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UN climate panel to review claim on natural disasters: report

world Updated: Jan 24, 2010 13:44 IST

Controversy-ridden UN climate panel has said it is reassessing another of its claim for linking global warming to an increase in the number and severity of natural disasters, bringing fresh embarrassment to it.

The latest criticism of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) comes after the panel admitted its mistake in asserting that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

The report also included another claim that rapidly rising costs from events such as floods and hurricanes were linked to climate change.

"We are reassessing the evidence and will publish a report on natural disasters and extreme weather with the latest findings. Despite recent events the IPCC process is still very rigorous and scientific," The Sunday Times quoted professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chair of the IPCC as saying.

The newspaper claims that report, which won the panel a noble peace prize, was based on an unpublished paper that had not been subjected to routine scientific scrutiny.

When the paper was eventually published, in 2008, it said: "We find insufficient evidence to claim a statistical relationship between global temperature increase and catastrophe losses."

Despite this change the IPCC did not issue a clarification ahead of the Copenhagen climate summit last month, the paper said.

Two scientific who checked drafts of the report had urged greater caution in proposing a link between climate change and disaster impacts, but were ignored.