08 February 2010

IPCC Mystery Graph: Solved!

The most important thing to come out of last week's debate at the Royal Institution of Great Britain was final resolution on the issues associated with the so-called "mystery graph" (above) that I have been discussing. I'll have more to say on the debate itself, but this post focuses on the "mystery graph" which is a mystery no more. (Audio of the debate can be found here in .mp3 and several first-hand perspectives can be found here.)

Robert Muir-Wood explained that he had created that graph and he did so "informally." (It does not appear in the literature, then or since.) Muir-Wood was asked directly if he thought that the IPCC should have included the graph and he said (quotes taken from the audio),
"Personally, I think that it should not have been there."
At the debate, Bob Ward said that he finds the IPCC actions "difficult to defend" referring specifically to the IPCC making up false claims about my views, and more generally that there is "no excuse" for some of its actions on this subject that I reported on.

So, we now have a contributing author of the IPCC AR4 agreeing with my claim about the inclusion of misleading information, about which which an expert reviewer suggested removing because it "can mislead." Yet, the IPCC says there is nothing to this issue (PDF):
Recent media interest has drawn attention to two so-called errors in the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the IPCC, the first dealing with losses from disasters and the second on the subject of Amazon forests. The leadership of the IPCC has looked into both these instances and concluded that the challenges are without foundations. In neither case, did we find any basis for making changes in the wording of the report. We are convinced that there has been no error on those issues on the part of the IPCC.
I will follow up this post with an email to Professor Christopher Field, who leads Working Group II, to ask for a formal correction. Substantively, this matter is resolved -- the mysteries are solved, unambiguously. Thus, while the facts are perfectly clear, the IPCC has yet to acknowledge them. It is not too late.