The chairman of the UN's panel of climate scientists defended his Nobel-winning group yesterday against criticism that it had erroneously forecast an early disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers.
A section of a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the probability of glaciers in the Himalayas "disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high".
IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri, addressing reporters at the World Future Energy Summit, said even if the remarks on Himalayan glaciers is incorrect, it does not undermine evidence supporting the existence of climate change.
"Theoretically, let's say we slipped up on one number, I don't think it takes anything away from the overwhelming scientific evidence of what's happening with the climate of this earth," he said.
"I've never used that figure in any of my talks, because I think it's not for IPCC to make predictions of outcomes or dates. We always give ranges, and that's scientifically the way to do it. We always give… scenarios of what might happen."
Pachauri, whose panel was harshly criticised by India's environment minister, said IPCC will respond to the criticism by the end of the week.
"Before the end of the week, we will certainly come to a position and make it known. We are looking into the source of that information, the veracity of it and what it is that IPCC should say on the subject."
In New Delhi, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh was quoted as saying "the IPCC claim that glaciers will vanish by 2035 was not based on an iota of scientific evidence".
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