TORONTO — 21 of 44 chapters in the United Nations’ Nobel-winning climate bible earned an F on a report card released today. Forty citizen auditors from 12 countries examined 18,500 sources cited in the report – finding 5,600 to be not peer-reviewed.
Contrary to statements by the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the celebrated 2007 report does not rely solely on research published in reputable scientific journals. It also cites press releases, newspaper and magazine clippings, student theses, newsletters, discussion papers, and literature published by green advocacy groups. Such material is often called “grey literature.”
“We’ve been told this report is the gold standard,” says Canadian blogger Donna Laframboise, who organized the online crowdsourcing effort to examine the references. “We’ve been told it’s 100 percent peer-reviewed science. But thousands of sources cited by this report have been nowhere near a scientific journal.”
Based on the grading system used in US schools, 21 chapters in the IPCC report receive an F (they cite peer-reviewed sources less than 60% of the time), 4 chapters get a D, and 6 get a C. There are also 5 Bs and 8 As.
In November, IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri disparaged non-peer-reviewed research in an interview with the Times of India (see the end of the article):
IPCC studies only peer-review science. Let someone publish the data in a decent credible publication. I am sure IPCC would then accept it, otherwise we can just throw it into the dustbin.
THE CITIZEN AUDIT REPORT IS HERE