The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Elliott Negin,Media Director,

Forthcoming IPCC Independent Review is Welcome

Statements by Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy and Francesca Grifo, director of UCS's Scientific Integrity Program


Today's announcement by the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the InterAcademy Council
(IAC) will review the IPCC's "processes and procedures" for its science
assessments was welcomed by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

The IAC, an umbrella organization for national academies of science
around the world, is expected to publish its recommendations in August.
That will give the IPCC time to incorporate them before it begins work
on its Fifth Assessment Report, which is scheduled to come out in 2014.

"This is the right move," said Peter Frumhoff, UCS's director of
science and policy and a lead author of the 2007 IPCC report. "If this
independent review is carried out with rigor and transparency, it will
help strengthen the IPCC's commitment to robust scientific assessments
and restore public confidence that has been shaken by an aggressive
campaign to sow confusion about climate science."

Francesca Grifo, director of UCS's Scientific Integrity Program,
also applauded the announcement. "We rely on science to inform policy
because science is self-correcting," she said. "Good science depends on
an environment of openness and transparency that allows for input from
scientists with different viewpoints. The fact that the IAC is being
asked to review IPCC procedures for quality assurance and for handling
the full range of scientific views is a step forward."

The IPCC has come under fire in recent months for errors in its 2007
report. The IPCC today stressed that the small number of errors do not
undermine the 3000-page report's conclusion that the Earth's average
temperature is rising and human activity over the past 50 years is
largely responsible. A UCS review of the errors found that they were relatively minor. Additionally, a recent Science article provides a useful overview of the allegations against the IPCC.

UCS's Frumhoff pointed out peer-reviewed research published since 2007 indicates that human impacts on the Earth's climate are likely greater than what the IPCC estimated.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.