Today, key members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the organization providing the scientific foundation for these climate talks) offered a panel presentation today in which they gave an overflowing room an update on their scientific research and a preview of what to expect in the hotly anticipated 5th Assessment Report (forthcoming 2013) as well as a few interim special reports (forthcoming 2010 and 2011). Before diving into the new studies and preliminary results, however, the panelists responded to media inquiries by soundly rejecting the notion that a few hacked emails had any relevance concerning the overwhelming evidence of climate change trends and impacts. They offered the following as just a few examples of how robust the IPCC process is and why they are so confident in the data and conclusions presented in their 4th Assessment Report (2007).
1) The 4th AR was written by 450 lead authors, 800 contributing authors, and 2,500 review editors, all of whom are leading scientists in their fields.
2) Every single line of the 4th AR was subjected to scrutiny and an exhaustive comment process by the IPCC, and each individual government within the Convention framework has signed off on the content of the 4th AR. Whenever any comment or suggested change was not adopted, the authors were required to provide clear reasons and supporting evidence.
3) Every stage of the IPCC review procedure is robust, transparent, and reliable, and no government or organization has ever seriously questioned the adequacy of these procedures.
4) Nothing in the 4th AR depends on a single source of data. Every assertion and conclusion in the 4th AR has been corroborated by multiple studies and sources from a variety of scientists, disciplines, and regions of the world.
5) The hackers went to great lengths to hack into private emails and extract a few statements from among thousands. The timing of their release strongly indicates an intention of the hackers and their sponsors to disrupt these proceedings in Copenhagen by unfairly publicizing the private feelings of certain individuals, and without offering any actual scientific evidence casting any doubt whatsoever on the findings in the 4th AR.
6) In response to a media inquiry noting that Saudi Arabia has expressed concern about the statements made in the hacked emails, the IPCC moderator laughed and responded that he would be shocked if it hadn’t, explaining that “oil and politics mix very well, but I’m not sure oil and science mix so well.”