UN Report On Climate Change Was \'One-Sided\'United Kingdom
The United Nations body that advises governments on climate change failed to make clear how its landmark report on the impact of global warming often presented a worst-case scenario, an investigation has concluded.
A summary report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on regional impacts focused on the negative consequences of climate change and failed to make clear that there would also be some benefits of rising temperatures. The report adopted a one-sided approach that risked being interpreted as an alarmist view.
The report, which underpinned the Copenhagen summit last December, wrongly suggested that climate change was the main reason why communities faced severe water shortages and neglected to make clear that population growth was a much bigger factor.
The inquiry into the IPCC was ordered by the Dutch Government after the UN body admitted that its 2007 report contained two important errors.
It is the first of two studies this week into the veracity of climate science. The second, focusing on e-mails stolen from the University of East Anglias Climatic Research Unit, will be published tomorrow.
That study, led by Sir Muir Russell, is expected to dismiss claims that the units scientists manipulated their findings but may say that they should have been more willing to share their raw data.
The IPCCs report, used by governments around the world to develop emissions policies, falsely claimed that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. Most glaciologists believe that they will take at least 300 years to melt.
The report also said that more than half the Netherlands was below sea level (the correct figure is 26 per cent).
The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, which published the results of its investigation yesterday, concluded that the IPCCs main findings were justified and that climate change did indeed pose substantial risks to most parts of the world. But it said that the IPCC could strengthen its credibility by describing the full range of possible outcomes, rather than picking on the most alarming projections.
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