Re­view of cli­mate re­ports planned

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - NATION | - By SETH BOREN­STEIN

In­ter­na­tional sci­en­tific panel is seek­ing out­side eval­u­a­tion in re­sponse to re­cent crit­i­cism.

The 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 in­de­pen­dent re­view be­cause of re­cent crit­i­cism about its four 2007 re­ports.

Crit­ics have found 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 crit­i­cisms in the past three months. And those crit­i­cisms seem to have res­onated in poll re­sults and me­dia cov­er­age that have put cli­mate sci­en­tists on the de­fen­sive.

“The IPCC clearly has suf­fered a loss in pub­lic con­fi­dence,” said Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity cli­mate sci­en­tist Chris Field, a chair­man of one of the panel’s four main re­search groups. “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.”

In a state­ment is­sued Satur­day by the cli­mate change panel’s 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, an Ok­la­homa Repub­li­can, called prob­lems with the panel “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 U.S. Congress.”

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

Pachauri’s state­ment said the panel 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 soon, ac­cord­ing to Pachauri’s state­ment.

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