Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back from IPCC Meeting

I'm finally back in Australia after travelling for almost 4 weeks including a week spent at the IPCC meeting in Addis Ababa. In the meantime Australia changed prime minister and all bets seem to be off about what party will be in power in Australia after the next federal election which should take place later this year. I was also in Spain, Israel, and Kenya, which was especially fascinating. This is one of the best of the many pictures that Shuang took:

Lion, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

In Addis I confirmed that I am very sensitive to high altitudes (2400m) got altitude sickness and then when I had apparently covered really got ill and am still recovering. So, I only got to about half the meetings I was supposed to be at. This is the fourth and final meeting for regular authors on the Working Group III's contribution to the 5th Assessment Report. We were addressing the comments from government representatives as well as additional comments from academics, NGOs etc. There is also a continued effort to try to make the report an integrated and readable whole which is a real challenge with so many chapter teams working most of the time alone and so many authors in each chapter team. Using the time at the author meetings effectively is important and difficult. The IPCC is seeking comments from member governments on its future. Here are the responses of the UK and Dutch governments. Both suggest the obvious that the IPCC should use the web more effectively and perhaps update its products on more of a rolling basis. The UN structure that the IPCC is embedded in makes this difficult I think. Everything needs to be approved by member governments. The inflexibility of the table of contents of each chapter which was laid out at an IPCC plenary meeting has been quite frustrating for some of us authors but we have had to stick to what was laid down several years ago before the actual subject specialists entered the picture. It's hard to see the governments giving up these powers for a more flexible approach.

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