Today there is an interesting article in de Volkskrant, a leftwing quality newspaper in The Netherlands. It refers to the advice of the Dutch government to the IPCC that I reported about earlier this summer. One of my readers translated the article. Here it is:
Dutch scientists: let’s abolish the IPCC climate reports
As far as Dutch climate scientists are concerned, the fifth IPCC report will be the last one in its current format. They conclude that the report, which from next week onwards will be published in several phases, contains little news yet costs lots of time, money and energy, which experts would rather spend on research.
258 scientists from dozens of countries contributed to the new IPCC report, over two thousand pages thick and the result of years of negotiation and reviewing. “And actually it contains not much that was not already present in the previous report”, says paleoclimatologist Appy Sluijs (Utrecht University). “Thus, if that is the case, how useful is such an extensive report anymore? I would rather like to see that we would focus on a limited number of specific questions”.
The Dutch IPCC delegacy recently wrote in an advice that “the speed with which the world changes is accelerating, and IPCC has to adapt to these changes if it is to remain relevant in the future.”
Digital and interactive
The Dutch delegacy is in favor of the reports becoming digital and interactive, for the climate panel to delve into actual questions in society and for the appointment of a ‘policy neutral’ manager as head of the IPCC, rather than a politically chosen one, as is currently the case.
At the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Society (KNMI), climate modeler Prof. Wilco Hazeleger, involved in the reports as expert reviewer, signals that the summary for policy makers is more of a ‘legal’ document than of a scientific one. Amongst others, when considering the rate of warming, IPCC uses concepts such as ‘likely’, ‘very likely’ and ‘extremely likely’. “These give you the impression that we’re dealing with a probability distribution. However, different types of studies are used to get to such judgments. You cannot simply compare or combine them. ”
The IPCC was established in 1988 by the United Nations. In 2007 the panel received the Nobel Peace Prize. Especially after its fourth report IPCC was attacked for being too politically colored and for focusing too much trying to frame climate as a problem. On top of that, it turned out that the report contained several incorrect statements.