IPCC references – I’m checking them out

I did it!

I signed up to be a part of the group of ordinary citizens which does some due diligence on the IPCC 4th report’s references!

We’ve been bombarded with assertions that the IPCC review is based on ‘solid, scientific studies which were published in reputable scientific journals after undergoing a thorough peer-review which ensured only ‘sound’ science gets published.


Yet, it is exactly this claim that the IPCC review is using peer-reviewed (peer-review is ‘quality control’ in scientific studies) – and therefore high-quality and somehow ‘unassailable’ scientific studies – it is this claim that is being widely used as a shield to any criticism of the report and the political policies it is attempting to mandate.  In short, the IPCC ‘crowd’ is deriving the authoritativeness of their report from the claim they used peer-reviewed science!

And – even after their earlier predictions have clearly not come true (their own top scientists have testified that there has been NO statistically significant WARMING in the last 14 years – and the total warmingfrom 150 years ago to-date just over 1/2 degree Celsius:  well within the ‘noise’ one would expect due to natural variation) and every respectable scientist would admit their hypothesis is faulty, these people are still claiming that the IPCC report is accurate ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and that we should all approve shady schemes which will make them rich!

So, we are checking nothing but the veracity of this claim – just how much of the report is based on solid science and how much is based on ‘gray literature’ !

Volunteers who sign up  each take a chapter and see which references are actually peer-reviewed scientific studies.  Each chapter’s references will be reviewed by at least 3 different volunteers, to minimize errors….and if there is any doubt as to the count of ‘peer-reviewed’ versus ‘other’ references, the number most favourable to the IPCC will be used.

And, we’re not even digging into the whole ‘pal-review’ instead of ‘peer review’ – all we are ‘tagging’ are references to government policy reports, WWF publications (yes, I HAVE come across one of these in the first 100 references I checked), random websites (yes, I saw one of them, too), self-references, EU or UN press releases, various government policy statements (yes, I saw many of these, too), and so on.

This project is not ‘examining the validity of the science’ – that is complex and people who are imminently qualified are already doing a great job doing that.

Nor are we taking a look at ‘what studies were included’ versus ‘what studies were available’.  That is, we are not checking if the report is based on ‘cherry-picked’ studies – ones that only show one side of the issue – also a very important factor which could be a source of a bias.

No – not going there.

In other words, we are not auditing the science in the IPCC report.

Instead, we are testing the assertion – nay, claim! – that the IPCC report is based on peer-reviewed, scientific studies published in reputable scientific journals!

That is all!

Still, it is a big task:  the chapter I am checking has over 600 references…. it takes time to check them!

But, it is a little ‘walk-on-part’ in this war of scientific skepticism against politicized subversion of science….and that is important.

Once the good folks (Donna and her helpers) from NOconsensus.org get all the well documented results and meld them together, they will let us know just how much the IPCC report is based on scientific studies vs. ‘gray literature’!

Stay tuned….