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Top scientists to review UN's climate panel

March 11, 2010 13:35 IST

The United Nations has launched an independent review of the functioning of its top climate change body IPCC, which has come under much criticism in the recent months for some errors in its reports.

"... We need to ensure full transparency, accuracy and objectivity and minimise the potential of any error going forward. I have initiated in tandem with the head of the IPCC a comprehensive independent review of the IPCC's procedures and processes," UN Chief Ban Ki-moon said.

Ban said, "there were a very small number of errors" in the 3,000 pages of the beleaguered Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's last major synthesis of climate data in 2007.

The decision to review was announced by Ban and IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri in the wake of the report which erroneously claimed that Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035.

The error has also been attributed to a typographical error with the words 2035 appearing instead of 2350. But those errors, which include projections of retreats in Himalayan glaciers, have put public confidence in the Nobel Prize winning panel's work at risk.

"This review will be conducted by the InterAcademy Council...it will be done completely independent of the United Nations," he said. Robbert Dijkgraaf, a Dutch mathematical physicist who co-chairs the group the InterAcademy Council of 15 nations' national academies of science, said: "We enter this process with no preconceived conclusions."

Betwa Sharma in United Nations
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