Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IPCC authors

Donna is having a go at the so-called "top scientists" who write the IPCC report. She found 1, 2, 3, 4 authors who where fresh out of grad school (if that) when elevated to the IPCC. There are more examples, of course: Sam Fankhauser, Richard Klein and myself.
I think it is good for an author team to have a mix of talent and experience. I think the fault lies with the leadership, who claim -- incorrectly as they well know -- that only top people write for the IPCC.
The infamous social cost chapter of AR2 had seven authors: one senior academic who guided the chapter, one senior consultant, two figureheads, and three juniors who did most of the work. It worked well. The team was fine, the chapter good. But of the seven, only David Pearce could be called top.
Thanks to Donna for exposing yet more lies. May the IPCC leaders start telling the truth.
UPDATE: #5 was added. Donna highlights another lie. Here's the truth: I'm younger than Richard Klein, and I was a CLA before him. See Donna #6.

Friday, October 15, 2010

IPCC reform (okay, a little bit)

More details have emerged on the "reform" of the IPCC.
1. The guidelines for non-peer-reviewed material have been updated. The old guidelines were fine. They were just not implemented.
2. Review editors will be reminded of their role (sic).
3. The guidelines for uncertainty will be updated. I found this a minor irritant in the past -- replacing judgement with ill-defined rules -- and I expect that the new guidelines will not improve things. No shortcut can do justice to the complexities of conveying degrees of confidence.
4. There will be a policy on conflicts of interest.

Point 4 is the only real progress, and it only matters if it is implemented -- unlike previous IPCC policies on basically everything.

The Plenary deferred all other reforms to a committee.

Pachauri still chairs the IPCC. He is incompetent, but that used to be irrelevant as the IPCC chair is a figurehead anyway. However, he has clearly and repeatedly demonstrated his incompetence to the world. Pachauri is a liability to the IPCC, and he should go.

The new conflict of interests policy will be tested immediately. Either the policy is not serious, or the IPCC chair will violate the policy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

IPCC reform (not)

The IPCC meeting in Busan is over.
The first message was from Chris Field, co-chair of WG2, reassuring all authors that the decisions made were in the best interest of the IPCC -- without even explaining what those decisions were. Although one could interpret this as a classic example of paternalism, let's give Chris the benefit of doubt and assume that he was tired after an intense meeting and in a rush to the airport.

BBC and Reuters offer some detail into the decisions made: a committee was formed to look into the matter.

Another day, another farce in climate land.

Cheers in all the wrong places (four blogs who are no friend of the IPCC, and one blog on par with Pachauri). More sober stuff here, and bitter stuff here and here.