Pachauri concedes mistake, but in no mood to resign

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New Delhi, Jan.23 (ANI): Head of the United Nation's Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) R K Pachauri has regretted at the error in the report about Himalayan glaciers melting and vanishing by 2035 but he has refused to give up despite mounting pressure of critics on him to resign.

On Saturday, Pachauri, however, refused to resign for the faux pas by contending that there were unfinished tasks related to IPCC.

"I have no intention of resigning from my position. I was elected by acclamation by all the countries of the world and I have a task. I have to complete the fifth assessment report and I shall do it and make sure that we come up with a robust report. We certainly had a very robust, very credible forth assessment report. Unfortunately there has been this error in respect of Himalayan glaciers but that in no way detracts from the value of the report and impact it has had," said R K Pachauri, Head of IPCC, on Saturday in a conference.

Pachauri said he hoped that rational people around the world would see the larger picture and not get distracted by this error.

"As far as credibility is concerned I am sure people all over the world, rational people, and I am not talking of those who have other intentions into account, they see the larger picture. They are not going to be distracted by this one error which of course is regrettable," added R K Pachauri.

Further he said the IPCC had learnt a lesson and in future would exercise a higher level of surveillance to ensure that such errors were not repeated.

"We will just exercise level of surveillance that will clearly ensure that nothing like this happens again. But this was a human error, which shouldn't have occurred and we are going to do anything to see that this is never repeated again," said R K Pachauri.

It may be recalled that the members of the IPCC issued a statement on the flaw appearing in a paragraph of the 938-page scientific report. They noted to say 'regret the poor application of well-established IPCC procedures in this instance'.

They also mentioned that the projection of a thaw by 2035 did not make it to the final summary for policymakers in its latest report in 2007. The summary projected a faster thaw in the coming years for glaciers from the Andes to the Alps.

India and certain climate researchers did criticise the IPCC findings in recent days for over-stating the shrinking of Himalayan glaciers, whose seasonal thaw helps to supply water to countries such as China, Nepal and India.

On this count, the IPCC members said they were strongly committed to ensuring a high standard for the reports.

Critics pointed out that the offending paragraph says: 'Glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner, is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.'

On January 18, the Union Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, said that the glaciers are receding, but the report that glaciers will vanish by 2035 is not based on an iota of scientific evidence.

The IPCC statement said that the 2035 projection was based on 'poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession' and that proper checks were not made.

Flaws in IPCC reports can be damaging since the findings are a guide for policies to be formulated by various governments.

The IPCC's core finding in 2007 was that it was more than 90 percent sure that mankind is the main cause of global warming, mainly by using fossil fuels. (ANI)

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