Recognizing that climate change affects all countries and that international consensus on the science of climate change would be required before most countries would be willing to take action, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), endorsed by the UN General Assembly, established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
The purpose of the IPCC is to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge about climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.
Thousands of scientists from all over the world have contributed to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis, publishing detailed Assessment Reports in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007, and 2014-15 (www.ipcc.ch).
The IPCC reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical, and socio-economic information produced worldwide that is relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research, nor does it monitor climate-related data or parameters.
This well-intentioned drive toward consensus has had the unintended and unfortunate consequence of stifling debate, the lifeblood of science. The IPCC was not chartered nor structured to look back and question how solidly the roots of greenhouse warming theory were established.
We know, for example, that greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation as internal energy within the bonds holding gas molecules together. It has never been measured experimentally, however, how much this absorption actually affects air temperature, which is a function of the average kinetic energy of translation of all the molecules.