U.S. Scientists Propose New Procedures for U.N. Climate Panel

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More than 235 U.S. scientists, including some of the nation’s most prominent climate researchers, are recommending new procedures for the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including acknowledging errors on the organization’s website as soon as they are known.

In an open letter, the scientists, some of whom have contributed to IPCC reports, defend the quality and transparency of the panel’s research. But they suggest the IPCC should become more responsive in acknowledging mistakes and should publish an erratum online that corrects any errors discovered after publication.

The recent controversy surrounding mistakes in the group’s 2007 report caused a distraction in the climate debate, the letter says.

“Given the recent political and media commotion surrounding a few clear errors, it is now equally essential that we find ways to restore full trust in the integrity of the overwhelming majority of the climate change research and policy communities,” says the letter, whose original signers include Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, Cynthia Rosenzweig of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and Gary Yohe of Wesleyan University.

The letter can be found at www.openletterfromscientists.com.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo of Malaspina Glacier, Alaska: NASA Visible Earth

About Author

Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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