To the editor:
I am writing in response to your publication of the article “Climate report tries to address global warming slowdown,” which is a truncation of the larger article by Karl Ritter, a bureau chief at The Associated Press. You published only the first quarter. In essence, you took an article that flowed as “here is what some people say and here is why others say they are wrong” and left only the first part.
There are a couple of key points in the original that were not in your version. The authors of the IPCC report are not struggling with the science; they are struggling with the demands of governments who want to edit their work. Many media outlets have taken the slowdown in surface temperature to mean that global warming has stopped. Scientists studying the climate know the laws of physics did not change in 1998, and have found evidence that the oceans have been acting as a heat sink for the atmosphere since then.
The IPCC was set up in 1988 at the request of members of the United Nations. The authors are unpaid volunteers. The report writers gather articles written by specialists, and synthesize them into a more comprehensive report on the state of the science. Their struggle is less with the science and more with framing it in a way that is agreeable to the member governments, which are subject to the vagaries of politics.