Obvious enough you would have though, but some still fall for it. UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article is the latest excitement.
Breathlessly, they reveal:
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.
So, whilst quoting WWF rather than the paper direct is silly, the actual science was correctly represented. Not the kind of technical detail that the Torygraph’s audience is going to be interested in, I fear. So is there better? Well the main lead is:
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
It is WG II again, of course. specifically, Table 1.2. Selected observed effects due to changes in the cryosphere produced by warming which includes a line for loss of ice climbs, in Andes, Alps, Africa. Exactly as you’d expect, this is sourced to climbers and mountain guides, who oddly enough know about this kind of stuff. Unlike the Torygraph, which in a determined bid to prove that they really are an utter pile of twats, says Experts claim that loss of ice climbs are a poor indicator of a reduction in mountain ice as climbers can knock ice down and damage ice falls with their axes and crampons.