Climatic Change

, Volume 108, Issue 1–2, pp 1–22 | Cite as

Physical and economic bias in climate change research: a scientometric study of IPCC Third Assessment Report

Article

Abstract

This study demonstrates that IPCC Third Assessment Report is strongly dominated by Natural sciences, especially the Earth sciences. The Social sciences are dominated by Economics. The IPCC assessment also results in the separation of the Earth, Biological and Social sciences. The integration that occurs is mainly between closely related scientific fields. The research community consequently imposes a physical and economic bias and a separation of scientific fields that the IPCC reproduces in the policy sphere. It is argued that this physical and economic bias distorts a comprehensive understanding of climate change and that the weak integration of scientific fields hinders climate change from being fully addressed as an integral environmental and social problem. If climate change is to be understood, evaluated and responded to in its fullness, the IPCC must broaden its knowledge base and challenge the anthropocentric worldview that places humans outside of nature.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Ecology, School of Global StudiesUniversity of GothenburgGöteborgSweden

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