What's an "IPCC Expert Reviewer?"

Thu, 2007-01-11 14:32Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

What's an "IPCC Expert Reviewer?"

A lot of climate change deniers like to tout the fact that they were an “Expert Reviewer” for the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and a few DeSmog readers have been asking what exactly if takes to become an “Expert Reviewer.” Well, thanks to our friend Tim Lambert at Deltoid Blog it turns out that an “Expert Reviewer” really isn't as exciting and not nearly as prestigous as it sounds. Tim writes:

“Expert reviewer for the IPCC” doesn't mean that they asked him to review material – all it means is that he asked to see the draft report. The only real requirement to be a reviewer is to sign an agreement not to publicly comment on the draft.”

I have confirmed this with one of the authors of the updated IPPC report.

Previous Comments

Here’s a bit of info “straight from the horse’s mouth” regarding the qualifications one must meet to become an “expert reviewer.

(from http://www.ieagreen.org.uk/nov69.html – emphasis added )

The IPCC Special Report on carbon dioxide capture and storage is looking for Expert Reviewers to review the First-Order-Draft. Registering as an Expert Reviewer is without obligation and means that the First-Order-Draft will be circulated to you on 1st March 2004, along with a form for comments. Approximately two months are available for the Expert Review phase. The IPCC requests its reviewers to be attentive and very critical towards eventual biases in the Report, towards redundancies and towards factual errors or assumptions. You will also be requested to give comments of a more general nature. You yourself determine how much time to spend, as the registration does not oblige you to do anything.

Wow. At first this might seem like just another head-shaker, but it needs to be cleared up, if these are essentially false claims. When some contrarians referred to themselves as IPCC Reviewers, I assumed that they had been chosen to receive the draft, based on some title or perceived experience that made them seem likely to be qualified (I have to get over this personal fault of assuming the best about a person’s claims, in all but the craziest cases). By the way, even being asked doesn’t say much; some Editors have asked me to review manuscripts or reports that I am only barely qualified to judge. If it turns out that some people have implied that their self-declared IPCC Reviewer status implied recognition and/or merit, then this should exposed. People outside of science might not realize how tacky this is. Roughly equivalent sins would include submitting an unsolicited article to a newspaper and then referring to it as an “invited” article, or offering to make comments at a meeting and then putting “Invited Speaker” in one’s resume. Pretending to have been recognized is mainly a personality disorder, or at best in the realm of buffoonery, but of course the falsehood becomes more serious when used as evidence for the validity of views, especially on such an important issue. That is a non-trivial integrity issue.

Kevin,

The IPCC came up with this terminology. I think that it is silly for anyone to claim to be any sort of reviewer unless they submit a well thought out comment to the IPCC. I reviewed the Fourth AR second order draft last year, but I did not submit a comment. I certainly do not refer to myself as an “expert reviewer” of the 4th AR.

The IPCC does have other levels of review in addition to public comment, which is the review to which Tim Lambert was referring.

I would like to know more about this situation of expert reviewer. Unfortunately, Tim Lambert at Deltoid is so hopelessly biased that I would not form an opinion based on his information alone. I highly doubt the IPCC hands out draft reports to anyone who asks regardless of qualifications. Regards,

That is not unusual in large projects. Besides, is this language in this open invitation below not clear enough to understand?? http://www.gcrio.org/ipccform/main.html
I would recommend ignoring that denialist.
Thanks. Now I remember. This could be the source of that claim no real climatologist who believes in AGW would refer to “deniers”. Do people just make these statements up??
To reiterate, if you want to see what real climatologists say, read this news article written by climatologists (the kind with experience, research and results), giving their opinions about deniers:

http://www.brandonu.ca/academic/environmental/images/Free_Press_May2006....

begin quote

Winnipeg Free Press Friday, May 19th, 2006

Awash in evidence, global warming deniers continue to deceive the public

Thursday, May 18th, 2006 By Dr. Danny Blair, Dr. David R. Greenwood and Dr. John Hanesiak

“Mark Twain said “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.” It sure ain’t. It also seems to be flowing closer to home in the editorial (Reasonable approach, May 11) and the comment article by Tim Ball (Who should we believe on the climate file, May 10) questioning the veracity of evidence global warming is being caused by humans and their greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, within recent weeks the very small but vocal community of Canadian global warming deniers seems to have kicked into frothing-at-the-mouth media mode, trying to ride piggy-back on the distressing news coming out of Ottawa – that the Harper Conservative government is making extensive cuts to federally funded climate change programs and re-evaluating our country’s involvement in the Kyoto Protocol. The arguments used to defend these actions are old, tired and usually just plain wrong. The deniers often claim that there isn’t a scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions originating from human activities are driving the warming. But there most certainly is a consensus. …” see whole article … © 2006 Winnipeg Free Press. end quote

Aaronm, I would recommend you at least understand the term denialist (and it’s offensive Holocaust connotations) instead of throwing it around indisciminately and without any knowledge on your part.

Get real kiddo. ;) Regards,

You must be utterly aghast that a google search on “denialist” doesn’t pull up a holocaust mention in the top 20 results. That anti-semitic stunt sure is getting tired.

“That anti-semitic stunt sure is getting tired.”

So why do you insist on using it?

To feign innocence of what the term denialist links to and the ugly connotations it brings forth leads me to believe you use it knowing fully well the unsavoury meaning it has. Regards,

Denialism, especially in science, has a long history going as far back as Copernicus and in modern times as far back as the 1800’s with creationism. Yes even before Darwin. You’re not convincing anybody that ‘denialism’ started with the holocost or that it relates specifically to historical denialsim. It’s a blatant and transparent propaganda technique.

Give it a rest.

Denialism has a much different frame of reference since the Holocaust of the 20th century. You know that yet insist it has no correlation whatsover.

It is specifically because of the Holocaust connotation that some environmentalists use that particular word. Propaganda? Oh yeah. Regards,

Take it up with Google.

Google? People who rely on Google as their sole source of information are not competent to comment on any subject. Is that you Aaronm? Regards,

Google is a better indicator of the popular use of a term like denialism then your personal (and biased) opinion. The insinuation that Google is my “sole source of information” is a baseless personal attack.

Google is a useful tool Aaronm, nothing more. Your over reliance on it for your information displays a lack of intellectual curiosity. Ever hear of a library? ;) Regards,

Your hasty generalization displays a lack of logic and civility. I could recommend some library books on the former but the latter is a skill that you should have learned in kindergarten.
Although there isn’t a *moral* equivalence between Holocaust deniers and GW deniers, the two groups are entirely *intellectually* equivalent in their “scholarship” and tactics. Both groups freely employ lies, distortions, and “cherry picking” tactics to make their cases. Neither group can possibly present a case for their respective positions that can withstand any knowledgeable level of scrutiny. GW deniers are *intellectually* equivalent to Holocaust deniers, and they are both *morally* and *intellectually* equivalent to creationists, moon-landing deniers, and homeopathy proponents.
The objection to the use of the term denier is the crude manner in which it is deliberately employed, in the attempt to silence valid debate. Those using the term tend to be climatic catastrophists; adhering to a doomsday environmental position not supported in any manner by the consensus of climate scientists. As such, those employing the term are the ones being intellectually and scientifically dishonest. Regards,

Paul, your opinion on these matters is as worthless as your opinions on Google (never heard of Google Scholar?). Why not give us some references, from a library no less, to back up your ridiculous statements.

Is Google paying you guys to flog their their product? If you lost your internet connection I fear your brains would immediately shut down.

Ian, making comments on the phenomenom of environmental activists misrepresenting the science of AGW to peddle stories of environmental apocalypse does not require references, only common sense. :) Regards,

That the holocaust carries more emotional weight does not invalidate the term nor it’s meaning. Political correct much?
de·ni·er 1 Pronunciation (d-nr) n. One that denies: a denier of harsh realities.

Nowhere does it mention the holocaust. I really don’t get the connection, are you in some way claiming that AaronM’s intent was to somehow compare a denier of global warming, to a denier of the holocaust?!

That is quite the leap of logic, and a caustic one at best, it is you Paul who should be ashamed of yourself for bringing the subject of the holocaust into this dialogue.

Keep your strange and wonderful little twists of logic to yourself. They just make you look immature and lacking intellect.
Here's the nomination form (MS Word Format) to become an AR4 Expert Reviewer.

Kevin, after reading the nomination form, it appears that indeed a person does have to be an expert, or at least an individual highly qualified in climate to gain access to the IPCC draft report. It is obvious they do not hand out this important information to just anyone. Regards,

It is a form for nominating lead authors as well as expert reviewers, so I don't know the extent to which each request for info applies to each level. As I mentioned in my original post, I talked to an IPCC author and he confirmed what Lambert said, that pretty much anyone can be an “expert reviewer” they just have to sign a confidentialty agreement.

This has also been my experience with other UN projects, where I have applied to be an “expert reviewer” in the area of health policy development. I guess maybe I should start signing my name with that title if I want to look really important.

Or you could just add ‘B. Eng. M. Eng. thermofluids’.
… If you are having a coffee as you fill it out…