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First thoughts on IPCC SPM — Did I find an error?

February 2nd, 2007 by Sean Davis · No Comments

So I wanted to post some initial thoughts on the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers that just came out, but noticed that there are already some interesting posts at RealClimate and Prometheus on the topic.

RealClimate has an interesting brief summary of some of the new and interesting points in the SPM, and, perhaps shocking to some, Roger Pielke, Jr. at Prometheus is pleasantly surprised with the treatment of the tropical cyclone-GHG issue in the SPM.

I haven’t finished reading this document completely, so I hope for a more complete post on the subject later. But one thing that immediately struck me was an apparent error I noticed in Table SPM-0 (and trust me, I wasn’t just going through this looking for errors!)

If you sum up the contributions to sea level rise from 1993-2003 in table SPM-O, you get 0.657, not 0.28. I think they messed up the Greenland and Antarctic values, which they list as 0.21 (each). If you assume they are 0.021 instead, the sum total contribution does add up to 0.28, which is what they have listed there.

Am I missing something here? Anyone?

Also, for the 1961-2003 column, the Antarctic ice sheet contribution to sea level rise is GREATER than the sum of individual contributions to sea level rise.


Perhaps I’m just being dense here and missing something really obvious. Or perhaps in their rush to get this thing out the door, they just shifted some decimal point. …Like in that movie Office Space.

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