Does the IPCC report provide an accurate account of global warming?


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) officially released its Fourth Assessment report (AR4) in November 2007, although, curiously, the Working Group I Summary for Policymakers was released in February 2007.

The report has the following complicated and confusing structure:

There is much duplication or near-duplication between SYR, WG1 and the SPMs.

The list of authors of the report can be found here.  The authors were carefully selected to avoid including any scientists with doubts about man-made global warming.

Rather than presenting an accurate and objective account of the science, AR4 gives a distorted, exaggerated, misleading, biased and often erroneous picture. Examples of these distortions are listed here. The focus here is on the WGI report, since if this fails, the other working groups become irrelevant. A number of common themes emerge, including:

  • A frequent trick is to employ two different data measurement systems, that give different results, and to use this difference to create the false impression that global warming is accelerating or worse than previously thought.
  • Research that supports the alarmist agenda (often by IPCC authors) is highlighted, while work that does not support the agenda is either ignored completely, or misrepresented, or criticized.
  • Many of the most misleading statements were inserted into the report at the last minute, after the scientific reviewers had commented on earlier drafts, and so were not subject to review.
List of distortions, exaggerations and errors in IPCC AR4.

WGI Reviewer comments

A useful source of information about the compilation of the report and the workings of the IPCC is the draft versions of the report and reviewer comments. The IPCC was forced to make these available at the end of June 2007 following a number of Freedom of Information requests.  The reviewers included scientists and government representatives. The timings for the drafts and comments for the main body of WGI are:

August 2005 - first draft produced
November 2005 - comments on first draft
February 2006 - second draft produced
August 2006 - comments on second draft

However, for the WGI SPM it is different:

April 2006 - second draft produced
August 2006 - comments on second draft
October 2006 - Final draft produced
January 2007 - comments on final draft, by Governments only

WGII Reviewer comments

Reviewer comments for WGII and the earlier draft versions of the report on which these were based can be found here.

WGIII Reviewer comments

Reviewer comments and draft versions for WGIII can be found here.