National academies to review IPCC procedures

Global science organizations asked to help evaluate processes that produced 2007 climate report

The United Nations secretary-general and the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today requested a multinational organization of the world’s science academies to conduct an independent review of the IPCC’s processes and procedures. There’s a premium on getting the review underway pronto in that the IPCC has been criticized in recent months for errors of fact and procedural errors associated with the development of its last climate assessment report, published in 2007. A follow-up to that report is currently underway and both the UN and IPCC want to limit the risk that the credibility of that current exercise could be jeopardized.

The science academies have been asked to identify independent experts from relevant fields “to conduct the review and to present recommendations on possible revisions of IPCC practices and procedures,” according to an announcement issued today by InterAcademy Council, based in Amsterdam. In addition, this blue-ribbon panel has been directed “to recommend measures and actions to strengthen the IPCC’s capacity to respond to future challenges and ensure the ongoing quality of its reports.”

Janet Raloff

Janet Raloff is the Editor, Digital of Science News Explores, a daily online magazine for middle school students. She started at Science News in 1977 as the environment and policy writer, specializing in toxicology. To her never-ending surprise, her daughter became a toxicologist.

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