IPCC review by InterAcademy Council IAC


The IAC has released their report evaluating the IPCC procedures. They did not investigate the actual contents of the IPCC reports.

From the executive summary:

The Committee found that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall. However, the world has changed considerably since the creation of the IPCC (…)

The IPCC must continue to adapt to these changing conditions in order to continue serving society well in the future.

Their key recommendations appear sensible and constructive:


The Committee’s main recommendations relate to governance and management, the review process, characterizing and communicating uncertainty, communications, and transparency in the assessment process.

Recommendation: The IPCC should establish an Executive Committee to act on its behalf between Plenary sessions. The membership of the Committee should include the IPCC Chair, the Working Group Co-chairs, the senior member of the Secretariat, and 3 independent members, including some from outside of the climate community. Members would be elected by the Plenary and serve until their successors are in place.

Recommendation: The IPCC should elect an Executive Director to lead the Secretariat and handle day-to-day operations of the organization. The term of this senior scientist should be limited to the timeframe of one assessment.

Recommendation: The IPCC should encourage Review Editors to fully exercise their authority to ensure that reviewers’ comments are adequately considered by the authors and that genuine controversies are adequately reflected in the report.

Recommendation: The IPCC should adopt a more targeted and effective process for responding to reviewer comments. In such a process, Review Editors would prepare a written summary of the most significant issues raised by reviewers shortly after review comments have been received. Authors would be required to provide detailed written responses to the most significant review issues identified by the Review Editors, abbreviated responses to all non-editorial comments, and no written responses to editorial comments.

Recommendation: All Working Groups should use the qualitative level-of-understanding scale in their Summary for Policy Makers and Technical Summary, as suggested in IPCC’s uncertainty guidance for the Fourth Assessment Report. This scale may be supplemented by a quantitative probability scale, if appropriate.

Recommendation: Quantitative probabilities (as in the likelihood scale) should be used to describe the probability of well-defined outcomes only when there is sufficient evidence. Authors should indicate the basis for assigning a probability to an outcome or event (e.g., based on measurement, expert judgment, and/or model runs).

(See e.g Gavin’s comment regarding this point in an in-line response at RC here. It is certainly important to be very clear in explaining what the basis is for assigning a certain level of confidence or probability, a point also made by Judith Curry.)

Recommendation: The IPCC should complete and implement a communications strategy that emphasizes transparency, rapid and thoughtful responses, and relevance to stakeholders, and which includes guidelines about who can speak on behalf of IPCC and how to represent the organization appropriately.

The Committee recommends that the IPCC establish criteria for selecting participants for the scoping meeting, where preliminary decisions about the scope and outline of the assessment reports are made; for selecting the IPCC Chair, the Working Group co-chairs, and other members of the Bureau; and for selecting the authors of the assessment reports. The Committee also recommends that Lead Authors document that they have considered the full range of thoughtful views, even if these views do not appear in the assessment report.

Climate Central offers the following translation “from report-ese into English”:

  • The IPCC should create an Executive Committee to run the organization in between major conferences.
  • Rather than have the IPCC director serve for two six-year terms, a new director should be appointed for each major assessment report (there have been four so far). Since the IPCC is well into the fifth assessment, it isn’t clear whether Dr. Pachauri will step down (he’s evidently said that any decision will have to wait for the next IPCC meeting, in Korea in October).
  • The reviewers who decide what makes it into the final report and what doesn’t should work harder to address comments from authors, and to let dissenting views be reflected more fully in the finished product.
  • Statements about certainties and uncertainties about climate science need to be more explicit, need to be based on a more uniform set of criteria, and need to be clearer about how they were calculated.
  • The IPCC in general needs to be more open and transparent about how it goes about its business.
  • The IPCC needs to improve the way it deals with so-called “grey literature” — that is, non-peer-reviewed reports that contain valuable information, but which haven’t already been subjected to strict scientific scrutiny.

Much of the media still uses this as a coat rack to rehash (often exaggerated) stories about alleged errors or misconduct.


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44 Responses to “IPCC review by InterAcademy Council IAC”

  1. harry Says:

    Gray literature cited in the IPCC reports did not contain any valuable information. It contained the information the releasing organisation thought fit to release: Spin. The fact that WG 3 report relied on so many folders of the organisations which had a stake in the outcome identifies the corrupt nature of the process. 57% of WG3 references were from gray literature. Please, this does not even look as if they were trying to uphold the false imaginery of objectiveness. They felt so confident that they went into the open with all the fabricated lies.

  2. MarkB Says:

    First, contrary to impressions put forth by various media outlets, the IPCC makes changes between every report in response to suggestions. This by itself isn’t really new.

    “Maintaining flexibility. To its credit, the IPCC has shown that it is an adaptive organization, applying lessons learned from one assessment to the next and improving its processes to address new policy needs. For example, the IPCC adjusted the scope of Working Groups II and III after the first and second assessments (IPCC, 1992; Watson, 1997); substantially revised its principles and procedures after the second assessment (IPCC, 1998; 1999); and introduced a revised set of
    scenarios of socio-economic, climate and environmental conditions after the fourth assessment (IPCC, 2008). ”

    On Grey Literature…

    Tightening rules on grey literature is a very good idea. It carries with it the benefit of already going through a formal review process, which lowers the chance of error. Having loose grey literature requirements could also potentially allow all sort of political material from blogs and anti-science “think tanks”, if the right mix of biased contributors/reviewers are in place to approve it. Almost every argument involving science denial comes from grey literature.

    The IPCC does make the important note regarding grey literature.

    “Materials relevant to IPCC Reports, in particular, information about the experiences and practices of the private sector in mitigation and adaptation activities, are also found in sources that have not been published or peer-reviewed (e.g., industry journals, internal
    organisational publications, non-peer reviewed reports or working papers of research institutions, proceedings of workshops, etc.). A lot of relevant information appears also in government reports and publications from international organizations.”

    so perhaps eliminating it entirely from the mix in all reports isn’t the best idea.

    On expressing confidence levels…

    This also applies to using qualitative weak terms like “very likely” towards characterizing human-induced warming. Dr. Andrew Lacis covered this recently…

    “My earlier criticism had been that the IPCC AR4 report was equivocating in not stating clearly and forcefully enough that human-induced warming of the climate system is established fact, and not something to be labeled as “very likely” at the 90 percent probability level. ”


    On communication, they make a very important point…

    “Developing an effective communications strategy. In the wake of errors discovered in the Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC has come under severe criticism for the manner in which it has communicated with the media. The lack of an ongoing media-relations capacity and comprehensive communications strategy has unnecessarily placed the IPCC’s reputation at risk and contributed to a decline in public trust of climate science.”

    The IPCC is ill-equipped to handle a barrage of politically-motivated attacks. While they alone cannot deter a concerted series of attacks from various groups and media anymore than the White House can, having a better communications strategy would certainly help prevent molehills from turning into mountains. I hope they will have the funding to strengthen their communications organization.

    A small issue with the ClimateCentral summary:

    “and to let dissenting views be reflected more fully in the finished product. ”

    The report doesn’t exactly say that. I mean, views like “CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas”, “the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist”, “the Earth is flat” are not likely to be reflected in the finished product, with or without new guidelines. As the recommendation noted:

    “Recommendation: The IPCC should encourage Review Editors to fully exercise their authority to ensure that reviewers’ comments are adequately considered by the authors and that genuine controversies are adequately reflected in the report.”

    “Genuine controversies” is key. Some of the stuff that comes out of review is hogwash, not supported by any published material or cogent argument. With something like 90,000 comments, that’s to be expected. The panel recommends that authors better document responses to comments. At the same time, the panel recommends reducing the burden placed on the contributors, which seems in contradiction to this.

  3. Marco Says:

    Harry, that “57% gray literature” included prior IPCC reports, books, government reports, NGO reports, IAEA reports, IEA reports, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Tell me, where do you think the IPCC get their data about e.g. energy use per capita? That’s right, from organisations like the Dutch CBS (but probably not even directly from that source, but through the IEA).

    Very irrelevant information, surely…

  4. Bart Says:


    Very good points.

  5. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Gavin’s answer in the RC thread you linked to above was nonsensical, in that it didn’t answer the point made about assigning high confidence to things with LITTLE evidence – scroll down and he answers it better in comment 70 in response to my question.

    Imho, the IPCC is certainly at fault of using language that lends itself to exaggeration and unmerited over-certainty, and the example he draws from the IAC report is a good one.

    I don’t agree with the media relations point. Taking glaciergate as an example, the issue was not that Pachauri failed to respond (and he is good with media), it was that he denied the possibility of error, and indeed insulted those who queried the 2035 claim.

    You may say if you had a powerful head of media, he would deflect the issue until they could find out the rights and wrongs, but Pachauri could have done that perfectly well, he ain’t no fool.

    I think many ‘warmists’ (a term I use affectionately) seem to believe that it’s only poor presentation, and lack of weapons to fight the oil-funded denialist machine that has caused a weakening in public perception and Copenhagen etc. It isn’t – it’s a perception that uncertainty is being denied, the cost of mitigation is immense, and the cost of adaptation, a local cost, may be not only the only answer, but not a bad one, at least until the uncertainties are reduced.

    It’s also a very strong perception that scientists are not just advocates, but fully interested in policy response, which, imho, they shouldn’t be. I have no interest in what Michael Mann or Hansen’s views on cap and trade or any other mitigation response should be, as I am fairly certain they know less about energy economics than I do, and that’s saying something.

    That last para is a bit OT, but not wholly, given the Summary for Policymakers.

  6. Marco Says:

    Roddy, Pachauri did NOT insult those that attacked the 2035 claim.

    I know you will point out the “voodoo science” claim, but anyone who read the report that Pachauri called “voodoo science” will note that 2035 is NOT mentioned in that report at all! Nor when the Himalayan glaciers would be melted. What that report does do is say “Some glaciers melting, but global warming has nothing to do with that”. The evidence? Nothing but a narrative. There is not one single part of the report where climate data is taken into account, and hence the conclusion is based on absolutely nothing.

  7. Paul Kelly Says:

    Is it worth discussing whether there is any necessity for the IPCC’s continued existence?

  8. cynicus Says:

    Paul, howcome should that be discussed? Is climate change/global warming suddenly not happening anymore?

  9. harry Says:


    I know, I went through the 14.000 refs. And I do know that the use of some sources is neccesary. But please do not pretend that it is all peer reviewed, as was one of the requirements of the IPCC. They would only use grey literature when it would meet their high standards. And it turns out that they did not withhold this high standard. Like it or not, it is a fact. Swallow.

  10. dhogaza Says:

    But please do not pretend that it is all peer reviewed, as was one of the requirements of the IPCC.

    No, it was not.

  11. dhogaza Says:

    Harry, MarkB already documented that your claim regarding grey literature is false.

    Why did you make it?

  12. harry Says:


    because it was the claim that the IPCC did issue.

    I am not making things up, you are. I am pretty sure you did not read the IPCC report and analyse al of its 14.00 citations.

    I did.

  13. harry Says:

    And I do not give a damn for any answer originating from Real Climate. My imagination is much more than the blatherings you can read there. I will not go to RC, even when forced with a loaded gun on my head. I prefer to be dead, rather than visit RC.

  14. Paul Kelly Says:


    The IPCC was formed to give governments an assessment of the causes and extent of observed global warming and a consensus on possible future climate changes and impacts. It has produced four of these assessments over several decades. The IPCC is no longer necessary because it has already completed it’s function. What additional information is needed by governments?

  15. Marco Says:

    Paul: regional impacts. It’s the big one, as several countries are already using it to say “well, no need for us to mitigate, global warming will be good for us” (Medvedev did last year, but not this year…).

    Harry: Yes, you are one of those that marked IPCC reports as “not peer reviewed”. And note that “gray literature” does NOT equal “not peer reviewed”. You may want to look up “gray literature”, Wikipedia is a reasonable starting point in this case, but be sure to check the sources.

  16. JvdLaan Says:

    Harry, your blathering about RC says more about you than RC. Maybe you should read something about the Dunning-Kruger effect.
    Here in English and here in Dutch. It sooo applies to you.
    Moreover, the claim you have checked 14.000 references makes you a either liar or at least somebody who is living in it’s own fantasy world. Or in a world of denial.

  17. Paul Kelly Says:

    What information on regional impacts don’t governments already have from AR4? Better put, what additional information is needed to convince them. That assumes, wrongly, that they are not already convinced. They are. In the US, the President, Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader all are firmly climate concerned.

  18. Bart Says:


    Please stop the spam-like style of commenting, or I’ll put you on moderation.

    IPCC does allow the use of grey literature under certain conditions. (some discussion by Stoat)

  19. Bart Says:

    Paul Kelly,

    Interesting point. I would agree that lack of knowledge is not what’s holding the world back to tackle this problem, so more knowledge is not going to have much of an effect in getting us started. The weird thing is that some people argue the exact opposite: That lack of knowledge is (or should be) holding us back in doing something about this problem. They seem to be (ab-)using scientific uncertainty as an alibi for doing nothing, whereas from where I’m sitting, we already know more than we need to know to at least get started.

    “If you jump out of an airplane you need a crude parachute more than an accurate altimeter.”

    Herman Daly.

    Science is not static; it evolves. Scientific assessments reflect the current state of the knowledge, and for an area where that knowledge is relevant (though admittedly not a limiting factor) continuous scientific assessments make sense.

  20. cynicus Says:

    Paul, I agree with Bart’s reasoning that a periodic assessment of current scientific state is continued to be necessary, even though much of the science is already robust enough to warrant immediate action.

    Harry, it looks like you’re chasing a red herring going through all the references in the WGII and WGIII reports looking for grey literature. Grey literature is specifically allowed in areas where peer reviewed literature is not or insufficient available, Bart has provided the necessary links on that.

    It looks like your tedious work going through all the references looking for grey literature was actually a waste of time (if you really did it).

    Although it is now established that grey literature was specifically allowed, it would be a good idea to try to improve the way grey literature is used in the next report as it would provide less fodder for sceptics (and you personally proved this fodder really exist), which -oh wonder- is just what the commission has recommended.

    Best hopes for an even better AR5 report…

  21. Scott Mandia Says:

    Contrary to the belief by many non-scientists, scientists for the most part highlight uncertainty and are very conservative in their statements. So much so that they can sometimes come across as being unsure of something that they are actually quite confident. The IPCC reports are a good example of this. They are in no way “alarmist” as some would claim. Quite the contrary.

    My position is that scientists need to highlight the certainties when speaking to the general public and need to discuss publicly what they feel privately. Essentially, we need more Dr. Hansens if we are to save our way of life and the survival of many of the poorest people and the ecosystems we all depend upon.

    The S. Fred Singers, Marc Maranos, Frank Luntzs, and the conservative “think tanks” have been using this uncertainty language against science for years and have been quite successful.

  22. Roddy Campbell Says:

    ‘Essentially we need more Dr Hansens….’. Dear Lord above.

  23. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Marco re Pachauri voodoo – you’re quite right, his voodoo comment was directed at the Indian gvt report, my error. Did you read that report from the Indian government? I did.

    Scott, how do you handle the IAC criticism that the IPCC have assigned high confidence to statements with little evidence, effectively diminishing uncertainty that they should not, and that each time they do that it is always on the ‘alarmist’ side, also a criticism of the Dutch government?

    To say that the IPCC reports are the contrary of alarmist I suppose depends where you stand on alarm to start with. From where I stand they are alarmist. From the position of someone who wants to clone Hansen I quite see they might appear conservative.

  24. Marco Says:

    Yes, Roddy, I read the report. That’s why I could understand Pachauri’s remark: “I didn’t look at climate data at all, but really, no evidence global warming is melting the glaciers, because, you know, some glaciers melt, others don’t”.

    I also wonder whether you read the IAC report, since I can’t find any reference to “each time they do that it is always on the ‘alarmist’ side”. The IAC reports is unimpressed with the way the confidence and likelihood scales are used (and rightfully so), uses some examples to show this, but does not claim it always goes one way. The Dutch government did not make that claim either (nor did the PBL). The PBL did note that the WG2 summary focused mostly on the most important negative impacts, rather than all potential impacts.

    Finally: realclimate has a good example of the conservative nature of the IPCC report: rising sea levels. In AR4, glacier/ice dynamics were *deliberately* kept out of the calculation (because the magnitude is uncertain), but this means that the projected changes are likely(!) to be an underestimate. It is rather difficult to see how glacier and ice melt are to decrease, rather than increase, when one uses the climate model projections…

  25. Marco Says:

    “What information on regional impacts don’t governments already have from AR4?”

    The regional climate change is very poorly projected. There simply is too much model spread. In other words, if one model says +50% rain, and the other -50% rain, what do you adapt against? And perhaps that +50% rain is highly needed, so you don’t want to mitigate that much…

    “Better put, what additional information is needed to convince them.”

    Convincing is one issue, knowing what to do, and what you *can* do another.

    “That assumes, wrongly, that they are not already convinced. They are. In the US, the President, Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader all are firmly climate concerned.”

    Ah yes, very concerned. Not doing much, but concerned none the less. I know someone who started jogging to loose weight. Too bad he also increased his intake of cake and coke (as in the drink)…

  26. Scott Mandia Says:

    Marco just took the words right out of my mouth. I would never claim that the IPCC reports are 100% infallible because, after all, humans do write them. I agree that the WGII reports could have assigned confidence and evidence better than they did and that the three reports and chapters within did not follow an exact format.

    Studies related to WGII and III were much fewer in 2005. The next IPCC (AR5) in 2013 will have many more studies to draw upon and I, personally, am quite confident that the news is pretty alarming.

  27. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Marco again you’ve caught me out, loose sentence construction ….

    The IAC criticised use of high confidence sans evidence, as in the RC/Gavin example (in response to my comment) concerning the GDP impact of rising sea levels.

    My recollection is that the Dutch Parliament commissioned PBL report noted (your word) or criticised (my word) them for tending to emphasise worst case scenarios, and I think it’s fair to describe that as alarmist, although I’m happy with worst-case if you prefer. I do not recall whether they made two separate comments, one on worst case, and another on absence of balance, or whether they were rolled into one.

    My sentence conflated the two accidentally anyway.

    Re sea levels, my (very mean) understanding is that temperature is a factor greater than melt in terms of contributions to projected sea level rises?

    “I, personally, am quite confident that the news is pretty alarming.” – love it, I can hear the anticipation!

  28. Steven Sullivan Says:

    So on this thread, once again, we see ‘skeptics’ making wild/loose/strawman accusations that are being carefully debunked.

    Will it never end?

  29. Marco Says:

    Roddy, my apologies for picking on you, but at least you are one to acknowledge errors in your narrative.

    Re. WG2: I saw your comment on RC and Gavin’s response. The IAC indeed criticised the poor use of the confidence/likelihood statements, along with “unfalsifiable” claims. If I make a statement that I will die within 150 years, it’s highly likely to be true, and I can have high confidence even with limited evidence. But it’s a rather broad statement with little use…
    However, my criticism to you was that this critique did not state the statements were “on the alarmist side (only)”.

    The PBL report is a bit different, in that it solely looked at supposedly incorrect statements/criticisms as reported by ‘the public’. It noted that: “the investigated summary conclusions tend to single out the most important negative impacts of climate change. Although this approach was agreed to by the IPCC governments for the Fourth Assessment Report, the PBL recommends that the full spectrum of regional impacts is summarised for the Fifth Assessment Report, including the uncertainties.”
    Not “worst case”, but “most important negative impacts”. A subtly different issue…

    Sea levels: well, at this particular moment melt is more important contribution than temperature. In the short term (i.e., next 100 years) temperature may be overall more important, but that’s all based on linear ice melt projections. Not likely. On the long term (i.e. 1000 years), ice melt contribution likely by far exceeds any sea level increase due to temperature. As in several meters.

  30. Scott Mandia Says:

    I wonder how many skeptics have actually read through the entire WGII report? This report, for the most part, rarely appears to be very confident in its assessments mostly due to the low number of studies. Studies are on the increase since AR4 so WGII chapters will be stronger in AR5. Having said that, there is little room for optimism when reading AR4 WGII.

  31. Paul Kelly Says:

    There’s a difference between the usefulness of continued impacts research and the usefulness of the IPCC.

  32. harry Says:


    I have a completely different view of peer review.

    As has occurred in AR4, several lead editors have actually been the peer reviewers of their own work, inserting text and references after the closure date for references to be included, and inserting remarks that have not been seen by the first and second round of review. As such it cannot be peer reviewed, it is rather peer edited. The editing track of WG 3 is clear the tracks of WG1 and WG2 are a lot more complicated to follow. This is not transparancy, it is a modern form of hiding. I challenge you all to find where the CO2 lifetime is defined in the AR4 report.

    And for you who do want to call me a liar: I did go through the refs. I also read the damn thing. And I know that a certain amount of grey literature is permitted, but I think 59% is a bit off, don’t you agree?

    Furthermore, IPCC rules state that the use of grey lit. should be restricted to the minimum, and that all referred papers should be available at the IPCC site. Only working group 3 did this, the others, (when I last checked) did not.

    And correct me if I am wrong, but my impression is that the content of the IPCC AR4 is rather single sided view on climate. And that is on content, of which the IAC report did not touch. They only ask for the inclusion of divergating opinions/views in order to increase the coverage and width of the reports.

    And you think those are minor omissions?

    Please allow me to have very different idea.

    Moreover, the claim you have checked 14.000 references makes you a either liar or at least somebody who is living in it’s own fantasy world. Or in a world of denial.

    Could you elaborate on this? Its essence escapes my humble mind. Either or or is a very complicated logical construction, which has conflicting results.

  33. harry Says:


    Dunning-Kruger? Ik heb me de ballen uit mijn broek gelachen!

    Kijk morgen eens goed in de spiegel en schat je eigen kunnen dan nog maar eens in. Bedenk dat je met het scheren wellicht 75% van je intellect wegmaait;))))

    Als je echt niets beters meer hebt dan dit soort crypto ad-homs, ga dan ergens anders spelen. Kleuter.

    Sorry Bart.

  34. harry Says:


    When I am advised to go and look for information on Dunning-Kruger, because he says so on this thread:

    “JvdLaan Says:
    September 3, 2010 at 08:48

    Harry, your blathering about RC says more about you than RC. Maybe you should read something about the Dunning-Kruger effect.
    Here in English and here in Dutch. It sooo applies to you.”

    I can not avoid the impression that he is accusing me of being ignorant and/or suffering from this abberation.

    I would call this an ad hominem attack using a disease to paint me into a corner from which I do not have any right to speak up against him. In other words, he silences me for the things that I say, using a not diagnosed mental abberation. In other words, I am a luny who should not be paid due attention, since he cannot help being more knowleadgeable.

    I hope will not agree with this scheme.

    But I still am laughing. What a jerk.

  35. Marco Says:

    Harry, I already told you to look up “gray literature”. Your little citizen audits has, without telling anyone, redefined “gray literature”. Scientific books are NOT gray literature, to name but one example. And with all your complaints about the way the IPCC reports were peer reviewed, you complain about things that have nothing to do with peer review!

  36. JvdLaan Says:

    Whining about ad hominems is often the last resort. Your use of strong language, either in Dutch or English says all about you. The DK-effect still very much applies to you, it is a textbook example.

    And saying you have checked 14.000 references is least to say quite extraordinary. It would take a serious person months to even years, and I would have reasons to doubt the quality of the review even more.

    As Eli said it earlier, you remind me more of a clown – a sad one – than any serious person.

  37. harry Says:


    You can not stop with ridiculing, can’t you? My last resort is certainly not the whining about the ad hominems.
    As I pointed out, your remarks made me laugh. I thank you for that. I have the impression that you are the clown, regarding your unique talent to make me laugh.

    Have you read the IPCC AR4 report? Have you read the IAC report? I get a strong feeling from a clown that he is only joking. For the DK-effect to be present, I would have to assume that you have a more thorough knowledge about the report than I could have. At this moment, I assume that you do not even know where to find find it, let alone have read it.

    And as for strong language, ascribing pathological psychological conditions to people with whom you disagree is pathological in itself. History can provide you with numerous examples. (No Godwin today).

    But really, you made my day. Thanks! Keep up the good work!

  38. harry Says:


    What would you then define as peer review?

    My personal impression is that the sometimes almost incestuous way of the IPCC review is absolutely not qualifying for peer review. Have you personally checked any review tracks of the IPCC AR4? I have done so, several, and they do not look pretty. I know books can be peer reviewed. But it is almost impossible to find how they have been reviewed. I have published several scientific book chapters myself, I have reviewed several of them, and I know from the inside that there is a hughe difference between the various books. Very often there is only one reviewer per chapter, who does not neccessary has to be an expert on that matter. More often they are not, but have an honorary task to perform.

    A review process , comparable to that in IPCC AR4, where a lead author can decide to ignore all review comments, add text ad libitum after the review process, add refs ad libitum of publications which were published after the last date for the admission of papers, can delete material after the review, all this without anyone noticing, would that process qualify as being peer reviewed?

    I still stand by my term: peer-edited.

    Marco, please illuminate me.

  39. harry Says:


    replied on the wrong thread:


    The Citizen review was not little, as you are trying to belittle it. It is at this moment referred to in peer-reviewed literature. And it still has not been shown to be faulty, on the contrary.

    But one can always dream on.

  40. Marco Says:

    If you have experience with the process, you should know yourself what peer review is. Book chapters are read and commented on by peer reviewers on many occasions. In my field they ARE experts in the field. Often being of a review-type, they hardly ever contain anything that is controversial, so that’s the biggest thing that makes book reviews different from that of journal articles (but not of reviews in journals!). The IPCC reviews are not that much different either. There is ample opportunity in reviews of journal articles to ignore certain reviewer comments, to add quotes, to add references, etc etc.

    And yes, the citizen review was “little”, as it redefined peer review (“published in journals”) and didn’t make any effort (absolutely NONE) to determine whether the papers, books, reports, etc were actually peer reviewed. If anyone in the peer-reviewed literature cites it positively, it tells you something about the quality of the peer review process in that case: poor. I’m still laughing at Donna Laframboise questioning PNAS as a legitimate journal (and her current attempt to claim plagiarism in the IPCC report, when it directly cites the source…).

  41. JvdLaan Says:

    And as for strong language, ascribing pathological psychological conditions to people with whom you disagree is pathological in itself. History can provide you with numerous examples. (No Godwin today).

    Again Harry, even more now you are showing what it is. You think it is a pathological psychological condition, but it is just a phenomenon. Obviously, you did not read either, or simply understand.

    And your continuous use of strong language and tough-boy-talk like I will not go to RC, even when forced with a loaded gun on my head. I prefer to be dead, rather than visit RC. shows you’re not someone to be taken seriously.

    Moreover claiming you have read it all, but subsequently showing you have not understand it will not help you either, but contributes again and again to the DK-effect.

  42. harry Says:


    You are obviously the expert on DK, so I will rest my case. I can live with the diagnosis of DK, worse has happened to me.

    But I disagree with the strategy of assigning a “phenomenon” onto someone with whom one disagrees to lessen the value of their comments. I have not read a single reaction on all other comments I have made on this blog. Tell me where the half-life time of CO2 is defined in IPCC AR4?

    And why don’t you just assume that I actually read it? I have read much more.

    And why do you think I want to be taken seriously? Because you want to? I believe that 75% of what you state is factually false. That leaves 25% to be taken seriuosly. With 99% of that portion I disagree. That leaves very liitle useful information for me.

  43. harry Says:


    You are completely free to think what you like. Only ridiculing and belitteling will not make problems go away. Maybe you should discuss with JvdLaan, who seems to be an expert on mental conditions.

    But for a change, could you indicate what you are doing personally to reduce your CO2 footprint? Since I get the impression that that is actually the parameter by which we will be scrutinized before our Creator.

  44. Brian H Says:

    Suppression of data and algorithms would never have happened if the standards specified in the recommendations had been followed. And AGW would still be in the category of “speculation”, hoping to become a real science “hypothesis”.

    And failing miserably.

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