How objective is the IPCC?

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been confronted over the poor standard of research in its reports and the extent to which this is weakening its credibility when making statements about climate change.

Critics called yesterday for the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman.

Scientists from the IPCC have become involved in a bitter argument in recent weeks for allegedly: witholding information, exaggerating certain claims, suppressing the views of dissenting scientists, and using flawed research.

Now the IPCC has been accused of incorrectly linking global warming to natural disasters. It has already admitted that it was wrong to predict that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. Even New Scientist, a strong IPCC supporter, has asked for an explanation.

Other allegations were made, too:

  • that the IPCC exaggerated claims about the demise of the Amazon rainforest,
  • that the IPCC used papers from a mountaineering magazine and a student dissertation in one of its reports.

    The Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Miliband acknowledged that the debate on the issues had been undermined by the controversies.

    The IPCC is still promoting the view that carbon dioxide, a trace gas, is causing global temperatures to rise, and that limiting carbon dioxide emissions is the only way of preventing future temperature rises.

    Carbon dioxide is a trace gas (.04%) and as such its effect on climate is at least an order of magnitude smaller than that of water vapour.

    CO2 increase also lags temperature rise at all time scales.

    This is becoming better known, but the BBC still seems to be unaware, judging by its news items.

    N.D./ habitat21/ 1 Feb 10

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