Media Advisory: Experts Criticize IPCC Decision to Withhold Global Warming Report

Published February 1, 2007

(Chicago, Illinois – February 1, 2007) On Friday, February 2, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is expected to release a summary of its Fourth Assessment Working Group 1 Report, which is expected to revise previous assessments concerning the extent and consequences of global warming.

Some experts are concerned, however, that the full report will not be available to the public for several months, and they question why the summary would be released without the data to support its conclusions. Without the full report, the accuracy of the IPCC summary cannot be scrutinized.

“The policymaker’s summary is being carefully edited behind closed doors by politically appointed bureaucrats,” warned Joseph Bast ([email protected] – 312/377-4000), president of The Heartland Institute. “It is astounding that reporters, aware of this, would nevertheless treat the summary as credible and newsworthy.”

The Heartland Institute contends the body of the study will contain many qualifications and point to natural variance, uncertainty in the temperature record, and disputes over future emission scenarios. “But the summary,” Bast said, “will generate misleading page-one headlines, while details of the full study, details that will contradict the headlines, will be buried on page 47 six months from now.”

“This is not how science should be reported,” said Bast.

James M. Taylor ([email protected] – 727/215-3192), The Heartland Institute’s senior fellow for environment policy, pointed out that the IPCC is expected to dramatically revise its temperature projections, which are key to the argument that global warming is a full-blown crisis. “The IPCC is lowering its worst-case temperature projections by more than 20 percent,” said Taylor. “Moreover, they’re projecting a rise in sea levels of only one foot over the next century, hardly anything to be alarmed about.”

Taylor finds it “ironic that the more science validates a moderate, non-alarming, warming trend, the more the alarmists claim the sky is falling.”