one leak, two takes

The IPCC is set to release its fifth assessment report. A draft summary of the 2000 page document was leaked last month leading to several different news articles and opinion pieces. The most interesting part of this for me has been to see the different interpretations that have emerged. An article in the Wall Street Journal exemplifies how climate change deniers have latched onto a slight decrease in the amount of warming projected as a result of the doubling of CO2. Using some sleight-of-hand logic they then go on to state that the IPCC is now supporting the view that climate change will be beneficial and allow for greater plant growth and production. The New York Times looked at the same leaked information but took away a very different message. They complain that the IPCC has chosen to reject “extreme” predictions for sea level rise but has chosen to accept the extremely conservative predictions for temperature rise. The New York Times also highlights the fact that the IPCC report puts a certitude of >95% on humans being the principal cause of climate change (interestingly this little tidbit is not reported on by the Wall Street Journal).

-Ken Feeley

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