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30 Aug 2010: 'Fundamental' IPCC Reforms
Proposed by Independent Scientific Group

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) needs to fundamentally change its management structure, more carefully review the conclusions stated in its periodic reports, and more fully reflect the views of dissenting scientists, according to an independent report. The report, conducted by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) — an organization representing the World’s Science Academies — called for the creation of a full-time position of executive director, or senior scientist, to oversee the IPCC’s day-to-day operations and also said the part-time position of chairman should be limited to a term of one IPCC
Rajendra Pachauri
Getty Images
Rajendra Pachauri
assessment report — roughly six to seven years. The current chairman, Rajendra K. Pachauri, is serving two six-year terms, which the IAC said is too long. The IAC also said formal qualifications should be developed for the next chair and that the IPCC should draft conflict-of-interest policies for top officials and all authors and reviewers of IPCC reports. The IAC launched the review after the IPCC was criticized for errors in its Fourth Assessment Report, including an inaccurate statement, taken from a press report, that Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. The IAC review recommended that the IPCC carefully review and identify all material from non-peer reviewed literature, fully describe scientific controversies that arise during its reviews, more clearly reflect dissenting views, and use a probability scale to quantify the likelihood of particular events. Pachauri said he and the IPCC welcomed the recommendations in the report, which did not call into question the IPCC’s basic finding that human activity is warming the planet.

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