InterAcademy Council Completes Review of IPCC Report Process

You might recall earlier this year that a few mistakes were discovered in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 3,000-page assessment report published in 2007. The mistakes did nothing to undermine the report’s major findings: It is unequivocal that the climate is changing, and there is greater than 90 percent certainty that most of the observed warming of the past half-century is due to human influences. Earlier this year, I discussed the errors on E&ETV’s On Point program.

To ensure that similar problems do not recur, the IPCC asked a distinguished scientific body called the InterAcademy Council (IAC) to review its process for producing its next major report, due in 2013. The IAC is an international consortium of national academies of science, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

For more information about the IAC report and its recommendations to the IPCC, I refer the reader to an informative statement reaffirming the major conclusions of the IPCC and endorsing the IAC recommendations by the president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Dr. Michael McPhaden. With around 58,000 professional members, the AGU is the world’s largest learned society dedicated to the study of Earth and planetary science. Thousands of climate scientists are AGU members.

Jay Gulledge is Senior Scientist and Director of the Science and Impacts Program