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December 14, 2009

Sound Conclusions

Climate Change: UN climate panel head says committee reports are valid

Cheryl Hogue

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Ragendra Pachauri Mikhail Evstafiev

Conclusions about global climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change were not affected by the actions of climate change scientists as detailed in a series of hacked e-mails that were leaked to the press. As a result no further investigation of "climate gate"--as the incident has been dubbed--is needed, says the panel's head Rajendra K. Pachauri.

IPCC chairman Pachauri says the panel is "totally sure" that its last two scientific assessments--from 2007 and 2001--were unaffected by matters discussed in the emails. Skeptics of human-induced climate change say the emails, stolen from East Anglia University, cast doubt on the scientific veracity of IPCC's works.

Last week, 27 Republican senators wrote to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asking him to launch an independent investigation into the matter.

"It seems like a totally baseless request," Pachauri told reporters at the U.N. climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. "We have looked into it," he continued, and found nothing that affects the IPCC’s overall assessments about climate change.

"Our processes and procedures have stood the test of time," Pauchari told reporters. The panel's draft reports are reviewed repeatedly by groups of scientists, he said, and reviewers' comments and responses to those comments made public, he said.

Although the UN has not yet commented on the senators' letter, Ban made it clear last week that the emails in question did not affect the IPCC's conclusions.

"Nothing that has come out in the public as a result of the recent e-mail hackings has cast doubt on the basic scientific message on climate change. And that message is quite clear--that climate change is happening much, much faster than we realized and we human beings are the primary cause," Ban said at a Dec. 8 press event.

Discussions at the first of two weeks of negotiations in Copenhagen on a new global climate agreement paid little attention to the hacked emails. Those talks end on Dec.18.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
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