Auditing the peers’ reviews

So much has happened in the last six weeks (can it really be so long since I’ve posted?! … my how time flies when so much “climate science” news surfaces!), that I’ve done many drafts, but no posts. So, I would suggest that if there are any gaps in your knowledge of latest developments, you would do well to take your mouse to Climate Audit, Watts Up with That and Bishop Hill.

I probably wouldn’t even be writing this post today, but for the brilliant project launched by (fellow Canadian) Donna LaFramboise whose website I have belatedly added to my blogroll.

As you may know, regardless of challenge to the tenets of the IPCC Assessment Reports, the spokesperson(s) invariable response is something along the lines of “the science is settled/unequivocal and all findings have been ‘peer reviewed’ – so whatever faults/errors may have been found do not change the conclusions, or the ‘science'”. A variant of this response has been shown to be prevalent in the much vaunted IPCC “gold standard” review process.

Now, in fairness to the IPCC bigwigs (such as RK Pauchuri, IPCC Chair, whose academic credentials do not include any of those typically attributed to “climate scientists”, but who nonetheless is often described in the press as a “climate expert”), it should be noted that “peer review” – at least as far as “climate science” is concerned – does not include any verification/validation of methodology/data underlying the author(s)’ conclusions. This was recently confirmed by none other than CRU’s Phil Jones, during the course of evidence he gave to the U.K. Parliament’s Science and Technology Sub-Committee.

Those who invoke the appeal to authority of “peer review” may or may not be aware of the above. Those who are aware, are nothing less than charlatans. And those who aren’t, considering what’s at stake, should make it job #1 to investigate for themselves.

But speaking of LaFramboise, investigating for oneself and “peer review” … LaFramboise has observed that:

Recent examinations of two random chapters [of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report] found only 24 percent and 58 percent of the sources cited were peer-reviewed journal articles.

Consequently, she is inviting interested members of the blogosphere to participate in a “crowd-sourcing project” to examine the references for each chapter in the IPCC report in order to determine the extent to which “peer-reviewed” is a valid claim:

The goal of this project is for each chapter to be counted thrice, by three volunteers working independently of one another. In the event that tallies differ dramatically, further examination will occur. Should they differ only marginally, the count that is most favourable to the IPCC will be used.

This project will not address the report’s content. It is instead an audit of how well the IPCC lives up to its own peer-review standard as that standard has been described by its chairman and by news reports.

I’ve signed up, and just as a matter of interest, on a first-pass of the 917 references cited in the chapter assigned to me, I’ve already identified at least 97 which are indisputably not citations from “peer-reviewed” journal articles. And as an amusing aside, one of the citations I decided to investigate further via Google led me to Jones (CRU) Air Temperature Anomalies Version 3: CRUTEM3. Scrolling down this (undated) page, I found the following:

Usage Restrictions:
Please register at the Hadley Centre so that they can prove their datasets are widely used and so they can get funding.

But I digress … To find out more and volunteer your time, I urge you to check out Help Audit the UN Climate Report – Crowdsourcing Project

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