Panel chairman refuses to apologise for false claim

By Eloise Gibson

The embattled chairman of the UN expert panel on climate change dug in his heels this week, refusing to personally apologise for a false claim over glaciers and accusing some journalists of "scurrilous" writings.

Rajendra Pachauri told British journalists it would be "populist" to apologise because he was not personally involved in writing the section of the 2007 report that incorrectly claimed Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035.

He rejected calls to resign and in an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change newsletter this week he urged IPCC members not to be discouraged by any "ill-founded criticism".

In what was seen as a snub by some, Dr Pachauri's Indian homeland this week appointed a separate National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology to monitor the effects of climate change, and an "Indian IPCC" to assess the impact of global warming on the country.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh explained the move by saying India was a very big country and could not rely solely on the IPCC, which only summarises science and does not do original research.

Meanwhile Phil Jones, the British climate scientist at the centre of the leaked-emails controversy, faced a further accusation by the Guardian newspaper that he had sought to hide problems in Chinese temperature data that the latest IPCC report refers to.

The claim is that Dr Jones sought to hide the fact that his collaborator, Wei-Chyung Wang, could not produce the locations of Chinese temperature stations used in a 1990 paper to show global warning was not solely a city phenomenon.

Dr Wang, who says he lost records of the locations after the paper was written, was cleared of wrongdoing by his United States university.

Dr Jones said the results were matched by a later study.

- NZ Herald

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