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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Three Scientists Criticize IPCC, Pachauri's Leadership
25 January 2010 4:01 pm
The German magazine Der Spiegel has an op-ed today by climate researchers Richard Tol, Roger Pielke, and Hans von Storch criticizing a range of procedures at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and its head, Rajendra Pachauri. The three have criticized the body in the past, but this call for reform, which will be published in English tomorrow (here), is probably their most strident yet.
"Without deep-reaching institutional reform, the IPCC and climate science as a whole are threatened with more than bad press. They risk their credibility and the acceptance of the people," write the researchers. The authors criticize Pachauri for what they call his political pronouncements—calling for carbon dioxide levels of no more than 350 parts per million, for example, or recommending that people eat less meat—as well as his handling of the leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia.
The latest debate over a mistake in projections that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 is "not an isolated case," the authors write, and while mistakes are unavoidable, Pachauri has failed to implement a system that would catch and correct them.
There's no erratum policy, no stated conflicts-of-interest policy, and no transparent vetting of participants, they say. "Climate politics is important. The IPCC is also important. This importance requires a reform—before the reputation of climate science is irreparably damaged." Should Pachauri step down? "It's not really about him. It's an institutional failing," Pielke told ScienceInsider.
To come soon: an exclusive interview with Pachauri.