Who should we listen to for reliable climate-related information and advice?

May 16, 2007 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Climate change, Climate science, Hadley Centre, IPCC, Met Office, NCAR, NERC, NOAA, Royal Society, Science, Tyndall Centre, UCS | Leave a comment

This is an extract from a post I wrote on 6 February 2007.

Who should we listen to for reliable climate-related information and advice?

After watching An Inconvenient Truth, and reading the basics about global warming and the controversy on Wikipedia, I would dig deeper into the issues by discovering the names (starting with four letter acronyms) of recognised experts in this field, including:

  • The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
    • The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. The IPCC does not carry out research nor does it monitor climate related data or other relevant parameters. It bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature. Its role, organisation, participation and general procedures are laid down in the “Principles Governing IPCC Work“.
  • NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration)
    • NOAA individuals and technology made major contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) international climate science report, of which the summary of the first chapter was released in Paris. That summary, the Summary for Policy Makers, was subjected to line-by-line approval of the participating governments.
  • NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research)
  • NERC (Natural Environment Research Council)
    • NERC funds world-class science in universities and our own research centres that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. We are tackling the 21st century’s major environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards. We lead in providing independent research and training in the environmental sciences.
  • Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
    • The Tyndall Centre brings together scientists, economists, engineers and social scientists, who together are working to develop sustainable responses to climate change through trans-disciplinary research and dialogue on both a national and international level – not just within the research community, but also with business leaders, policy advisors, the media and the public in general.
  • Met Office Hadley Centre
    • whose scientists contribute to IPCC reports
  • the UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists)
    • whose research into the Atmosphere of Pressure includes recent investigations into political interference with climate science in America
  • The Royal Society
    • whose President, Martin Rees, made a three paragraph statement concluding:

We need both to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases and to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Those who would claim otherwise can no longer use science as a basis for their argument.

Then I would acknowledge the fact that all governments approved the latest IPCC Summary for Policymakers report line-by-line. That includes the governments of the United States, China and India. That agreement by all governments gives an undeniable credibility to each IPCC report as it is released.

In terms of scientific credibility of each IPCC report, there is nothing in any branch of science that comes anywhere near the level of detailed scrutiny and rigorous process as the IPCC work.

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