30 January 2010

IPCC's Pachauri Must Resign

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - DECEMBER 07:  (L-R)  Lar...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Times of London reports this morning that the head of the UN's International Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, was told that the IPCC assertion that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to take actions to correct it.

Dr. Pachauri, who played a lead role at the recent Copenhagen climate summit where he called for drastic cuts in carbon emissions, corrected the error last week after coming under media scrutiny.

Apparently, Dr. Pachauri told The Times as recently as January 22 that he had only known about the error for a few days.

The Times reports "He said: 'I became aware of this when it was reported in the media about ten days ago. Before that, it was really not made known. Nobody brought it to my attention. There were statements, but we never looked at this 2035 number.'"

When pressed in that original interview, he insisted that he hadn't heard about the mistake prior to Copenhagen.

"However," the Times reports, "a prominent science journalist said that he had asked Dr Pachauri about the 2035 error last November. Pallava Bagla, who writes for Science journal, said he had asked Dr Pachauri about the error. He said that Dr Pachauri had replied: 'I don’t have anything to add on glaciers.'"

Dr. Pachauri, who now claims that he was preoccupied with a number of events surrounding the summit and that he inadvertently failed to mention the error, has been accused of potential conflicts of interest surrounding carbon emissions reductions and from "using the error to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds," according to the Times.

Late last year, there was additional controversy generated around data used in the IPCC report and elsewhere when emails were discovered between climate scientists that raised questions about potential manipulation of data and climate modeling projections.

This latest controversy further erodes Dr. Pachauri's credibility at a time when public opinion about global warming continues to slip.

It is time for Dr. Pacahuri to resign as head of IPCC and for a full investigation and review of the IPCC reports.

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