By Des Moore
THE Royal Society’s September report, Climate Change: A Summary of the Science, has brought into the open the widening difference of views about how the science of climate change should be assessed. It comes after a prominent resignation from the American Physical Society (the top body of US physicists) for the refusal of the society’s executive to undertake a similar review despite requests from a large number of members.
In Australia, too, an examination of the Inter-Academy Council’s review of the processes and procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes that, although the council’s chairman claims the IPCC’s findings stand, the review itself exposes serious flaws in the panel’s information and analysis. The examination by this group, which is a follow-up to its recent publication in the British journal Energy & Environment, is now being widely distributed in Australia.
All three assessments reflect the revelations provided by the exchanges between scientists actively involved in climate research – now known as Climategate – that some research results appear to have been falsified. These reports have spread widely in science circles in Australia. However, apart from The Australian, there has been almost no reference to these revelations in the Australian media. The Age, which had not bothered to cover the Royal Society’s report, was quick to report that the Royal Society’s vice-president John Pethica (who chaired the report committee) had rejected suggestions that the society had changed its position on climate change.