Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Climate change report leaves scientists ruffled

AP , BRUSSELS

An international global warming conference approved a report on climate change yesterday, chairman Rajendra Pachauri said, after a contentious marathon session that saw angry exchanges between diplomats and scientists who drafted the report.

"We have an approved accord. It has been a complex exercise," Pachauri told reporters after an all-night meeting of the International Panel on Climate Change.

Several scientists objected to the editing of the final draft by government negotiators, but in the end agreed to compromises. However, some scientists vowed never to take part in the process again.

"The authors lost," one scientist said. "A lot of authors are not going to engage in the IPCC process anymore. I have had it with them," he said on condition of anonymity because the proceedings were supposed to remain confidential.

A reporter, however, witnessed part of the final meeting.

The climax of five days of negotiations was reached when the delegates removed parts of a key chart highlighting devastating effects of climate change that kick in with every rise of 1oC. There was also a tussle over the level of confidence attached to key statements.

The US, China and Saudi Arabia raised the most objections to the phrasing, most often seeking to tone down the certainty of some of the more dire projections.

The final report is the clearest and most comprehensive scientific statement to date on the impact of global warming mainly caused by human-induced carbon dioxide pollution. It predicts that up to 30 percent of species face an increased risk of extinction if global temperatures rise 2oC above the average of the 1980s and 1990s.

Areas that now suffer a shortage of rain will become even drier, adding to the risks of hunger and disease, and the world will face heightened threats of flooding, severe storms and the erosion of coastlines, it said.

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