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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Copenhagen Synthesis Report

The Synthesis Report from the March conference, Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions is now available. The report provides concise science updates across a number of issues/disciplines, from the dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet to behavioural change. While there are a range of messages that one might take home from the report, the conference organisers have steered readers to their picks organised around six themes:
  1. Climate trends

  2. Social and environmental disruption

  3. Global targets and timetables

  4. Equity dimensions

  5. Inaction is inexcusable

  6. Meeting the challenge
While the majority of the report's key messages stick to the science, there are notable tangents into the policy advocacy arena. As noted here previously, there was always a rather explicit political undercurrent to the conference. In fact, in some ways the conference and its synthesis report are a bit of a challenge to the IPCC process - many of the IPCC's lead authors appear as authors in the synthesis report, yet were spared the IPCC's procedural constraints (and, some might say, checks-and-balances). Furthermore, if the IPCC's assessment reports are considered out-of-date by their own authors within a year of their release, then why does the IPCC (and its authors) continue its approach to scientific evaluation?

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