Sunday, September 5, 2010

InterAcademy Council report is not negating the realities of Climate Change.

Soon after the InterAcademy Council published the report on August 30, 2010 on the process and procedure of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), skeptics found it a smart way of advocating their own agenda to divert people attention from urgency of action on climate change. I have gone through a same kind of an article which tries to blame IPCC and climate campaigners and put together a number of statements from the InterAcademy Council report, which a reader, who has less knowledge about climate science, would start believing that climate change is not real and people like Al Gore have their own interest in the climate game.

I am not a scientist, but having some sufficient background knowledge and some work experience as climate campaigner, at least I am not among those who would be impressed by the articles of such skeptics. The extreme events i.e. massive flooding in Pakistan and wildfires in Russia, are consistent with the climate models. Interestingly, the deniers’ efforts are following the same example of “Glass half empty”. In the case of criticism on fourth Assessment report-2007 by IPCC, here the glass is almost filled. Only the two errors coming out from the report doesn’t mean that climate change is not real. A good thing is the acceptance of IPCC on these two errors and an excellent thing is to invite InterAcademy Council to convene a committee to review the process and procedure of the IPCC so that IPCC could make more efforts to minimize the chances of errors in its future reports.

For me, learning and improving process is important for everyone, either for an individual or for an organization. The scientists and the staff in the IPCC are also human beings and nobody can be perfect. The important thing is to learn from mistakes but not to deny it. I found it quite interesting that the argument of deniers on the basis of InterAcademy Council report are still based on the those errors which the IPCC has already accepted. I didn’t find anything in the report which would say that Climate Change is not real. According to the Inter Academy Council report, The Committee found that the IPCC assessment process has been successful overall”. Similarly the committee mentioned about the IPCC that “More than a thousand volunteer scientists evaluate the available scientific, technological, and socioeconomic information on climate change, and draft and review the assessment reports. The thousands of scientists and government representatives who work on behalf of the IPCC in this non-traditional partnership are the major strength of the organization”

The major recommendations coming from the InterAcademy Council report is to improve the process and procedure, which I think is not a bad thing. Given, the advancements of technologies and interest of the audiences, definitely the innovation, efficiency and effectiveness are the indispensable characteristics to satisfy the needs of people. The IPCC should now evaluate the key findings of InterAcademy Council and decide where they need improvement in governance and management, review process, characterizing and communicating uncertainty, communication and transparency. The IPCC would definitively have its own say on the functioning of its three working groups on quantitative likelihood scale, quantitative confidence scale and the level-of-understanding scale in future reports, however, the evaluation by report will also help the IPCC to be more effective than before.

I wonder if the IPCC can accept its mistake on the two errors, out of the excellent work done on its fourth assessment report, then why don’t these skeptics accept their mistakes that they are committing by advocating the agenda that climate change is not real. IPCC assessment report is written on 2,823 pages, written by 1,325 authors and having the 17,969 unique sources. Only the two errors don’t mean that climate change is not real and that’s why the InterAcademy Council report mainly talks about further improving the process and procedure. It doesn’t say anything against the realities of Climate Change.

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