About AccessIPCC

December 5, 2010: Please note that this page (originally published on May 21, 2010) has been updated to reflect the current state of FAR_OUT.

IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) – Accessible for All

Here’s what they say they do Here are questions that some have asked

The IPCC Process

  • is the review process as rigorous as claimed?
  • is all “peer-reviewed” literature treated equally?
  • does the IPCC follow its own rules and procedures?
  • how is research by lead authors or contributors vetted?
  • are reviewers provided with all material that is being cited?
  • how is material that has not been peer-reviewed handled?

Until today, getting answers to the above has proven to be both time-consuming and challenging.

Thanks to AccessIPCC – the product of extensive programming by Australia’s Peter B. – a few clicks of your mouse will help you find the answers to these questions, and more.

FAR_OUT (Fourth Assessment Report – Objectively, Uniformly Tagged) enables users to click a citation within the text of AR4, e.g. “(Jones P. et al, 2006)” – and immediately see not only the actual Reference, but also those which we have also “tagged” with additional potential concern(s) in accordance with criteria we have specified (and which at this point in time are preliminary and subject to change and refinement).

We have identified a number of key individuals involved in the Climategate emails whom we have designated as Persons of Concern [PoC]; a Journal in which a PoC has published has been designated as a Journal of Concern [Joc].

We caution that at this stage, FAR_OUT is not complete – and far from perfect; but we do believe that there are indications of areas of concern of which many unsuspecting readers of AR4 may be unaware.

Each annotated chapter also includes a summary of Reviewer Comments on the Second Order Draft which indicates the number and percentage of reviewer comments that can be unambiguously identifed as “Accepted” by the “Chapter Teams”.

Our intention is not to analyse the science endorsed and promoted by the IPCC, but rather to examine the extent to which the 4th Assessment Report lives up to its “advertising”.

You may be familiar with a recent Citizen Audit project, initiated and led by Canada’s Donna Laframboise. The sole purpose of the audit was to verify whether or not the “all peer reviewed” claim stood up to scrutiny. The actual audit – by which 3 individuals examined the references cited in each of the 44 chapters – determined that in 21 chapters, fewer than 60% of the References could be sourced to peer-reviewed journals.

At the same time, we conducted a parallel “computerized” audit, using the same criteria as the above project. The results were quite similar – and you can view them at http://tinyurl.com/citizenauditdata (an Excel spreadsheet housed on Googledocs).

AccessIPCC, takes this concept several steps further – in that the text in each chapter is annotated by information in a database, so that we are able to “tag” a citation in the text in accordance with a variety of parameters, as well as linking the citation to the actual Reference.

We are aware of other work that has been done, e.g. Dr. Roger Pielke Sr’s analysis of that which was omitted in AR 4’s Working Group 1 Chapter 3, as well as compilations of public statements by key people and our intention is to seek the appropriate permissions (as we have done with John Costella’s commentary on the Climategate emails in FAR_OUT’s companion database, with which FAR_OUT will eventually be directly linked) so as to link relevant names, and/or parts of the text to these additional dimensions.

This will permit members of the general public to determine for themselves whether the myth of IPCC infallibility is merited. It will also facilitate research on other quantitative and qualitative aspects of AR4.

This is not to suggest that we believe references cited in AR4 are necessarily flawed, but rather that, as Joseph Alcamo noted at Bali in October 2009, “as policymakers and the public begin to grasp the multi-billion dollar price tag for mitigating and adapting to climate change, we should expect a sharper questioning of the science behind climate policy”.

Site Contacts:

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) Hilary0001 at gmail.com
Peter B. pjb253 at gmail.com

8 Responses to About AccessIPCC

  1. John R T says:

    Hilary and Peter,

    Great work. Congratulations.

    Rec´d prompt:
    We’re sorry, moorescove at gmail.com does not have permission to access this spreadsheet.
    upon clicking several links. How do I access spreadsheets?.

    I am particularly interested in
    Thomson, A.M., R.A. Brown, N.J. Rosenberg, R.C. Izaurralde and R. Srinivasan, 2005 Clim. Change, 69 Even the editorial was peer reviewed.

    warmest regards, John

    • hro001 says:

      Hi John, Thanks … sorry we had forgotten to change the settings on the spreadsheet (there is only one, btw) so that anyone can view. This should now be OK. Please let me know if you are still having problems.


  2. Pingback: A Powerful New Research Tool « NoFrakkingConsensus

  3. Richard Tol says:

    Great stuff.

    Would be even better if you were to allow some form of crowdsourcing — linking, for instance, every author and every reference to a blog thread and voting system.

    I raise this because you focus on the Hockey Team. However, there are other suspects too. Bill Hare, for instance, is on the pay roll of Greenpeace.

    • hro001 says:

      Thanks Richard … and thanks for your lofty ambitions on our behalf :-) You seem to be suggesting a “wiki” of sorts and I think this may be a good idea for the future.

      In the meantime … It’s not that we’re focusing on the Hockey Team, and their relatively small circle of known associates; but rather that considering their involvement and prominence it seemed like a good place to start – using criteria that we believed would yield results that are “robust” and defensible.

      As Peter mentioned below, we should be able to widen the circle of PoCs (which will trickle down to the JoCs) once he has slain (a few more of) the dragons of IPCC inconsistency and completed his wizardry! We could also widen the circle (of PoCs and JoCs) by incorporating the known AR5 authors.

      But crowdsourcing [minus the voting … just the facts, no consensus called for] is an avenue I’d like to see us explore at some point in order to link the Reviewer Comments on the SOD to the final text.

  4. pjb253 says:

    Hi Richard, We have started processing the annexes that have more detail on author’s organisation and are starting to produce a hierarchy from Country thru Major Orgs, down thru their sub orgs. This might allow us to identify the NGOs and hence expand the criteria for PoC.

    Also starting to process the IAC Report so we can link into individual recommendations and show IPCC responses.

    • Note that some people cover their tracks. Bill Hare is on Greenpeace’s payroll, but detached to a research institute. Terry Barker works under the flag of Cambridge U, but that’s a part-time appointment only — most of his income is earned in consulting.

  5. Andrés says:

    Thanks, even bad books need good indexes!

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