UN chief Ban Ki Moon has announced what the media is calling a “mistakes review” but is actually a review of IPCC procedures prior to the Fifth Assessment Report.
The review is going to be performed by an umbrella body for national science academies, which frankly doesn’t inspire much confidence and it will be interesting to see just how independent the panel turns out to be. A sixth independent-but-entirely-free-of-sceptics review might cause eyebrows to be raised, I would say.
The terms of reference look rather vague to me. There are sections on looking at making the IPCC better at managing itself and spinning a line to the media, but the substance is here:
1. Review IPCC procedures for preparing reports including:
• Data quality assurance and data quality control;
• Guidelines for the types of literature appropriate for inclusion in IPCC
assessments, with special attention to the use of non peer-reviewed literature;
• Procedures for expert and governmental review of IPCC material;
• Handling of the full range of scientific views; and
• Procedures for correcting errors identified after approval, adoption and
acceptance of a report.
The first bullet point is interesting and might cover relevant issues, like transparency of data. Then again, it might not. It would be reasonable, however, for the IPCC to demand data and code for a paper be public before permitting it to be cited in the report. I’m not holding my breath on that one though.