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Academies form IPCC review panel

By Juliet Eilperin

A group of the world's science academies announced the makeup of a 12-member panel that will conduct an independent review of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has come under fire for mistakes in its 2007 report to policymakers on global warming.

Harold T. Shapiro, an economist who served as president of Princeton University and the University of Michigan, will chair the committee established by the InterAcademy Council. The group will report back to the U.N. on the IPCC's procedures by Aug. 30; it will review the panel's procedures for data quality assurance and control; the type of literature that may be cited in IPCC reports; expert and government review of IPCC materials; handling of the full range of scientific views; and correction of errors that are identified after a report is done.

"We approach this review with an open mind," Shapiro said in a statement. "I'm confident we have the experts on this committee necessary to supply the U.N. with a stronger process for providing policymakers the best assessment of climate change possible."

The review committee, which will hold its first meeting May 14 to 15 in Amsterdam, will be vice-chaired by Roseanne Diab, executive officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa and professor emeritus of environmental sciences and honorary senior research associate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

The other committee members include Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, scientific director of the Foundation for the Support of Research in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, and professor at the Gleb Wataghin Physics Institute at the University of Campinas; Maureen Cropper, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, senior fellow at Resources for the Future in Washington and former lead economist at the World Bank; Jingyun Fang and Cheung Kong, professor and chair at Peking University's department of ecology; Louise Fresco, professor at the University of Amsterdam and former assistant director-general at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization; Syukuro Manabe of Tokyo University, currently a senior meteorologist at Princeton University; Goverdhan Mehta, National Research Professor and Bhatnagar Fellow at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore; Nobel laureate Mario J. Molina (co-winner of 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry), a professor at the University of California at San Diego, and creator of a center in Mexico City for strategic studies of energy and the environment; Peter Williams, honorary treasurer and vice president of the Royal Society in London, chancellor of the University of Leicester and chairman of the National Physical Laboratory; Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, secretary general of the Human Frontier Science Program in Germany; and Abdul Hamid Zakri, senior adviser to the prime minister of Malaysia and Tuanku Chancellor Chair at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

It is unclear whether the review will satisfy the IPCC's harshest critics, who have questioned why its 2007 report included glaring mistakes such as one that predicted all Himalyan glaciers would disappear by 2035. But IAC co-chairman Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, expressed confidence in a statement that the independent committee could help improve the IPCC process.

"I am pleased that such a distinguished group of experts from all over the world volunteered to serve on this review committee," he said. "The InterAcademy Council was established to carry out this type of independent review, and I expect our report will prove valuable to the U.N. as well as to the scientific community."


Juliet Eilperin

 |  May 3, 2010; 9:47 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The 'recent arctic sea ice retreat' didn't really happen and neither did the antarctic sea ice retreat as it has been increasing not decreasing.

The sea level rise amounts to about two inches during the time Harry Hammer is concerned about. Is that something the world should really worry about? What about the poor people who cannot afford to buy food because the price increased drastically after Al Gore and the rest of the true believers decided to convert food into alcohol.

The only reasonably practical way for most of the third world to increase their standard of living is to use coal fired power plants and gasoline or diesel powered fuel for their automobiles, trucks, and factories. Based on a bunch of poor quality half-baked computer models that have never predicted anything of consequence, the rich folks in the USA think it is ok to say 'we got our nice standard of living' you can do without because our computer models say it might interfere with our right to enjoy ourselves.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 4, 2010 12:17 AM
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Carbon dioxide emissions have grown faster than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.

The tropics are expanding faster than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.

Atlantic hurricane intensity has increased faster than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.

The recent Arctic sea-ice retreat is larger than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.

The sea-level rise of 3.3 millimetres per year from 1993 – 2006, was higher than any of the (19) IPCC climate models predicted.

As a matter of fact, in 2001 the IPCC thought that neither Greenland nor Antarctica would lose ice mass by 2100. They both already have. Ice sheets appear to be shrinking 100 years ahead of schedule and the retreat is accelerating.

It must be just one big “Inconvenient Coincidence”?

Read: Climate Scientists: most of their predictions have fallen short

Posted by: HarryBraun | May 3, 2010 10:43 PM
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I sure wish that Ms. Eilperin is reading the comments about her articles. She refuses to do so and has isolated herself from any of the science that demonstrates that most of the IPCC claims are hyperbolic hysteria. Until she is willing to explore all sides of an issue, not just the side that she is preconditioned to believe, she will never be a journalist. She will always be nothing more than a shill for extremists.

Posted by: snorbertzangox | May 3, 2010 2:04 PM
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To quote the article:

It is unclear whether the review will satisfy the IPCC's harshest critics, who have questioned why its 2007 report included glaring mistakes such as one that predicted all Himalyan glaciers would disappear by 2035. But IAC co-chairman Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, expressed confidence in a statement that the independent committee could help improve the IPCC process."

Ms. Eilperin knew very well before she wrote this article that the proposed review won't be satisfying any educated skeptics. The review will do nothing to correct the glaring errors in the AR4 report. The methods and procedures can always be improved, but the same people will be managing AR4 and the methods and procedures that they established for themselves mattered not at all; rules apply only to anyone who disagrees with their beliefs. The inside group can do whatever they please as long as the result justifies their ends.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 3, 2010 1:22 PM
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The same Dr. Pauchari that accused the Indian scientist who pointed out the wrongness of the Himalayan glacier melting claim of practicing 'voodoo science' is still in charge. He needed to keep the Himalayan claim in place until after Copenhagen, and also until after he was awarded a few million Euros to study Himalayan glaciers.

The same group of people who revealed in their own emails their conspiracies to hide data, keep out anyone with conflicting data or beliefs, and who were willing to destroy files and emails in violation of their FOIA laws are still in charge.

These people widely prophesied in the early 1990s that New York would be flooded by rising seas in twenty years. There wasn't any flood and the sea level rise is less than two inches, but you won't be reading any critical news stories where these people are interviewed about how they could have been so wrong in the Post. Their predictions are still being made about melting polar ice and rising seas, and how this has never happened before.

It has happened before in the 1930s and several other times since the last ice age. The sea level is probably lower now than it was during the Medieval Warm Period, and the polar ice has melted many times. Dreams of sailing the 'Northwest Passage' have been publicized for centuries, but the sailors who tried it usually came to unpleasant ends because the ice freezes again. The ice did reach a low point versus the last 30 years in 2007, but has returned to the 30 year average now; this is easily verifiable at every institution that monitors satellite ice measurements but is another factoid that probably never sees ink in the Post.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 3, 2010 1:11 PM
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The review panel will not be looking at the data, nor the computer models. The 'review' is limited to procedures and methods.

The current AR4 management had procedures and methods in place, and widely advertised their reliance on only the best peer reviewed science that was reviewed by leading world scientists.

When they wanted to impress world governments with the urgency of the crisis that they so fervently believe in, they ignored their own rules. Roughly thirty percent of the citations were to non-peer reviewed papers, and these references provided most of the widely publicized errors like the phony claim that the Himalayan ice would all melt.

Summaries of sections were written before the sections were completed, leaving little doubt in the minds of the authors what their section needed to say. Dissent and skepticism got you booted off the project.

There were deadlines for inclusion in AR4, and those mattered for all the papers that either disagreed or failed to strongly support their belief that CO2 is about to cause the end of civilization as we know it. The deadlines were ignored when they found papers that furthered their goals of convincing the world's governments to believe.

The use of the term 'independent review' is more than a little misleading. There isn't going to be a review of the AR4 report's content or conclusions, only a set of recommendations on how to establish better procedures for the next report.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | May 3, 2010 1:10 PM
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