Climate Panel Seeks Outside Review

The Nobel Prize-winning international scientific panel studying global warming is seeking independent outside review for how it makes major reports.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it's seeking some kind of independent review because of recent criticism about its four 2007 reports.

Critics have found a few unsettling errors, including projections of retreats in Himalayan glaciers, in the thousands of pages of the reports.

Scientists say the problems are minor and have nothing to do with the major conclusions about man-made global warming and how it will harm people and ecosystems. But researchers acknowledge that they have been too slow to respond to a drip-drip-drip of criticisms in the past three months. And those criticisms seem to have resonated in poll results and media coverage that has put climate scientists on the defensive.

"The IPCC clearly has suffered a loss in public confidence," Stanford University climate scientist Chris Field, a chairman of one of the IPCC's four main research groups said Saturday. "And one of the things that I think the world deserves is a clear understanding of what aspects the IPCC does well and what aspects of the IPCC can be improved."

An independent review "is much needed," said University of Colorado environmental studies scientist Roger Pielke Jr., a longtime critic of the IPCC.

"The IPCC has a long road ahead to regain trust," Pielke said by e-mail.

In a statement issued Saturday by overall IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri the group of volunteer scientists said it tries to be accurate and follow procedures.

"But we recognize the criticism that has been leveled at us and the need to respond," Pachauri said in the statement.

One example of the criticism was a Senate speech earlier this month when Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., called problems with the IPCC "the makings of a major scientific scandal."

"There is a crisis of confidence in the IPCC," Inhofe said Feb. 11. "The challenges to the integrity and credibility of the IPCC merit a closer examination by the US Congress."

The panel shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with former Vice President Al Gore. The panel was created by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization.

Pachauri's statement said the panel consulted with the United Nations and plans to find "distinguished experts" to review how it write its reports.

There were no details on how the review would be done. They will come sometime in early March, according to Pachauri's statement.

But one of the troubles is that the IPCC is written by most of the world's top experts in climate science. And the experts who don't write it, often review it, so it's hard to find someone both independent and knowledgeable.

That's why the IPCC is most likely to find an outside organization or group — such as a scientific society of a national academy of science — to run the review, Field said.

That panel would then make the decision on who should be part of the review and if former IPCC authors should be part of it. Scientists who write or review the panel's reports say they do not get paid, but sometimes get reimbursed for travel expense and in the end often lose money on the deal.

University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver, who has been an IPCC author in the past, called the IPCC plan and statement "an appropriate and measured response."

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  • by Tired of Ignorace on Mar 1, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    Oh and this too...hard to argue the raw data..."January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States. Yet from a global perspective, it was the second-hottest January since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago."
  • by Tired of Ignorance on Mar 1, 2010 at 07:29 AM
    Lots of good points made here. Yes most of you are not involved in climate change, well I am in the science community and more specifically meteorology. I understand all of the nuances that cause the weather to behave as it does, so I believe that my knowledge trumps any argument that you people have and are fed from Fox News. Just as a disclosure I voted for Bush and McCain (and drive a tahoe) , so I am not a Climate Change liberal who drives a Prius, just a person who actually reads peer reviewed journals (as part of my educational enrichment) that politicians twist into what you call "Psycobabble". I too agree that Al Gore and other politicians need to leave the science community alone, but if no one with power addresses these issues, then who will? Snake Oil, are you going to Washington to fight for gun rights? NO you will want someone with power to do it. Until the pure science points in the other direction, I know what I believe and its our right to believe what we want..
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Mar 1, 2010 at 06:36 AM
    This story has as much validity as a "Rain Machine". I mean, if you can predict weather and climate change, certainly you own of these...If you don't have one, I can sell you one....I also sell bridges and airports....
  • by Anonymous on Feb 28, 2010 at 11:46 PM
    climate changes all the time, we cannot control the weather, don't care how much money you throw at it, you can't control it.
  • by Tim Location: Kitty Hawk on Feb 28, 2010 at 03:01 PM
    We see global warming or errr climate change for what it really is....just a way for the government and fat cats to fleece us out of more of our hard earned cash.
  • by LW Location: Greenville on Feb 28, 2010 at 02:35 PM
    The Title shoud read "Climate panel seeks outside reveiw that will LIE", to get there agenda back on there lieing track.What a bucnch of money hungry, communist , "hilter like" nuts. They will say anything and do anything to control people.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Feb 28, 2010 at 02:29 PM
    To: Tired of Ignorance: I think the only thing people want is the truth, not what some one thinks may happen. Most of us are not involved in the study of climate changes, there for we look to those that are to tell us the truth, same as we expect our politicians to tell us the truth, but it seems in both cases we get half truth or just plane lies. I am an electrical engineer by profession, When an owner hires me to design an electrical system he expects me to design the most efficient system possible. Should I not expect the same from of climate scientist? Al Gore is a politician, what are his qualification for supporting climate control?
  • by Obama Snake Oil co Location: Washington on Feb 28, 2010 at 01:48 PM
    Tired of Ignorance on Feb 28, 2010 at 08:31 AM, you certiainly deserve the "hooey of the week award". Facts are not swayed, facts are or not. When you take Al gore, spokesman for this, they guy who invented the think about what he said? Now, got back and get a nice big glass of god, did you think about what you just posted?
  • by Joseph Location: Ajax, Ontario, Canada on Feb 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM
    In 1967 I discovered the workings of the Flying Saucer (do not laugh too hard!). They are powerede by "tapping energy out of the aether. That system can also be used to power cars or homes. I suspect that Tesla used it for his electric Pierce Arrow Car in 1931. No pollution. I have been trying to get funding in Canada without results. Yes, the system could even have been used by Nasa but that would have made the Propulsion Engineers obsolete. Who would need them if we could Fly in a Shuttle, equipped with the technology, to the Moon in a few hours, land there (VTOL Terchnology) and return to Earth after a few days? Maybe it should be used by a Progressive Country like Russia or India.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Feb 28, 2010 at 09:08 AM
    Gezzzzzze! some of these posters need to get back to their subscription of the weekly world news.
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