`Errors in report do not undermine case of global warming`

An Australian scientist, who co-authoured the controversial climate change report, on Monday tried to defend the errors found in it, saying the discovery of the mistakes does not undermine the case of global warming.

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2010, 18:53 PM IST

Melbourne: An Australian scientist, who co-authoured the controversial climate change report, on Monday tried to defend the errors found in it, saying the discovery of the mistakes does not undermine the case of global warming.
According to Andy Pitman, co-director of University of
NSW climate change research centre and key author of the
IPCC`s 2001 and 2007 reports, said: "as far as I understand
it, there are two paragraphs that have been questioned in a
1600-page document."

"We ought to be talking about the other 1599 pages
that nobody has found any problems with," he told ABC.

The prediction that Himalayan glaciers could disappear
by 2035 has now been shown to be unfounded but Pitman said
while the date may be wrong the outcome will be the same.

"It doesn`t say that the Himalayan glaciers are not
vulnerable to climate change or are not melting or are not
melting at an accelerated rate. It is the date of 2035 that is
in error," he said.

What is more worrying to Prof Pitman is the revelation
that the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri may have benefited
from the errors by receiving funding for his research
institute.

"I have to admit that it looks extremely bad," he
said. "But looking bad and actually undermining the broad
conclusions that are in the IPCC report are two very different
things."

This is yet another blow for climate scientists, still
reeling from the "climategate" email scandal, and Pitman said
it will give climate change sceptics ammunition to continue
their attacks.

"It`s clear that increased CO2 and other greenhouse
gases are causing climate change but it certainly wont stop
the sceptics using the information for their own purposes," he
said.

Pitman said he believed concerted efforts by sceptics
to attack and misinform the community are working, likening
them to the efforts of tobacco lobbyists who deny the health
effects of smoking.

"My personal view is that climate scientists are
losing the fight with the sceptics," he said.

"They`re [the sceptics] doing a damn good job. I think
they`re doing a superb job of misinforming and
miscommunicating (to) the general public, the state and
the federal governments.

Most of the climate sceptics, particularly those that are wandering around publicly at the moment, don`t base their arguments on science."

PTI