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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200. weathersp
7:01 PM EST on January 31, 2007
Good point STL! but it is still very disturbing that we are responsible for a quarter of the man made C02 emissions of the world and our country is not really taking action about it. But that might change in the next month or so.
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199. weatherboykris
12:02 AM GMT on February 01, 2007
yes they do.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
197. Skyepony (Mod)
11:58 PM GMT on January 31, 2007


This recapuring CO2 business is gonna be huge. From the stock end, the major energy companies look like they'll be doing it.
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196. weathersp
6:55 PM EST on January 31, 2007
It looks like from that map that the US is in some major trouble! It's sad that 40% of the worlds surface is where almost 100% of where the CO2 is coming from. :(
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195. Skyepony (Mod)
11:55 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
GaGuy~ I'm banking the precip doesn't reach him before it warms again or I'd be squirming more. It's always tougher when your not there to feel the weather.

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193. Skyepony (Mod)
11:51 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
There's a graph & graphics link in the IPPC link left for us...

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191. Skyepony (Mod)
11:45 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Junkie~ if I didn't miss you, I say the ice never makes it east of Walterboro. You should be getting some rain later tommarrow.

That looks like a goof by inyo. A handy & it disappears.

A featured global warming blog will be exciting & an expert in the field is appreciated. I wonder if this was "the change" that had been wispered about.
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189. weatherboykris
11:32 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
-2
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
186. weatherboykris
11:23 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Just a joke,CB.Don't get all philisophical on me.LOL
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
183. weatherboykris
11:19 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Are 12 billion stupid people really that stupid?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
181. weatherboykris
11:17 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Inyo,why did you post that?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
180. StormJunkie
6:16 PM EST on January 31, 2007
That is relative CB....

Is 12 trillion bacteria really alot?

Is 12 trillion inches in to space a long way?
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179. Thunderstorm2
11:14 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
i've got to go fix things. Speak to you all tomorrow
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 130 Comments: 7608
178. StormJunkie
6:14 PM EST on January 31, 2007
Why Stl? Just cause it's cb, or is there something I am missing?
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175. StormJunkie
6:12 PM EST on January 31, 2007
Two years now...

Got hooked on the WU during the season from hell...But have always loved weather and been particularly amazed by canes and rough weather in general...

Where you from?
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173. StormJunkie
6:10 PM EST on January 31, 2007
lol CB...

Evening kris
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171. weatherboykris
11:10 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Have you been at WU for a while,StormJunkie?
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
170. weatherboykris
11:09 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Hi StormJunkie
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
167. Thunderstorm2
11:04 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Orlando FL
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 130 Comments: 7608
166. StormJunkie
6:03 PM EST on January 31, 2007
Evening cyclone, how the tunnels coming ;)
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165. StormJunkie
6:02 PM EST on January 31, 2007
Evening TS2, where are you?
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163. Thunderstorm2
11:00 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
fingers Crossed
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 130 Comments: 7608
162. StormJunkie
5:55 PM EST on January 31, 2007
Evening all!

Good to see ya Stl, snow, and co :)

So can anyone wish me some freezing precip that sticks down here in Charleston? lol

Looks like there is an outside chance we see some before about 10 in the am...

Any thoughts anyone?

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161. weatherboykris
10:52 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Have you seen the commercials that are on?The diet ones?They're keeping me in the holiday spirit!The woman leans over in a Santa suit,and her daughter goes:"Santa!"It's actually pretty funny.And Wal-Mart brings Christmas stuff out in September
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
159. Thunderstorm2
10:51 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Its Christmas now it seems
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156. Thunderstorm2
10:44 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Ok that was random.LOL
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 130 Comments: 7608
154. Thunderstorm2
10:38 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
Well im confused cause on all the blogs on other sites i've seen have Bwhaaaaa on it and most of the time the member who wrote that is crying but now i know.
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 130 Comments: 7608
151. weatherboykris
10:36 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
A lot of people have asked that about CB,TS2.I don't get where the confusion comes from.He's laughing.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
150. Thunderstorm2
10:34 PM GMT on January 31, 2007
BwhaaaAAAA!!!!!Bwhaaaa!!!!!!Bwhaaaaa!!!!!!

Are you laughing or crying?
Member Since: December 22, 2006 Posts: 130 Comments: 7608

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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