Dutch back IPCC climate change study (update)

Climate extremes: view from a Swiss igloo

desert (photo, ©2010, Peter Brodbeck)

Update 13:00  Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The Dutch government has backed the “core conclusions” of Geneva-based IPCC’s landmark climate change study, published in 2007. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change came under fire in 2009 for errors in the report. The Dutch environment minister later asked The Netherlands’ Environmental Assessment Agency to carry out a review of about one-third of the 3,000 page report, and IPCC issued a statement on the findings Monday 5 July.

“The review is explicit in its finding that the key conclusions of the IPCC 4th Assessment Report are accurate, correct and supported entirely by the leading science in the field,” says Martin Parry, co-chair of AR4 working group II.

The reviewers looked at 32 statements on regional impacts of climate change and their summary notes that all 32 are “well founded and none were found to contain any significant errors.”

The Financial Times points out that while most errors found were typos or footnote details, the Dutch review does criticize the IPCC report for being overly negative at times about the impact of climate change, a criticism rebuffed by IPCC scientists Monday.

The Dutch review is one of several, prompted by the extent to which governments use the IPCC report as their benchmark for climate issues.

The fifth IPCC Assessment Report is underway, with the names of the 831 contributing scientists announced in late June in Geneva. Sixty percent of them are new to the report, bringing fresh perspectives, says the IPCC. Contributors from developing countries comprise 30 percent of the group and women, 25 percent.

The report will have three working groups (WG). WGI focuses on the physical science basis and will include 258 experts. WGII assesses the impacts, adaptation strategies and vulnerability related to climate change and will involve 302 experts. WGIII covers mitigation response strategies in an integrated risk and uncertainty framework, and its assessments will be carried out by 271 experts.

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