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IPCC Report Continues to Crumble

John on February 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

From the Telegraph, a brief history of the IPCC report’s collision with reality:

Last month, the panel was forced to issue a humiliating retraction after it emerged statements about the melting of Himalayan glaciers were inaccurate.

Last weekend, this paper revealed that the panel had based claims about disappearing mountain ice on anecdotal evidence in a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.

And on Friday, it emerged that the IPCC’s panel had wrongly reported that more than half of the Netherlands was below sea level because it had failed to check information supplied by a Dutch government agency.

Now the latest problem:

a diagram used to demonstrate the potential for generating electricity from wave power has been found to contain numerous errors.

The source of information for the diagram was cited as the website of UK-based wave-energy company Wavegen. Yet the diagram on Wavegen’s website contains dramatically different figures for energy potential off Britain and Alaska and in the Bering Sea.

When contacted by The Sunday Telegraph, Wavegen insisted that the diagram on its website had not been changed. It added that it was not the original source of the data and had simply reproduced it on its website.

The diagram is widely cited in other literature as having come from a paper on wave energy produced by the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in 1991 along with data from the European Directory of Renewable Energy.

Experts claim that, had the IPCC checked the citation properly, it would have spotted the discrepancies.

But wait! There’s more:

It can also be revealed that claims made by the IPCC about the effects of global warming, and suggestions about ways it could be avoided, were partly based on information from ten dissertations by Masters students.

One unpublished dissertation was used to support the claim that sea-level rise could impact on people living in the Nile delta and other African coastal areas, although the main focus of the thesis, by a student at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, appears to have been the impact of computer software on environmental development.

The IPCC also made use of a report by US conservation group Defenders of Wildlife to state that salmon in US streams have been affected by rising temperatures. The panel has already come under fire for using information in reports by conservation charity the WWF.

Estimates of carbon-dioxide emissions from nuclear power stations and claims that suggested they were cheaper than coal or gas power stations were also taken from the website of the World Nuclear Association, rather than using independent scientific calculations.

Of course the organizers are still claiming that none of this matters in the least. Sure it doesn’t. Just a few dozen details designed to scare people into compliance. But the ends justify the means, right?

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Category: Climate Change & Environment |

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