[IPCC Statement] Unauthorized posting of the draft of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report14 December 2012
GENEVA, 14 December - The Second Order Draft of the Working Group I contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (WGI AR5) has been made available online. The IPCC regrets this unauthorized posting which interferes with the process of assessment and review. We will continue not to comment on the contents of draft reports, as they are works in progress.
The Expert and Government Review of the WGI AR5 was held for an 8-week period ending on 30 November 2012. A total of 31,422 comments was submitted by 800 experts and 26 governments on the Second Order Draft of the Chapters and the First Order Draft of the Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary. The author teams together with the Review Editors are now considering these comments and will meet at the Working Group I Fourth Lead Author Meeting on 13-19 January 2013 in Hobart, Tasmania, to respond to all the comments received during the Expert and Government Review.
The IPCC is committed to an open and transparent process that delivers a robust assessment. That is why IPCC reports go through multiple rounds of review and the Working Groups encourage reviews from as broad a range of experts as possible, based on a self-declaration of expertise. All comments submitted in the review period are considered by the authors in preparing the next draft and a response is made to every comment. After a report is finalized, all drafts submitted for formal review, the review comments, and the responses by authors to the comments are made available on the IPCC and Working Group websites along with the final report. These procedures were decided by the IPCC’s member governments.
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. It should also be noted that the cut-off date for peer-reviewed published literature to be included and assessed in the final draft lies in the future (15 March 2013). The text that has been posted is thus not the final report.
This is why the IPCC drafts are not made public before the final document is approved. These drafts were provided in confidence to reviewers and are not for distribution. It is regrettable that one out of many hundreds of reviewers broke the terms of the review and posted the drafts of the WGI AR5. Each page of the draft makes it clear that drafts are not to be cited, quoted or distributed and we would ask for this to continue to be respected.