IPCC under fire

04-02-2010

Here we go again: The Guardian revealed yesterday that their research had shown that a British climate expert had purposely used incorrect weather data, which was later included in a UN publication. Last week, there was the ‘slip-up’ in the latest IPCC (the UN climate panel) report, when information about the ice in such places as the Andes turned out to be based on a paper and an article in a journal.

Pim Martens, UM professor of sustainable development, is a member of the IPCC and also a reviewer of other researcher’s articles. He does not want to defend anyone, but there is a difference between “flaws in a report” and a “flawed report”. Martens believes that the latter is not the case. “The unwarranted facts are not relevant for the main conclusion. In all cases, the issues are regional details.”

Even as a reviewer, he has never come across strange phrases, he says. “Of course one checks whether statements are corroborated in literature and if so, which literature. I am currently involved in different themes that are now being discredited: the consequences of climate change for Europe and, thematically, for health.”

 

Maurice Timmermans

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