The IPCC: As good as it gets by Prof. Martin Parry

November 13, 2007 at 7:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

BBC NEWS Science/Nature section today:

The IPCC: As good as it gets

VIEWPOINT
By Professor Martin Parry
Co-chair, IPCC Working Group II

As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) puts the finishing touches to its final report of the year, two of its senior scientists look at what the panel is and how well it works. Here, a view from one of the leaders of its working group on climate change impacts.

You can also reach it via the BBC News front page bottom left corner, next to the ‘crocus in snow’:

FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS

AP Climate of truth
Why we should trust the IPCC’s real-world climate conclusions

*********************

(BTW, here’s a question aside to webdesigners I know: why does the BBC Search serve up these two articles below in this order when I search for this article by Martin Parry with these two key words that appear in the title?!

Page 1 of 32 pages for ipcc good

Sort by: Date | Relevance

No consensus on IPCC‘s level of ignorance

How well does the global climate panel work? A viewpoint from John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama.

97% relevance | 13 Nov 2007

The IPCC: As good as it gets

How well does the global climate panel work? A viewpoint from Professor Martin Parry, Co-chair of IPCC Working Group II.

97% relevance | 13 Nov 2007

and

Sort by: Date | Relevance

No consensus on IPCC‘s level of ignorance

How well does the global climate panel work? A viewpoint from John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama.

97% relevance | 13 Nov 2007

The IPCC: As good as it gets

How well does the global climate panel work? A viewpoint from Professor Martin Parry, Co-chair of IPCC Working Group II.

97% relevance | 13 Nov 2007

This strikes me as an odd search result, even though I know the Christy article is among the most read (typical). I think it might be that they each have 97% relevance (though that could be disputed!) and when relevance is equal, the next thing for the search to do is list alphabetically. These are pure guesses. I still think the article with pure IPCC (as opposed to IPCC’s) and the word ‘good‘ in the title should be more relevant.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Depends on the algorithm they use to determine relevance. On any given site, search facilities may be provided by a search engine (which work to their own rules), or built internally using the search facilities of the database software that runs it. Either way, 97% is only rounded to the nearest 1% for human readability (so the software itself may be looking at smaller increments), and database defaults may affect the final ordering.

    Typically, search engines use stuff like the position and frequency of the search terms in various levels of title (and emphasized text), and possibly the article’s popularity. For the big search engines, the exact details of their algorithms are too commercially-sensitive for them to reveal, and often change. So, predicting results is far from an exact science unless you happen to be in the team who wrote their latest algorithm – and interpreting them can be, too!

  2. Thanks, Hekai.
    .
    In that case, I shall recommend using Google ‘Search within site’, as in:

    ipcc good site:http://news.bbc.co.uk

    to myself and the kids 😉


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