Climate change draft report leaked online

2012-12-15 10:03
A Nasa laptop with critical information has been stolen. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A Nasa laptop with critical information has been stolen. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Geneva - A major report on climate change being compiled by the United Nation's climate science panel was on Friday leaked online in what appeared to be an attempt by a climate sceptic to discredit the panel.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the full draft of its Fifth Assessment Report, which is not set for official publication until next September, had been published online by one of 800 experts contributing to the report.

The climate body did not identify the culprit, but a climate sceptic named Alec Rawls announced in a blog posting that he was responsible.

He had published the full draft on a website called "Stop Green Suicide", which had crashed by late Friday afternoon.

The IPCC is a favoured target for sceptics, who stirred a scandal in the run-up to a UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009 by pointing out flaws in the panel's landmark Fourth Assessment Report.

Perhaps anticipating a similar attack, the IPCC warned on Friday that "the unauthorised and premature posting of the drafts (of the Fifth Assessment Report), which are works in progress, may lead to confusion because the text will necessarily change."

The body pointed out that the report had been reviewed in October and November by the 800 experts and 26 governments, who together had submitted 31 422 comments that needed to be considered.

It also stressed that the authors would still be accepting peer-reviewed published literature contributions until mid-March.

"The text that has been posted is thus not the final report," it said.

Read more on:    un  |  climate change
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