False Himalaya glacier scare hurt global warming claims

LONDON, February 3, 2010 (AFP) – The embattled chief of the UN climate change panel admitted Wednesday that a mistake in a landmark 2007 report had damaged the body’s credibility, in an interview with a British newspaper. But Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), refused to apologise in the interview with the Guardian for the erroneous claim that global warming could melt Himalayan glaciers by 2035.

The Nobel-winning panel has faced fierce criticism over the mistake — which has been discredited by glaciologists and is being withdrawn — and the controversy has given fresh ammunition to climate sceptics.

“I think this (glacier) mistake has certainly cost us dear, there’s no question about it,” Pachauri told the newspaper.

“Everybody thought that what the IPCC brought out was the gold standard and nothing could go wrong.”

But when pressed to give a personal apology over the error — just the latest controversy to hit the UN panel — the climate scientist refused.

He said the IPCC had issued a statement expressing regret and he was not personally responsible for that part of the report.

“You can’t expect me to be personally responsible for every w