Now, this is really silly…
According to a report in the Telegraph, the IPCC AR4 included references to a climber’s magazine article and an MA Thesis to support its claims about glacier loss and global warming impacts.
The IPCC WG2 report, Chapter 1, Section 3.2 on “Observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere cites a “loss of mountain climbs” as evidence of the effects of global warming on the cryosphere. It cites Schworer (1997) and Bowen (2002).
Schwörer, D.A., 1997: Bergführer und Klimaänderung: eine Untersuchung im Berninagebiet über mögliche Auswirkungen einer Klimaänderung auf den Bergführerberuf (Mountain guides and climate change: an inquiry into possible effects of climatic change on the mountain guide trade in the Bernina region, Switzerland). Diplomarbeit der philosophisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Bern.
Bowen, N., 2002: Canary in a coalmine. Climbing News, 208, 90-97, 138-139.
I understand that these contained “anecdotal evidence” provided by hikers and climbers about glacier loss. *shakes head* — but — are there no actual studies of ice loss that one might use instead, you know, for the sake of scientific credibility?
From the article:
In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
The revelations, uncovered by The Sunday Telegraph, have raised fresh questions about the quality of the information contained in the report, which was published in 2007.
What’s really head-shake inducing is the following:
It can be revealed that the IPCC report made use of 16 non-peer reviewed WWF reports.
One claim, which stated that coral reefs near mangrove forests contained up to 25 times more fish numbers than those without mangroves nearby, quoted a feature article on the WWF website.
In fact the data contained within the WWF article originated from a paper published in 2004 in the respected journal Nature.
In another example a WWF paper on forest fires was used to illustrate the impact of reduced rainfall in the Amazon rainforest, but the data was from another Nature paper published in 1999.
When The Sunday Telegraph contacted the lead scientists behind the two papers in Nature, they expressed surprise that their research was not cited directly but said the IPCC had accurately represented their work.
Like, did denialist moles infect the IPCC and purposely use sloppy citations just to embarrass the IPCC?
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot…
Of course, WUWT is talking this up:
It’s worse than we thought! Now the IPCC has been citing magazine articles, like this one from Climbing Magazine, issue 208, shown at left. We’ve heard the title before, according to their index: “Canaries in a Coal Mine,” – Feature on global loss of glaciers.
Seriously though, the WG report has over 640 references so if two are questionable, it’s 0.3% which is not all that shabby. Still. Were those references really that significant that they warranted inclusion considering the sources?