Notas ao café…

“Climategate” explicado

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Fevereiro 16, 2010

Pat Bagley, «Salt Lake Tribune»

O Washington Post de ontem apresenta um artigo sobre as alterações climáticas e a actuação do IPCC e os erros por este grupo cometidos que colocam em causa a agenda sobre a luta contra as alterações climáticas:

[R]ecent revelations about flaws in that seminal report, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are undermining confidence not only in the panel’s work but also in projections about climate change. Scientists who have pointed out problems in the report say the panel’s methods and mistakes — including admitting Saturday that it had overstated how much of the Netherlands was below sea level — give doubters an opening.

Um grupo de cientistas no RealClimate, faz o enquadramento histórico-científico do que actualmente se está a passar e tenta desmistificar o erros relatados pela imprensa, e por numerosos grupos de cépticos, e a própria importância do IPCC na investigação que se faz actualmente sobre o clima:

[…] Let’s start with a few basic facts about the IPCC. The IPCC is not, as many people seem to think, a large organization. In fact, it has only 10 full-time staff in its secretariat at the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, plus a few staff in four technical support units that help the chairs of the three IPCC working groups and the national greenhouse gas inventories group. The actual work of the IPCC is done by unpaid volunteers – thousands of scientists at universities and research institutes around the world who contribute as authors or reviewers to the completion of the IPCC reports. A large fraction of the relevant scientific community is thus involved in the effort.

[…] To those familiar with the science and the IPCC’s work, the current media discussion is in large part simply absurd and surreal. Journalists who have never even peeked into the IPCC report are now outraged that one wrong number appears on page 493 of Volume 2. We’ve met TV teams coming to film a report on the IPCC reports’ errors, who were astonished when they held one of the heavy volumes in hand, having never even seen it. They told us frankly that they had no way to make their own judgment; they could only report what they were being told about it. And there are well-organized lobby forces with proper PR skills that make sure these journalists are being told the “right” story. That explains why some media stories about what is supposedly said in the IPCC reports can easily be falsified simply by opening the report and reading. Unfortunately, as a broad-based volunteer effort with only minimal organizational structure the IPCC is not in a good position to rapidly counter misinformation.

[…] What apparently has happened is that interested quarters, after the Himalyan glacier story broke, have sifted through the IPCC volumes with a fine-toothed comb, hoping to find more embarrassing errors. They have actually found precious little, but the little they did find was promptly hyped into Seagate, Africagate, Amazongate and so on. This has some similarity to the CRU email theft, where precious little was discovered from among thousands of emails, but a few sentences were plucked out of context, deliberately misinterpreted (like “hide the decline”) and then hyped into “Climategate”. […]

Steve Benson, «Arizona Republic»

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