Outside science academies to review warming panel

March 9, 2010 By SETH BORENSTEIN , AP Science Writer

(AP) -- The beleaguered global warming panel has found an outside group to review how it writes its reports.

An international group, the InterAcademy Council, will be given complete control to review the rules, procedures and reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said a scientist close to the situation. Recently, several unsettling errors have been found in the climate panel reports issued in 2007.

Though the mistakes don't undercut the broad on global warning, they have shaken the credibility of climate scientists and given skeptics of global warming ammunition.

The InterAcademy Council is a Netherlands-based organization of the science academies of 15 nations. "They will run the review themselves," said a scientist close to the situation, who asked not to be named because the researcher was not authorized to talk publicly. "It will be independent... They are choosing the reviewers."

The idea is to have the review finished before the annual meeting of the IPCC in October, the source said. The climate panel was formed by the and the .

It will be up to the InterAcademy Council to decide if it's acceptable for its reviewers to have taken part in past IPCC reports. A large number of top climate scientists have participated in the IPCC. The council will also look at whether the reports should include non-peer-reviewed "gray literature" often written by governments or advocacy groups, the source said.

The reviewers will also look at whether to put in procedures that could catch and correct errors better, the source said.

Details of the review will be announced Wednesday at the United Nations, after the IPCC chairman meets with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The IPCC had been looking for an outside group to do the review.

The UN secretary general himself is requesting the review as well as the IPCC, another source close to the situation said.

"It's to be welcomed," said IPCC co-author and Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer. "It's a step in the direction of re-establishing the IPCC's credibility with the general public. I, as an IPCC scientist, welcome this kind of check on things."

The IPCC, which is mostly a collection of scientists volunteering their work, produced reports that had errors that ranged from mistaking how much of the Netherlands is below sea level to botching how fast glaciers in the Himalayans are expected to melt.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., last month called problems with the IPCC "the makings of a major scientific scandal."

Stanford scientist Stephen Schneider, another IPCC co-author, called independent review a great idea.

"Everybody knows there's a tiny error rate," Schneider said. "Any error rate that can be fixed should be fixed."

The IPCC shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with former Vice President Al Gore.

Explore further: Netherlands adds to UN climate report controversy

More information:
The IPCC: http://www.ipcc.ch
The InterAcademy Council: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/


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1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
Though the mistakes don't undercut the broad consensus on global warning, they have shaken the credibility of climate scientists and given skeptics of global warming ammunition.

There was never a broad consensus.

"Everybody knows there's a tiny error rate,"

Tiny, bloody TINY!
So, the outcome has already been decided. FUBAR.
1 / 5 (1) Mar 11, 2010
mikiwu- yes your dead right, there never was or is going to be any consensus or acceptance of the science from the denialists, about time we ignored the kind of conspiracy, anti scientifit, down right genocidal rantings from the likes of people like you, and just got on with saving our own and your arses from yourselves and the ludicrious exploitive capiyalist growth thats got us in this bloody mess.
wise up man and educate yourself for christ sake
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 12, 2010
A few thousand for AGW versus 51,000 against. I'd say there is no consensus. As to the article above, I find it unfortunate that they are not going to be transparent. Already they are being secretive and not allowing their scientists (or whatever else they might be) to speak about their plans. All of this should be public from day-one.

Few errors? Climategate, Glaciergate, Hollandgate, Amazongate... The list is growing fast. I'd suggest not making claims about the number of errors there until the entire thing has been checked over with a fine-toothed comb. IF they keep going the way they are, I also can see the future outcome of the investigation (in favor of the IPCC).

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