Humans warming planet, says UN climate chief
Copenhagen, December 7, 2009
The head of the UN's panel of climate scientists on Monday strongly defended findings that humans are warming the planet, after critics said that leaked emails from a British university had undermined evidence.
Rajendra Pachauri is the head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which said in 2007 that it was at least 90 per cent certain that humans were to blame for global warming.
Climate change skeptics have seized on a series of hacked emails written by climate specialists, accusing them of colluding to suppress others' data and enhance their own.
"The evidence is now overwhelming that the world would benefit greatly from early action," Pachauri told delegates at the opening session of the Copenhagen summit.
"The recent incident of stealing the emails of scientists at the University of East Anglia shows that some (people) would go to the extent of carrying out illegal acts perhaps in an attempt to discredit the IPCC."
The emails, some written as long as 13 years ago, were stolen by unknown hackers and spread rapidly across the Internet.
Skeptics say that the emails showed that scientists had manipulated evidence. Pachauri said the IPCC's findings were insulated from tampering by a strict review process.
In one email, confirmed by the University of East Anglia as genuine, the head of its Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones, said he wanted to ensure a specific paper which doubted climate science was excluded from the IPCC's 2007 report.
That paper did in fact appear in the final 2007 report, the university says.
Pachauri on Monday also defended scientists named in the "climategate" row. "The internal consistency from multiple lines of evidence strongly supports the work of the scientific community, including those individuals singled out in these email exchanges," Rajendra Pachauri told the 192-nation conference.
"Given the wide-ranging nature of (economic) change that is likely be taken in hand some naturally find it inconvenient to accept its inevitability."-Reuters
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