Apparently the big report on the effects of climate change is delayed while scientists argue with diplomats in the final line-by-line editing session. Reports CNN:
A dispute between the scientific authors and the diplomatic editors of the report erupted over the sixth paragraph in the 21-page summary that sets out how much confidence the scientists have in their findings about the effects global warming is already having.
The sentence originally said scientists had “very high confidence” — which means more than 90 percent chance of accuracy — in the statement that many natural systems around the globe “are being affected by regional climate changes, particularly temperature increases.”
After days of intensive negotiations over this section, delegates from China and Saudi Arabia on Friday insisted that the confidence level be reduced to “high” — which means more than 80 percent accuracy.
You’ll recall that when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its last report, on humanity’s impact on the atmosphere and planetary heat, critics said you couldn’t trust the thing because politicians and diplomats had gotten their filthy mitts into it … and supposedly made things seem worse than they really are.
Seems it’s the opposite.
Update: The summary for policymakers is out (PDF). I don’t see anything in it that’ll be startling to anyone who’s been paying attention, but as with the last report, it’s extremely useful as an agreed statement of facts-as-we-know-them among a huge number of scientists and governments.