Climate Group Admits Mistakes

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Some top officials of a Nobel Prize-winning climate-science organization are acknowledging the panel made some mistakes amid a string of recent revelations questioning the accuracy of some of the information in it’s reports.

Officials of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations – sponsored network of scientists whose reports strongly influence global policy on greenhouse gas emissions initially played down some of the allegations. Increasingly however, they are acknowledging the panel’s mistakes and saying it needs to tighten its procedures.

In citing climate change as an important issue, a U.N. conference in December in Copenhagen didn’t rely “on the precise date of the demise of Himalayan glaciers, or African agriculture” to tackle global warming, says IPCC Vice Chairman Jean-Pascal van Ypersele. “It’s the body of evidence” in the whole report that makes the case for action.

Officials say they are not aware of any additional mistakes in IPCC’s seminal 2007 report, but given the report runs more than 3000 pages, additional mistakes may come to light. “I do not expect serious mistakes, but I am quite sure that if people read the 3000 pages, there will be some more mistakes,” says Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist who is co-chairing one of the main sections of the IPCC’s next big climate change report due out in 2013 and 2014.

A number of climate – change sceptics and public officials, including U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) have called for the IPCC’s chairman resignation.

A U.N. spokesman said IPCC rules don’t appear to give the U.N. secretary-general authority to dismiss the IPCC chairman.

  • Mark Spowart

    A writer and photographer, Spowart has publication credits in Canada, United States, Europe and Norway with such publications as The Globe & Mail, The National Post, Sun Media, Canwest News, and Canada News Wire.

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