Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, briefs the media on the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories in Geneva (Photo : Reuters)
A climate-skeptic blogger has leaked an initial draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) next Assessment Report, according to a BBC News report.
Alec Rawls, who was registered as a reviewer of the document, has seized upon a sentence in the report which he claims debunks the assertion that humanity is responsible for global warming. Instead, Rawls suggests that the sun's natural activity accounts for the rise in natural disasters and melting of the polar ice caps.
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While some in the scientific community are wary of releasing unfinished reports into the ether, Professor Piers Foster of Leeds University in the UK suggests that a new strategy is required for a new age.
"Personally I would [be] happy if the IPCC process were even more open and public, and I think we as scientists need to explore how we can best match the development of measured arguments with those of the Twitter generation," he says.
The IPCC's official statement notes that "The unauthorized and premature posting of the drafts of the WGI AR5, which are works in progress, may lead to confusion because the text will necessarily change in some respects once all the review comments have been addressed."
Steven Sherwood, one of the study's co-authors, adds: "If [climate skeptics] can look at a short section of a report and walk away believing it says the opposite of what it actually says, and if this spin can be uncritically echoed by very influential blogs, imagine how wildly they are misinterpreting the scientific evidence."