IPCC Records Show Thousands of Review Comments Ignored

Published September 1, 2007

In a historic move, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the expert review comments and responses to its latest assessment of the science of climate change. That release makes clear literally thousands of comments critical of the report were ignored or rejected by the IPCC lead authors.

The IPCC report is the primary source of data for Al Gore’s movie and book titled An Inconvenient Truth.

At Odds with ‘Consensus’

Many of the comments are strongly critical of claims contained in the final report, released earlier this year, and are directly at odds with the so-called “scientific consensus” touted by Gore and others calling for immediate government action.

For example, the following comment by Eric Steig appears in Second Order Draft Comments, Chapter 6, section 6-42:

“[T]here are numerous important references left out, and an over-emphasis on papers by the authors themselves, which do not accurately reflect the communities’ view. In general, the certainty with which this chapter presents our understanding of abrupt climate change is overstated. There is confusion between hypothesis and evidence throughout the chapter, and a great deal of confusion on the differences between an abrupt ‘climate change’ and possible, hypothetical causes of such climate changes.”

Such internal dissent was widespread and directly contradicts global warming alarmists’ assertions that the IPCC final product is the unified view of thousands of scientists.

Instead, the final product is merely the final word of a small number of “lead authors” who were selected by the political branches of their governments.

The reviewers’ comments confirm what many scientists have been saying all along–that IPCC does not reflect a unified view or even a consensus view of the world’s leading climatologists.

Extremism, Aggressiveness Rewarded

“There is a substantial diversity of opinion on climate change, but IPCC sometimes does not best reflect that diversity. It tends to give undue weight to extreme points of view, especially if such views are made quite loudly,” said Patrick Michaels, research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists.

“One way in which IPCC falls short of the ideal is that it tends to gravitate to the opinion of a few loud extremists,” Michaels explained.

“A good example of this is Mike Mann’s hockey stick in the IPCC Third Assessment,” Michaels said. “Mann’s hockey stick was a recent postulation that had yet to be supported by comprehensive analysis. Yet Mann was very aggressive and a lead author. As it turns out, the hockey stick had problems, and IPCC has since reassessed the hockey stick.

“Similarly, the new IPCC report repeatedly refers to possibly unknown processes in ice dynamics that might accelerate the ice loss from Greenland,” said Michaels. “That is essentially [NASA scientist and vocal global warming alarmist] James Hansen’s opinion. Interestingly, the IPCC report itself references material that shows that such a sea level rise is virtually impossible.”

James Hoare ([email protected]) is an attorney practicing in Rochester, New York.

For more information …

The expert review comments and responses released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are available online at http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Comments/wg1-commentFrameset.html.