Models Methods Software

Dan Hughes

IPCC Peer-Reviewed Literature

This post over at Roger Pielke Jr.’s place, Gray literature in the IPCC, A guest post by Andreas Bjurström is reassuring information for me.

I’ve read ‘peer-review’, ‘peer-reviewed’, and ‘peer-reviewed literature’ just about as many times as I’ve read ‘science’, ‘the science’, and ‘scientists’. I was beginning to doubt the validity of my own, merely engineering related, publication record. I was becoming depressed and thinking that I was unworthy of commenting and that I should follow only the advice of Peer-Reviewed Scientists.

But now I see that my publication record, and all the engineering literature that I have worked with, is more nearly completely peer-reviewed than the real-world standard set by the IPCC. The technical documentation for almost all engineering literature falls under the first column on the left at the post, plus technical reports from the middle column. I will argue that if these technical reports are in any way associated with organizations performing work for government / public agencies, they have been peer-reviewed. And actually reviewed in much more depth than that typical peer-reviewed journal reviews.

Additionally, I think that I can say that the engineering literature is on a much firmer foundation than the IPCC when it comes to peer-review. I have never, for example, cited, ‘articles in the daily papers and magazines’, or lectures, or audio/visual media, or blogs, or preprints, or e-prints. And I’m certain that I’ve not seen these cited in any of the engineering literature that I’ve used in my work. I have, however, cited technical reports from the middle column.

This information is yet another example that certain buzz-phrases have been over-utilized in The Climate Science Community to the extent that they have become, as jstults has noted, merely words and have no real meaning.

Maybe I’ll start working on a Climate Science Bingo scoring pad.


March 5, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. Just about all the engineering safety work I have been involved with has an underlying series of reviewed ‘calc-notes’ which were analyses done under a nuclear-grade quality assurance program using computer codes under configuration control and codes which were verified and validated per applicable standards. One would think that analyses done to support trillion-dollar decisions should be done to the same standards.

    Comment by Bob White | March 5, 2010 | Reply

  2. More info here.

    The situation is not improving for the climate scientists. The engineers have pulled way way ahead.

    Comment by Dan Hughes | March 6, 2010 | Reply

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