Over the past couple months, story after story has emerged about shoddy references in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). While the IPCC, and Pachauri in particular, claim the AR4 is based on all peer-review (or the ‘vast majority’), this claim is clearly suspect. However, the process which has revealed this claim to be suspicious has been somewhat haphazardly done by various bloggers working independently of each other.
Donna Laframboise, the creator of NOconsensus.org (an excellent site, not to be confused with the similarly-named and also excellent site of Jeff Id’s) has come up with a project to determine the actual percentage of peer-reviewed references in the AR4. Her post explaining the idea is here.
All you need to do is e-mail her (NOconsensus.org AT gmail.com) that you’d like to participate, and she will send you a particular chapter’s reference list, already numbered and ready to go. You simply need to go through the references and highlight each reference which is peer reviewed. If you are unsure of a reference, highlight it a different color. When you’re finished, you count up the number of peer-reviewed references, then get a percentage of total peer-reviewed references. Results will be posted on her site. Donna believes it will take about 3-10 hours to review a chapter, depending on how many references there are. She has included measures to ensure that the results are accurate, and everything will be released when the project is done, there is no withholding of data.
This project should be welcomed from all sides of the climate debate. Supporters of the IPCC should be glad to have their claims vindicated, detractors of the IPCC should determine if their criticisms have been valid, and those on the fence will be able to find out for themselves who has made the false claims.
I’ve written a guide, ‘How to audit the AR4 references‘, which should help. Let’s get this done!