According to Mother Jones, there’s a leaky member of the IPCC group that is working to finalize the synthesis report (SYR) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) before this year’s COP20 to be held in Lima, Peru from December 1 – 12. The SYR is due to be approved by October 31, 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Interestingly, some people with access to the draft report want to make sure that more people know about it before the U.N. Climate Summit, which will take place in about two weeks. (Read this Mashable article explaining the political, not legal, purpose of the Summit – “diplomatic jumper cables” to the UNFCCC negotiations – and analogizing it to a “cocktail party ahead of a formal dinner.”)
The draft SYR was recently posted to the IPCC page where “government focal points, IPCC observer organizations and other authorised users in the pre-registration site” can access it. Since our VLS NGO observer delegation is to the UNFCCC and not the IPCC, I don’t have access to this site.
But what MJ reports doesn’t strike this reader as all too different from the already approved and publicly released reports of Working Group I (on the physical science), WG II (on human and environmental impacts), and WG III (on mitigation approaches) released serially in October 2013 (see this post), and March (see this post and this one) and April of this year (see this post).
While conceding this fact, the magazine asserts “in general, the 127-page leaked report provides starker language than the previous three, framing the crisis as a series of “irreversible” ecological and economic catastrophes that will occur if swift action is not taken.” Mother Jones reports on “five particularly grim” take home messages:
1. Our efforts to combat climate change have been grossly inadequate.
2. Keeping global warming below the internationally agreed upon 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (above preindustrial levels) is going to be very hard.
3. We’ll probably see nearly ice-free summers in the Arctic Ocean before mid-century.
4. Dangerous sea level rise will very likely impact 70 percent of the world’s coastlines by the end of the century.
5. Even if we act now, there’s a real risk of “abrupt and irreversible” changes.
For more details, read here.
Hat tip to Carla Santos and BJ Schulte.