Posts Tagged ‘IAC’

Pachauri stays at IPCC: Ultimately it’s a question of cowardice

October 14, 2010


Pachauri's racy thesis


The IPCC has just completed its 3 day meeting in Busan. The absence of any courage by any of the delegates or by their Chairman is apparent. Rather than implement all the recommendations of the IAC review they have just accepted all the easy bits and shuffled off the more painful corrections to be studied in committee. The Chairman himself has not had the courage to swallow his overweening pride and return quietly to Almora.  (A psychiatrist might be able to explain the connections between his public utterances and his steamy novel).

The BBC reports:

(The IPCC) meeting in South Korea closed with many other reforms proposed in a recent review being passed to committees for further consideration. Chairman Rajendra Pachauri confirmed his intention to stay in post until the next assessment is published in 2014. In its recent review of the IPCC, the InterAcademy Council (IAC) – an umbrella group for the world’s science academies – highlighted a case in the 2007 assessment where studies projecting rapidly declining crop yields in Africa were given more weight than they merited, in the absence of supporting evidence.

The revised guidance emphasises that in future, authors must assess both the quality of research available and uncertainties within that research.

t urges authors to be careful of “group-think”, but maintains that it “may be appropriate to describe findings for which the evidence and understanding are overwhelming as statements of fact without using uncertainty qualifiers”.

Enhanced guidance on the use of “grey literature” – material not published in peer-reviewed scientific journals – has also been drawn up, and will be finalised by chairs of the IPCC’s working groups in the coming months.

Procedures for correcting errors should they arise were also approved – which means that the most serious error in the 2007 report, on the projected melting date for Himalayan glaciers, can be formally repaired.

Et tu IAC? Time for Pachauri to exit.

August 30, 2010

The IAC report is in.

And this is a report by a “friend”.

It is time for Pachauri to leave the reform and the improvement of the IPCC (assuming such a politically charged body can ever be reformed) to somebody else since he has clearly not been up to the task.

The Telgraph: The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change should only make predictions when it has solid scientific evidence and avoid straying into policy advocacy, a group of national science academies has warned in a report.

The report said the chairman of the IPCC should be limited to one six year term. Its current head Rajendra Pachauri of India, is in the middle of his second term. It called for an overhaul of the panel’s management, including the creation of an executive committee that would include people from outside the IPCC. Regarding the errors that appeared in the IPCC reports, the review group’s report called for stronger enforcement of the panel’s scientific review procedures to minimise future mistakes.

Professor Mike Hulme, a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia, is due to deliver a keynote lecture to the Royal Geographical Society Annual conference this week in which he will call for a dramatic changes to the way the IPCC operates. Speaking ahead of his lecture, he said: “The IPCC has not sufficiently adapted to the changing science and politics of climate change, nor to the changing expected and demanded role of science and expertise in society. “The IPCC’s approach of seeking consensus obscures and constricts both scientific and wider social debates about both knowledge-driven and value-driven uncertainties that surround climate change politics.”

Rajendra Pachauri

The BBC: UN climate body ‘needs reforms’, review recommends.

Among the IAC committee’s recommendations was that the UN body appoint an executive director to handle day-to-day operations and speak on behalf of the body. It also said the current limit of two six-year terms for the chair of the organisation is too long. The report also suggests the UN body establish an executive committee which should include individuals from outside the IPCC or even outside the climate science community in order to enhance the UN panel’s credibility and independence.

The use by the IPCC of so-called “grey literature” – that which has not been peer-reviewed or published in scientific journals – has been subjected to particular scrutiny of late, partly because this type of material was behind the glacier error. The committee said that such literature was often relevant and appropriate for inclusion in the IPCC’s assessment reports. But it said authors needed to follow the IPCC’s guidelines more closely and that the guidelines themselves are too vague.

Bishop Hill:Furthermore, by making vague statements that were difficult to refute, authors were able to attach “high confidence” to the statements. The Working Group II Summary for Policy Makers contains many such statements that are not supported sufficiently in the literature, not put into perspective, or not expressed clearly.”

Mild rap on the knuckles likely for IPCC / Pachauri from friendly IAC

August 29, 2010

The Hindustan Times reports that former railwayman Pachauri will likely get away with a mild rap on his knuckles from the Inter Academy Council (little known)-  an establishment body tasked with defending another establishment body.

There is speculation that Pachauri might get away with just a rap on the knuckles for IPCC’s assessments that the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035, and the Amazonian forests were in danger too. The Wall Street Journal quoted an unidentified member of the probe team to say the report will merely suggest that IPCC “should beef up its capacity to ferret out errors in its scientific assessments”.

The Telegraph comes out a little stronger and suggests that the IPCC could actually be “warned”. But when the IAC report is presented to Ban Ki Moon tomorrow it is unlikely to find much fault with one of its own.

The United Nation’s climate change organisation faces a warning over how it uses scientific facts in its influential reports, following the discovery of a series of embarrassing errors in its work.

Professor Robert Watson, the chief scientific adviser to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a former chair of the UN’s IPCC, told the InterAcademy Council’s review committee that more needed to be done to prevent errors appearing in the panel’s reports.

He described the way the IPCC handled the mistakes as “totally and utterly atrocious” and suggested that the panel should consider hiring additional staff to check through the sources of information, or references, to ensure the accuracy of statements made in future reports.

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