Center for the Study of
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
P.O. Box 25697
Tempe, AZ 85285
Science and Environmental Policy Project
1600 South Eads Street, # 712-S
Arlington, VA 22202
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed – or not reviewed – by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the issue of global warming.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, or NIPCC, as its name suggests, is an international panel of scientists and scholars who came together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. NIPCC has no formal attachment to or sponsorship from any government or governmental agency. It is wholly independent of political pressures and influences and therefore is not predisposed to produce politically motivated conclusions or policy recommendations.
NIPCC seeks to objectively analyze and interpret data and facts without conforming to any specific agenda. This organizational structure and purpose stand in contrast to those of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is government-sponsored, politically motivated, and predisposed to believing that climate change is a problem in need of a U.N. solution.
NIPCC traces its beginnings to an informal meeting held in Milan, Italy in 2003 organized by Dr. S. Fred Singer and the Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). The purpose was to produce an independent evaluation of the available scientific evidence on the subject of carbon dioxide-induced global warming in anticipation of the release of the IPCC’sFourth Assessment Report (AR4). NIPCC scientists concluded the IPCC was biased with respect to making future projections of climate change, discerning a significant human-induced influence on current and past climatic trends, and evaluating the impacts of potential carbon dioxide-induced environmental changes on Earth’s biosphere.
To highlight such deficiencies in the IPCC’s AR4, in 2008 SEPP partnered with The Heartland Institute to produce Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, a summary of research for policymakers that has been widely distributed and translated into six languages. In 2009, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change joined the original two sponsors to help produce Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), the first comprehensive alternative to the alarmist reports of the IPCC.
In 2010, a Web site (www.nipccreport.org) was created to highlight scientific studies NIPCC scientists believed would likely be downplayed or ignored by the IPCC during preparation of its next assessment report. In 2011, the three sponsoring organizations produced Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2011 Interim Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a review and analysis of new research released since the 2009 report or overlooked by the authors of that report.
In 2013, the Information Center for Global Change Studies, a division of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, translated and published an abridged edition of the 2009 and 2011 NIPCC reports in a single volume. On June 15, the Chinese Academy of Sciences organized a NIPCC Workshop in Beijing to allow the NIPCC principal authors to present summaries of their conclusions.
In September 2013, NIPCC released Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science, the first of two volumes bringing the original 2009 report up-to-date with research from the 2011 Interim Report plus research as current as the third quarter of 2013. A new Web site was created (www.
The IPCC describes its books as “the most comprehensive and up-to-date reports available on the subject,” and “the standard reference for all concerned with climate change in academia, government and industry worldwide.” Although the IPCC’s reports are voluminous and their arguments impressively persistent, are they good science? In order to conduct an investigation, scientists must first formulate a falsifiable hypothesis to test. The hypothesis implicit in all IPCC writings, though rarely explicitly stated, is that dangerous global warming is resulting, or will result, from human-related greenhouse gas emissions.
In considering any such hypothesis, an alternative and null hypothesis must be entertained, which is the simplest hypothesis consistent with the known facts. Regarding global warming, the null hypothesis is that currently observed changes in global climate indices and the physical environment, as well as current changes in animal and plant characteristics, are the result of natural variability. To invalidate this null hypothesis requires, at a minimum, direct evidence of human causation of specified changes that lie outside usual, natural variability. Unless and until such evidence is adduced, the null hypothesis is assumed to be correct.
In contradiction of the scientific method, the IPCC assumes its implicit hypothesis is correct and that its only duty is to collect evidence and make plausible arguments in the hypothesis’s favor. One probable reason for this behavior is that the United Nations protocol under which the IPCC operates defines climate change as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”* Not surprisingly, directing attention to only the effects of human greenhouse gas emissions has resulted in the IPCC failing to provide a thorough analysis of climate change in the round.
The high regard that the IPCC claims for itself is undeserved. Numerous writers have documented the strong bias of its founders and principals, its determination to find a human role in climate change almost without regard to what the data show, and the corrupting role that politics has played in the organization’s history.** These writers observe what should be obvious but is rarely noted by environmental reporters and advocates: The IPCC is a political organization, not a scientific organization. Its purpose is to make a case for regulating carbon dioxide as though it were a dangerous pollutant. Its reports are edited and revised by government officials, not scientists, to “fit” their political agendas.
In 2013, discussion about abolishing the IPCC was widespread. The organization has done more to politicize and corrupt climate science than to advance it.*** Its views on climate were never as independent or authoritative as it claimed, and should never have become the basis for global policy.
In April 2008, Singer’s Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and The Heartland Institute partnered to produce Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate, subtitled “Summary for Policymakers of the Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.” The 48-page report listed 24 contributors from 14 countries and included a foreword by Dr. Frederick Seitz, one of the world’s most renowned scientists. (Dr. Seitz passed away on March 2, 2008.) It was released at Heartland’s First International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-1) on March 2-4, 2008.
In 2008, Dr. Singer conducted an extensive international tour to promote the new report. He spoke at events in the Netherlands (June 3-4), Brussels-EU (June 5), Germany (June 6-12), Vienna, Milan, Paris (June 19-20), and London (June 22-25). Local free-market think tanks arranged those events. Heartland distributed approximately 100,000 copies of Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate in 2008, and the booklet has been translated into French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
NIPCC’s best work lay ahead. In the tradition of the IPCC, NIPCC had published its Summary for Policymakers in advance of completing the underlying report. The first full report, produced with a new partner, the Center for the Study of Global Warming and Global Change, was released in 2009. It was titled Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).
In 2011, NIPCC produced its third report, Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2011 Interim Report. The volume summarized new research produced after the deadline for inclusion in the 2009 report as well as some research that had been overlooked when the first volume was produced. Both volumes have won widespread praise and been compared favorably to the reports of the vastly larger IPCC.*
In September 2013, NIPCC plans will release its fourth report, Climate Change Reconsidered II: The 2013 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). This volume, subtitled “Volume 1. Physical Science Considerations,” is the first of two volumes that will constitution CCR-II. The second volume, subtitled “Volume 2. Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability” will be published in March 2014.
* See Reviews of CCR-I and CCR-Interim Report. Also, Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, “Nature on Heartland,” Climate Etc. [Blog], July 27, 2011.
NIPCC is a project of three independent nonprofit organizations: Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CO2 Science), and The Heartland Institute. Contributions to all three organizations help support the project. (For more about these organizations, see the “Contacts” section at the NIPCC home page).
Dr. Fred Singer, the founder of NIPCC, acts as chairman and ambassador of the group. One of the world’s most distinguished atmospheric scientists, he travels the world meeting with scientists, discussing NIPCC’s research, and recruiting new members to the group.
Craig Idso, founder and chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, leads the research and writing effort for NIPCC publications. He hosts the NIPCC research archive site, produces a weekly e-newsletter titled NIPCC Update featuring reviews of new research that will be edited for inclusion in the next edition of Climate Change Reconsidered, and works with a team of lead authors, editors, contributors, and reviewers.
Joseph L. Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, leads the publication and promotional efforts of NIPCC. He and Heartland’s staff edit and produce NIPCC books, host the events at which the reports are released, and market the project’s efforts.
NIPCC procedures are documented in this document.