Last night (August 30) the IPCC said it welcomed the findings of the independent review by the InterAcademy Council an umbrella group for various national academies of science from around the world.

According to the report the process used by the IPCC to produce its periodic assessment reports has been successful overall, but it needs to ‘fundamentally reform its management structure’ and ‘strengthen its procedures’ to handle ever larger and increasingly complex climate assessments as well as the more intense public scrutiny.

“Operating under the public microscope the way IPCC does requires strong leadership, the continued and enthusiastic participation of distinguished scientists”, said Harold Shapiro, president emeritus and professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University in the United States and chair of the committee that wrote the report.

“An ability to adapt, and a commitment to openness if the value of these assessments to society is to be maintained.”

The review, which took nearly four-months, examined every aspect of how the IPCC’s periodic climate science assessments are prepared, including the use of non-peer reviewed literature and the reflection of diverse viewpoints.

The review also examined institutional aspects, including management functions as well as the panel’s procedures for communicating its findings to the public.

“The IPCC will be strengthened by this review and by others of its kind this year,” said its chairman Rajendra Pachauri.

“We already have the highest confidence in the science behind our assessments. We’re now pleased to receive recommendations on how to further strengthen our own policies and procedures.”

National governments, which form the IPCC, will study the review at a plenary in October, the 194 governments will determine what action to take then.

Six other independent reviews have looked at various aspects of climate science this year. Of those that examined the quality of the science itself, all of them found that the IPCC’s work had been carried out appropriately.

Mr Pachauri and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon jointly requested the IAC review in March 2010.

Read the full review by clicking here.

Luke Walsh

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