In Their Own Words


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Speculating about what goes on at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is one thing. Reading firsthand accounts is another.

In 2010 232 people completed a questionnaire distributed by a committee investigating the IPCC. In December 2010, those answers were released into the public domain. (After the names of the respondents were removed, the answers were compiled in a 3-megabyte, 678-page PDF available here from the InterAcademy Council website.)

Each questionnaire begins with the individual declaring what roles s/he has played in the IPPC process. In some cases, questionnaire respondents were interested observers of the IPCC process. In others, their involvement was limited to that of expert reviewer.

I have focused my attention on a subset of the answers – the ones that were provided by IPCC insiders. This includes:

  • contributing authors
  • lead authors
  • coordinating/convening lead authors
  • review editors
  • IPCC bureau members (responsible for the overall coordination of IPCC reports)

In a continuing series of blog posts, I examine what these insiders tell us about the IPCC. Is everyone really a top-notch, world-class expert? Do they all trust the climate models? What do they really think of chairman Rajendra Pachauri?


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