IPCC chief defends panel in Himalaya glacier flap

The chairman of the UN`s panel of climate scientists defended his Nobel-winning group on Tuesday against criticism that it had erroneously forecast an early disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers.

Updated: Jan 19, 2010, 23:20 PM IST

Abu Dhabi: The chairman of the UN`s panel
of climate scientists defended his Nobel-winning group on Tuesday
against criticism that it had erroneously forecast an early
disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers.

A section of a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the probability of
glaciers in the Himalayas "disappearing by the year 2035 and
perhaps sooner is very high."
IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri, addressing reporters
at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, said that even
if the remarks on Himalayan glaciers is incorrect, it does not
undermine evidence supporting the existence of climate change.

"Theoretically, let`s say we slipped up on one
number, I don`t think it takes anything away from the
overwhelming scientific evidence of what`s happening with the
climate of this earth," he said.

"I`ve never used that figure in any of my talks,
because I think it`s not for the IPCC to make predictions of
outcomes or dates. We always give ranges, and that`s
scientifically the way to do it. We always give ... scenarios
of what might happen."
Pachauri, whose panel was harshly criticised by
India`s environment minister, said the IPCC will respond to
the criticism by the end of the week.

"Before the end of the week, we will certainly come
to a position and make it known. We are looking into the
source of that information, the veracity of it and what it is
that the IPCC should say on the subject."

PTI