UN to get report on climate panel August 30

August 20, 2010
A 2009 photo of the Khumbu glacier in Nepal. A UN-requested review of the world's top panel of climate scientists, accused of flaws in a key assessment on global warming, will be unveiled on August 30, the investigating committee has said.

A UN-requested review of the world's top panel of climate scientists, accused of flaws in a key assessment on global warming, will be unveiled on August 30, the investigating committee said on Friday.

The five-month probe into "the processes and procedures" of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on (IPCC) is being conducted by the InterAcademy Council (IAC), gathering 15 leading science academies.

Its report will be handed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri in New York on August 30, and will be followed by a press conference, according to a statement for the IAC by Britain's Royal Society.

The IPCC issued a landmark report in 2007 that unleashed a surge of political momentum for tackling climate change.

The 938-page document found evidence that climate change was already underway and pointed the finger of blame at -- heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases that mainly come from burning coal, gas and oil.

In late 2009, in the runup to the UN's in Copenhagen, the IPCC was rocked by the leaking of emails between some of its scientists that, according to skeptics, showed data had been skewed.

A part of the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report was then taken to task for predicting that which provide water to a billion people in Asia could be lost by 2035.

Other challenges have been mounted to a passage estimating the threat to Bangladesh from rising oceans and to a figure about how much of the Netherlands lies below sea level.

British scientists at the centre of the leaked email controversy were cleared by a House of Commons inquiry and an independent review of any scientific malpractice, although they were also criticised for lacking openness towards public requests for information.

The IPCC has admitted that the Himalayan glacier reference was wrong, but says its core conclusions about climate change are sound, an opinion shared by mainstream scientists.

It also cautions that climate science is a new and evolving discipline, which means that data on extreme weather events and regional impacts may be sketchy.

The Fourth Assessment Report was instrumental in earning the IPCC a co-share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize along with former US vice president Al Gore.

Explore further: In new row, UN climate body to probe Himalayan glacier forecast

Related Stories

Glacier alarm 'regrettable error': UN climate head

January 23, 2010

The head of the UN's climate science panel said Saturday a doomsday prediction about the fate of Himalayan glaciers was "a regrettable error" but that he would not resign over the blunder.

UN science chief defends work, welcomes review

May 14, 2010

(AP) -- The head of the U.N. scientific body on climate change defended Friday the work of the thousands of scientists who contribute to its reports, even as he welcomed a review of procedures that produced errors undermining ...

Netherlands adds to UN climate report controversy

February 5, 2010

The Netherlands has asked the UN climate change panel to explain an inaccurate claim in a landmark 2007 report that more than half the country was below sea level, the Dutch government said Friday.

Climate skeptics exploiting scandal: US envoy

February 16, 2010

The US pointman on climate change on Tuesday accused vested interests of exploiting recent scientific scandals, saying there was an overwhelming case for the world to take action.

Recommended for you

Scientists examine bacterium found 1,000 feet underground

December 8, 2016

Pioneering work being carried out in a cave in New Mexico by researchers at McMaster University and The University of Akron, Ohio, is changing the understanding of how antibiotic resistance may have emerged and how doctors ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

4 / 5 (8) Aug 20, 2010
Pretty much what everyone expected, although there's always the crazies screaming for a conspiracy theory. The scientific community should stop trying to assuage the fears of people that have no idea what they're talking about. There will always be data disputes. The overarching conclusions are solid fortunately. It just annoys me when completely ignorant people hear the words "data change" and automatically jump to crazy conclusions. This is why we have trained professionals doing our highly technical work.
2 / 5 (8) Aug 20, 2010
Slight difference between disputed data and simply making stuff up.
5 / 5 (4) Aug 20, 2010
Slight difference between disputed data and simply making stuff up.

Brad: Nice shot at misrepresenting the data, but I am not aware of any data that has been "made up." Maybe you can show where data has been "made up?" If you are talking about the idiots from CRU, they did not make up data (which I am sure you will scream about but please stick to facts and show what was made up). In fact, the data are well curated and more of it is becoming generally available all the time. That is one good thing that came out of the theft of the CRU e-mails, more openness. However, that will not stop ignorant conspiracy advocates from spewing the "made up" comment - even though when pushed they cannot show what they say has been made up. Instead, they show what Jordian correctly observed to be data disputes and errors and shout about conspiracies. Please let us know what was made up. Maybe you know something the rest of us don't. :-)
5 / 5 (1) Aug 20, 2010
I'll reserve commentary and await the report. Scientists have been guilty of deep supposition in the past, as have most people. Rarely correct, and always a trap that catches those of us who assume knowledge we don't have.

Question is, did we have enough knowledge to make reasonable statements.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.