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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

As IPCC stumbles, sceptics gain ground

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 12, 2010
First Published: 00:12 IST(12/3/2010) | Last Updated: 02:08 IST(12/3/2010)

Unhappy with the errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, a campaign by climate sceptics forced the United Nations on Thursday to announce an independent review of the panel’s work.

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“I am offended that science is being perverted in the name of global warming — today’s environmental cause celebre,” Ralph B. Alexander, a PhD in physical from Oxford University and a climate sceptic, said.

Climate sceptics gained support since the climate-gate — a scandal accusing IPCC scientists at the University of East Anglia of using non-consensus data to claim the global temperature was increasing — broke out.

The IPCC has admitted only one mistake — that most Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 — while the British newspapers have reported three other instances.

Alexander admitted that the report contains “accurate and useful information” in places but its work has been hijacked by climate advocates.

IPCC chief R.K. Pachauri termed this campaign as “canard of lies” but the sceptics have gained support in the West.

Opinion polls in UK show that since November 2009, when the controversy started, more people believe climate change is not human-induced. In November 2009, 41 per cent people in UK believed that climate change was man-made but by February the number fell to 26 per cent, a BBC survey said.

David Atom, environment correspondent with The Guardian, admitted that climate scepticism has increased with “people on streets” now questioning validity of climate science.

The IPCC’s problems stem from its mission to simplify scientific data to make it suitable for policy makers. “It is very much an advocacy group that’s couched in a role of science,” Roger Pielke, a political scientist with University of Colorado, told a news website.

But, in India, climate scientists such as G.N. Goswami, director of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, are not disillusioned with the IPCC errors. “We have data to show that our weather is changing at a very fast pace and we need to act”.


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