Thursday, March 11, 2010

Independent body to review UN climate panel

ABC News Online, Thu Mar 11, 2010
United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon has announced a respected international body will conduct an independent review of UN climate science after a global warming report was found to have errors.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has admitted its 2007 report exaggerated the pace of Himalayan glaciers melting.
But Mr Ban says the errors should not affect the conclusion that human activities are changing the climate and that greenhouse gas emissions should be cut urgently.
"The threat posed by climate change is real, and nothing that has been alleged or revealed in the media recently alters the fundamental scientific consensus on climate change," he said.
Mr Ban told reporters that the Amsterdam-based InterAcademy Council (IAC), which groups presidents of 15 leading science academies, will carry out the task "completely independently of the United Nations".
The IPCC's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, says he hopes the inquiry will restore public trust.
"In recent months we have seen some criticism," he said.
"We are receptive and sensitive to that and we are doing something about it. I am very grateful that the secretary-general has very kindly supported this initiative."
Dr Pachauri pledged that an upcoming fifth assessment report by the IPCC would be "stronger and better than anything we have produced in the past".
The IAC's co-chairman, Robbert Dijkgraaf, told reporters the panel aims to present its report by the end of next August so that governments can consider it ahead of key climate change meetings late this year.
He says the review will focus on what procedures were used.
"It will definitely not go over all the data, the vast amount of data in climate science," he said.
"What it will do [is] it will see what the procedures are and how they can be improved. So looking forward, how can we avoid that certain types of errors are made."

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