IAC makes recommendations on how to strengthen IPCC after Himalaya debacle

The InterAcademy Council (IAC) has made a number of recommendations on how to strengthen U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the group responsible for a 2007 report that erroneously predicted that most of the Himalayas’ glaciers would melt away by 2035.

IAC was called in following a number of errors were found in IPCC’s fourth assessment report into climate change caused by humans.

Harold Shapiro, chair of the IAC Committee to Review IPCC, said that guidelines should be drawn up on how to speak on behalf of the IPCC. He also recommended that a rigorous conflict of the interest policy should be introduced for group’s senior leaders and authors of its reports.

The report prepared by the IAC added that there should be formal qualification for the chair and other members of the group.

In addition, the report said that IPCC should introduce stricter guidelines on the use of so-called gray literature. The group already has guideline for the use of such sources, but these guidelines are vague and are not always used.

Commenting on the issue, Shapiro stated, “The IPCC has raised public awareness of climate change, and driven policymakers. But the controversies that have erupted, and revelations of errors, have put the group under the microscope.”

Meanwhile, the IPCC’s longstanding chair Rajendra Pachauri said they were yet to review the IAC's findings, and would comment only after studying the report.

Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri refused to resign following the Himalaya debacle.