptics
> can't really attack IPCC easily in this case without shooting
> themselves in the foot.
> Cheers, Stefan
> --
> Stefan Rahmstorf

Rasmus E. Benestad
Skype: rasmus.e.benestad or
mobile +47-41122662

No comments:

Post a Comment