I hate to bring this up for fear of adding, in whatever small way, to the hype, but … the 2007 IPCC report has not, I repeat, has not been discredited as riddled with errors. Not even a little bit. Not even close.

Yes, two small errors have been found, one about the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are melting and the other about the share of the Netherlands that is currently below sea level. Allowing these errors into the final text of the report certainly represents a failure in the IPCC’s reviewing and proofreading process.

Here’s what’s getting missed when Fox News and even NPR talk about the errors: The IPCC report is thousands of pages long. The results of each volume are summarized, and those summaries are again summarized ad nauseam until the whole thing is distilled into a 20-page policymaker summary report. That summary report is further digested into the one or two numbers that make it into the media, usually the expected average annual temperature change and sea-level rise by 2100.

Some of the information in the full IPCC reports is fundamental, an enormous set of facts and modeling assumptions that come together in these final media-friendly results. But most of the information in the IPCC report is not fundamental, and changing any part of it would have no effect on those final results.

The errors about Himalayan glaciers and Netherlands geography are problems of this latter type: They are not fundamental, and they do not affect the policymaker summary report or the few facts that reach a wider public audience.

For a clear and detailed accounting of errors, real and imagined, in the IPCC report, see this post on RealClimate. For a lighter explanation, try Tom Toles.