Landmark climate change report coming Friday

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:46 PM GMT on January 31, 2007

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Every six years, the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases a massive and influential study detailing the state of Earth's climate. This Friday marks the release of the first IPCC report since 2001. To help preview this blockbuster study, I've asked climate expert Dr. Richard Rood to help out. Dr. Rood is a climate modeler and professor of Meteorology at the University of Michigan, and has authored nearly 100 scientific papers on climate change and meteorology. After today's guest appearance on my blog, Dr. Rood will be contributing a series of blogs on climate change that will appear in a new featured "Climate Change" blog. Take it away, ricky!

What is the IPCC?

On February 2, 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is scheduled to release the first of a series of reports that describe the current state of the Earth's climate, how it has changed, and how it is expected to change in the future. "Climate Change 2007" will be definitive and influential. Climate change touches every aspect of society, and there is already controversy associated with the release. This is the first of a series of blogs about climate and climate change; it discusses the process of development of these official assessments.

First, the IPCC is not a research organization, but relies upon research performed and reported by scientists from all over the world. This underlying research is based on observations and the development of testable propositions to determine cause and effect in the behavior of the observations. Sometimes the propositions can be tested with experiments, but more often climate scientists use models to predict the behavior of the observations. Therefore, like weather forecasting, the success or failure of model predictions reveal our level of understanding.

Part of the scientific process is the ability of independent researchers to investigate the observations and extract information. If their conclusions converge, then the independent nature of the investigations adds accountability to the process. That is, there are checks and balances which constantly challenge, check, and re-check the conclusions of individual scientists. The IPCC assesses this body of scientific literature; it is not just the research of the United States; it is the research of the world. It is research hardened by the competition of ideas and honed by the survival of the successful ideas.

The scientists who write the IPCC reports use exquisite rigor. The reports are written by experts drawn from around the world, selected to assure the representation of the members of the United Nations. Draft reports are then reviewed by experts who were not authors of the report. Then there is review by government officials involved in policy making. All told, there are more than 1000 contributing authors, and more than 2000 independent reviewers. All comments are considered in the revisions that lead to the production of the final document. The time commitment is enormous, and the result is a document which is based on the facts of observation and predictions which have been scrutinized to the highest level possible.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program. Their home page is at http://www.ipcc.ch/.

ricky

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450. weatherboykris
12:08 AM GMT on February 02, 2007
Think so,STL?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
449. weatherboykris
12:07 AM GMT on February 02, 2007
Or that it will never rain again and the southern CA climate is ruined?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
447. weatherboykris
12:05 AM GMT on February 02, 2007
Big deal,historical data also shows south california should be drenched by now(it's been an El Nino).It hasn't.Does that mean they will all die in drought or the land will burst in to flames?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
446. weatherboykris
12:03 AM GMT on February 02, 2007
Thanks CB,but I know that already.And once again,you have been blowing a warm spell in Greenland WAY out of proportion.Even if there's a warm spell going on(I don't know Greenland's averages so I don't know)it would take several weeks to months for any significant effect to occur.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
444. hurricane23
7:01 PM EST on February 01, 2007

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
442. weatherboykris
12:00 AM GMT on February 02, 2007
Looks kind of ragged.Good poleward outflow,though.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
441. weatherboykris
11:59 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
I know what conductive heating is,but thanks.I think you're blowing a warm spell in Greenland WAY out of proportion.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
440. hurricane23
6:59 PM EST on February 01, 2007
Sweet pic...

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
438. weatherboykris
11:55 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
yeah I saw that.Thanks
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
437. hurricane23
6:51 PM EST on February 01, 2007
Kris did u see NOAA'S February winter forcast.I posted earlier on the blog a tad about it.

Here's part of it.

Meanwhile in the tropical Pacific Ocean, El Niņo conditions are weakening as water temperatures have trended towards normal during recent weeks. "Any El Niņo-related effects over North America should be minimal during the remainder of the winter season," said Vernon Kousky, research meteorologist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. "A return to neutral conditions in the tropical Pacific is expected this spring.

MORE HERE

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
436. weatherboykris
11:53 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
LOL STL
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
434. weatherboykris
11:52 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Before what goes underground?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
433. weatherboykris
11:52 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Mine too.But since CB is the only other one here,that's what I'm talking about.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
431. weatherboykris
11:51 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Thanks alot,H23.LOL
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
430. weatherboykris
11:50 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Ice and snow have very large albedos,they reflect almost all heat back in to space instead of absorbing it and letting the ground heat up.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
429. hurricane23
6:49 PM EST on February 01, 2007
Hey Kris whats going on? Global Warming is not my thing.Tropical systems are my passion.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
428. weatherboykris
11:50 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Why would the ground warm if it is under the ice!
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
427. weatherboykris
11:48 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
And just note,I didn't mean anyone who has half a brain,I meant anyone who has half a brain about meteorology.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
425. weatherboykris
11:48 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
H23,back me up here.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
424. weatherboykris
11:47 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
NO.A BIG change.Ask anyone with half a brain about real meteogorology.The difference in temperature between cities and unpopulated places on an ice sheet is HUGE.Even if they are even a few miles away.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
423. hurricane23
6:47 PM EST on February 01, 2007
Pin hole eye trying to appear on Dora.

Infrared view.


Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
421. weatherboykris
11:45 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Notice how none of the cities are on the ice sheet.That forecast is for the cities.On snow and ice,the temps will be much lower.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
420. weatherboykris
11:44 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
A couple of cities,especially in the south.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
419. weatherboykris
11:42 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
It does.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
417. hurricane23
6:36 PM EST on February 01, 2007
Hey ryang!
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
416. ryang
7:35 PM AST on February 01, 2007
Hey 23.
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415. hurricane23
6:33 PM EST on February 01, 2007
85Kts with futher intensification likely...


Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13839
414. weatherboykris
11:27 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
In the cities CB.In the areas where there is actually an ice pack,the temps aren't going above freezing.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
411. weatherboykris
11:11 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
And besides CB,those lows are in the upper levels of the atmosphere.The ones on satellite,anyway.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
410. weatherboykris
11:10 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
Okay,you can't.Looked at it closer.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
407. ryang
7:05 PM AST on February 01, 2007
Hi Y'all.
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406. weatherboykris
11:06 PM GMT on February 01, 2007
And I think you can see northern Greenland on this map.Unisys
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
404. Patrap
5:03 PM CST on February 01, 2007
ALL stations below freezing at this time.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
403. Patrap
5:00 PM CST on February 01, 2007
Greenland Temps..CB..That lil box at the Left top of this page and every Wunderground page has that for anyplace ya want to Go.Just put in the City or Country and enter. Heres Greenland Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
400. pottery
6:52 PM AST on February 01, 2007
They should pump barytes down the drill hole to stop the mud flow.........
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.