A review by the IPCC of its earlier reports has admitted to serious problems and fundamental biases.


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A review by the IPCC of its earlier reports has admitted that the manner in which the reports were produced had serious problems and fundamental biases.

The IAC reported that IPCC lead authors fail to give “due consideration … to properly documented alternative views” (p. 20), fail to “provide detailed written responses to the most significant review issues identified by the Review Editors” (p. 21), and are not “consider[ing] review comments carefully and document[ing] their responses” (p. 22). In plain English: the IPCC reports are not peer-reviewed.

The IAC found that “the IPCC has no formal process or criteria for selecting authors” and “the selection criteria seemed arbitrary to many respondents” (p. 18). Government officials appoint scientists from their countries and “do not always nominate the best scientists from among those who volunteer, either because they do not know who these scientists are or because political considerations are given more weight than scientific qualifications” (p. 18). In other words: authors are selected from a “club” of scientists and nonscientists who agree with the alarmist perspective favored by politicians.

The rewriting of the Summary for Policy Makers by politicians and environmental activists — a problem called out by global warming realists for many years, but with little apparent notice by the media or policymakers — was plainly admitted, perhaps for the first time by an organization in the “mainstream” of alarmist climate change thinking. “[M]any were concerned that reinterpretations of the assessment’s findings, suggested in the final Plenary, might be politically motivated,” the IAC auditors wrote. The scientists they interviewed commonly found the Synthesis Report “too political” (p. 25). [emphasis mine]

The sad part is that almost none of these problems have been addressed by the IPCC in producing its next report, due out sometime in 2013 or 2014.

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3 comments

  • Jim

    So, I take a look at the actual report, and go to the pages cited and cannot find the quotes attributed in the article. But maybe I am looking at something wrong and someone else can find them.
    http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/
    You can click on “read report” and then “full report.”
    This is a report by the Interacademy Council, done at the request of the UN, in order that the processes used by the IPCC are improved. Well done, in my opinion.

    You are quoting above the article written by Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute. So when he says, “In plain English: the IPCC reports are not peer-reviewed,” that is not what the IAC report says. In fact here is a quote from the report itself listed above:
    “The IPCC’s peer review process is elaborate, involving two formal reviews and one or more informal reviews of preliminary text.” Page 36 of 123 on the PDF.

    In fact, in the conclusions, they say this: “The Committee concludes that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall and has served society well. The commitment of many thousands of the world’s leading scientists and other experts to the assessment process and to the communication of the nature of our understanding
    of the changing climate, its impacts, and possible adaptation and mitigation strategies is a considerable achievement in its own right.” Page 77 of 123 on the PDF.
    To be sure there are suggestions for improvement. Not surprising. But the opinion of Mr. Bast is not the opinion of IAC. That the authors are selected from “the alarmist perspective” is just ridiculous.

    By the way, that report is from 2010. On June 27, the IPCC said that it had completed the process of implementation of the IAC’s recommendations. They say that the next session in 2010 adopted most of the recommendations even then. So it seems that most of the IAC suggestions will in fact be in the next reports, not ignored.

  • wodun

    “You are quoting above the article written by Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute. So when he says, “In plain English: the IPCC reports are not peer-reviewed,” that is not what the IAC report says.”

    It looked like the report was passing judgement on the quality of the “peer review” and deeming that it was so bad it couldn’t really be considered peer reviewed. Because of this, “authors are selected from a “club” of scientists and nonscientists who agree with the alarmist perspective favored by politicians.”

    It’s an echo chamber.

  • Jim

    OK.
    But I am curious about something, so let me ask you a question:
    Given a few events in just the past few weeks, such as drought covering 2/3 of the US potentially costing $50B, a large iceberg calving from Greenland for the second time in 3 years, 40K record high temperatures in the US this year(a 10 to 1 ratio to record low temps when expectations are a 1 to 1 ratio), June was the 4th warmest in global temperatures with land temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere 2.34 degrees F above average, Arctic sea ice in June setting a record in ice loss (1.1M square miles lost), and the period May 2011 to April 2012 was the warmest 12 month period since record keeping in the US, does any of this give you pause to say maybe there is something to all this climate change theory? These are just a few of the things I saw in the past couple of weeks.
    I’m just curious…if you respond I won’t argue. To me, these are things well beyond any conspiracy theory about climate change. And things we can see for ourselves and with our own eyes (last year my tomato plants provided fruit the earliest I have ever seen, and I have grown vegetables my entire life). Color me very concerned.
    And if none of this resonates, I wonder if there is one thing, or series of things, that may make you change your mind. I’m just curious.

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