The IPCC’s Dangerous Dance With Climate Misinformation And Political Demands

by R. Pielke Jr., Mar 23, 2023 in ClimateChangeDispatch

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an important institution. I have often said that if it did not exist, it would have to be invented. The IPCC is often referred to as a model for how to do a scientific assessment.

Consequently, we should have the highest standards for evaluating its work, not least because climate change is important, and effective mitigation and adaptation policies are essential. [emphasis, links added]

Below I share a brief few critiques of the culminating report of the current IPCC cycle, called the Synthesis Report. The new report covers six IPCC reports published over the past nine years.

Before proceeding, it is crucial to understand that the IPCC is not a single entity or group of people. It is many different groups doing many different things, with many strengths — for instance, WG1 on extremes was particularly good.

The IPCC also has some notable weaknesses — its reliance on out-of-date scenarios most obviously. The Synthesis Report was written by a small group of people.

For better or worse, the work of this small group of people reflects upon the entire IPCC and the years of effort leading to this week’s report.

If I were an IPCC participant not involved with the Synthesis Report, I’d be pretty upset. My view is that the IPCC has strayed far from its role to assess the scientific literature in support of policymaking.

It has increasingly taken on a stance of explicit political advocacy and as it does so it has ignored and even misrepresented relevant science.

The IPCC needs a complete overhaul.

Below are some more detailed thoughts on the Synthesis Report.

Scientific Assessment Minus the Science