IPCC and Peer Reviewby Jonathan DuHamel on Feb. 02, 2010, under Climate change
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims that all of its reports and predictions are based on strictly peer-reviewed scientific papers. Well, not exactly. Recent investigations have shown that many IPCC reports were based on everything from magazine articles, telephone conversations, and propaganda from radical environmental groups.
In its most recent report (the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, aka 4AR), the IPCC stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information. However, one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them. The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps. See story in London Telegraph: http://tinyurl.com/y8ku7pm
The IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was based on an unverified magazine article and the IPCC knew it. Nevertheless, the IPCC let the statement stand for purely political purposes.
The claim that Himalayan glaciers are set to disappear by 2035 rests on two 1999 magazine interviews with glaciologist Syed Hasnain, which were then recycled without any further investigation in a 2005 report by the environmental campaign group World Wildlife Fund. This fact was brought to the attention of the IPCC before they published their 2007 report, but the IPCC let the statement stand. The original article was based on a short telephone interview with scientist Syed Hasnain, then based in Delhi, who has since said his views were “speculation”. The lead author of the IPCC chapter said, “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.” This alone shows that the IPCC is a political body rather than a scientific one. http://tinyurl.com/ydqa255
The IPCC also made false predictions on the Amazon rain forests, referenced to a non peer-reviewed paper produced by an advocacy group working with the World Wildlife Fund. This time though, the claim made is not even supported by the report and seems to be a complete fabrication. See story at http://tinyurl.com/yc3c8xt
Floods and Hurricanes
The IPCC report wrongly linked global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. The claims were based on an unpublished report that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny – and ignored warnings from scientific advisers that the evidence supporting the link was too weak. The report’s own authors later withdrew the claim because they felt the evidence was not strong enough. The IPCC’s 2007 report contained a separate section that warned the world had “suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s”. This claim was touted by Obama last fall: “More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent.” http://tinyurl.com/yzef9en
In Chapter 6 of 4AR, the IPCC claims that coral degradation is caused by global warming. The source for this claim is promotional literature by Greenpeace. The IPCC also based reports on solar and wind power on Greenpeace documents.
See report: http://tinyurl.com/yk9mqhz
Implications for US climate policy:
The EPA based its carbon dioxide endangerment finding on the IPCC. The EPA is supposed to vet the peer-review process from outside sources of information, something it did not do, so the EPA did not comply with the law. See ClimateAudit analysis: http://tinyurl.com/yg78qof