In “Peer Review? What Peer Review?” McLean writes, “The IPCC would have us believe that its reports are diligently reviewed by many hundreds of scientists and that these reviewers endorse the contents of the report. Analyses of reviewer comments show a very different and disturbing story.”
In Chapter 9, the key science chapter, the IPCC concludes that “it is very highly likely that greenhouse gas forcing has been the dominant cause of the observed global warming over the last 50 years”. The IPCC leads us to believe that this statement is very much supported by the majority of reviewers. The reality is that there is surprisingly little explicit support for this key notion. Among the 23 independent reviewers just 4 explicitly endorsed the chapter with its hypothesis, and one other endorsed only a specific section.
Moreover, only 62 of the IPCC’s 308 reviewers commented on this chapter at all. As with other chapters, simple corrections, requests for clarifications or refinements to the text which did not challenge the IPCC’s conclusions are generally treated favourably, but comments which dispute the IPCC’s claims or their certainty are treated with far less indulgence.
In a related finding, McLean observes, “The dominance of research presupposing a human influence also means that the IPCC editing teams are likely to consist of people predisposed to view the situation in that light.”
Adds McLean, “The problems continue into the authorship of these reports. According to IPCC documents, scientists are nominated by governments or explicitly invited by scientists already associated with the IPCC. What a wonderful way to position scientists who support a government agenda on climate and then fill out the IPCC with like-minded individuals.”
Concludes McLean, “The IPCC reports appear to be largely based on a consensus of scientific papers, but those papers are the product of research for which the funding is strongly influenced by previous IPCC reports. This makes the claim of a human influence self-perpetuating and for a corruption of the normal scientific process.”
The full paper can be read at: (http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/peerreview.html)
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