`Climate change clear and present danger; ignore skeptics`
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 09:16
United Nations: UN chief Ban Ki-moon has asked the officials gathered at the environment ministerial meeting in Bali to reject attempts by climate skeptics who question the existence of climate change especially after the controversy surrounding the errors that have surfaced.

"I urge you to reject the last-ditch attempts by climate skeptics to derail your negotiations by exaggerating shortcomings in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report," Ban said.

"Tell the world that you unanimously agree that climate change is a clear and present danger, that you are working to implement agreements already made and that you are continuing negotiations under the UNFCCC to address climate change according to the demands of current scientific information," he added.

The 2007 report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change erroneously claimed that Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. The error has also been attributed to a typographical error with the words 2035 appearing instead of 2350.

Since the error surfaced there have been several calls for investigations into the work of the IPCC and resignations of its head Rajendra Pachauri, which he has refused to do.

"Some in media, and those who are sceptical about climate change, are currently having a field day, parsing every comma and cough in the IPCC 2007 assessment," Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) had noted.

The present debacle was preceded by another controversy, referred to as Climategate, which surfaced at the same time as the Climate Change Conference kicked off at Copenhagen in December 2009.

Hackers gained access to the data of the climate research centre of the UK-based East Anglia University and leaked confidential data including thousands of e-mails and documents between British and US scientists over the past ten years that have led to accusations that scientists amplified the nature and scope of the manmade climate crisis.

Some of the excerpts of the e-mails posted read, "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't."

At the time, Pachauri noted that the hackers were performing illegal acts to undermine the efforts to combat climate change.

"The persons who have worked on this report, and those who unfortunately have been victims of this terrible and illegal act, are outstanding scientists, and have contributed enormously over the 20, 21 years of the existence of the IPCC," he said, at the time.

In his address to those attending the present Bali session, Ban noted that the Copenhagen climate conference had helped set a 2?C goal, mitigation commitments for all countries, funding for developing countries and address deforestation.


First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, 09:16

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