Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. First, the claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035 turned out not to have been peer-reviewed . Then it was discovered that the report wrongly linked global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

Now it turns out that the claims about the danger posed by climate change to the Amazon rainforest were based on assertions made by a policy analyst and a freelance journalist writing a report for an environmental conservation group .

This is to be found in Chapter 13 of the Working Group II report, the same part of the IPCC fourth assessment report in which the “Glaciergate” claims are made. There, is the startling claim that:

“Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state, not necessarily producing gradual changes between the current and the future situation (Rowell and Moore, 2000). It is more probable that forests will be replaced by ecosystems that have more resistance to multiple stresses caused by temperature increase, droughts and fires, such as tropical savannas.”

At first sight, the reference looks kosher enough but, following it through, one sees:

Rowell, A. and P.F. Moore, 2000: Global Review of Forest Fires. WWF/IUCN,
Gland, Switzerland, 66 pp.

This, then appears to be another WWF report, carried out in conjunction with the IUCN – The International Union for Conservation of Nature. The link given is no longer active, but the report is on the IUCN website here . Furthermore, the IUCN along with WWF is another advocacy group and the report is not peer-reviewed. According to IPCC rules, it should not have been used as a primary source.

Why doesn’t the IPCC just save us all some trouble and point out the parts of the report that were based on peer-reviewed research.

(Via: Hot Air )

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles