Early drafts of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were leaked online Thursday by climate skeptic website StopGreenSuicide.com. The site published the first section in a four-part report, due to be completed in October 2014. In a statement released Friday morning, the IPCC said it was investigating the leak. According to the leaked drafts, part of what will be the IPCC’s fifth major climate assessment, there is a 95 percent chance that human activity is directly responsible for “more than half” of the increase of global surface temperatures since the 1950s.
Though climate skeptics have pounced on wording that gives more significance to solar heating, Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick called the outrage "mountains from molehill."
While the panel’s Nobel Prize-winning 2007 report already concluded that climate change was both real and man-made, new information has allowed them to confirm this analysis. The new report concludes: "New observations, longer data sets, and more paleoclimate information give further support for this conclusion. Confidence is stronger that many changes, that are observed consistently across components of the climate system, are significant, unusual or unprecedented on time scales of decades to many hundreds of thousands of years."
More than 250 scientists compiled the report, while another 659 scientists contributed comments during the first round of vetting, known as the “expert review.”