In addition, several of the findings of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concerning the eventual impacts of climate change in developing countries were found to be exaggerated or simply not true. We understand that reforms of the IPCC process are currently underway and we believe that no American taxpayer dollars should be committed to a global climate fund based on information that is not accurate.
They are continuing an effort of misdirection and misrepresentation so that the debate does not focus on the issue – the urgent need for adaptation and the value to the United States of investing in adaptation (around the world).
Unless the senators can point to serious deficiencies in the actual main conclusions about impacts of the IPCC report — which they have not done and cannot do — the prudent thing is to take the IPCC’s severe warnings about impacts at face value and prepare accordingly.
The senators are incorrect in their claim that there are substantial errors in the IPCC’s evaluation of the science of impacts of climate change on developing nations. The IPCC’s main conclusions, as carefully developed in summary statements, were endorsed with no dissent by all the scientists who participated (essentially comprising all the world’s experts in these matters) and also with no dissent by all the representatives of all participating governments (virtually every government in the world, including by the way the representatives appointed by the G. W. Bush administration).
What the senators are probably referring to are two statements buried among the many hundreds of detailed and specific statements in the body of the report. One of these claimed that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by the year 2035. This is rather obviously erroneous (ultimately it was traced back to a misprint in a non-peer-reviewed article that projected their disappearance by 2350). While the fate of the very high-altitude Asian glaciers remains uncertain, recent studies have shown that at least some of them are dwindling enough to have serious impact on South Asian water supplies within this century.
In other developing nations, for example Peru, the harmful future impact of the disappearance of glaciers on water supplies has not been disputed, and is indeed already becoming a worry.
The second statement that the senators are probably thinking of had to do with the risk that the Amazon rain forest might dry up and turn to grassland by the end of the century. This is not an error if the statement is properly understood. There is indeed such a *risk* although since it is not a *certainty* it has been somewhat controversial. The most recent studies suggest that while climate change alone may not destroy the Amazon rain forest, the combined effect of climate change and continuing deforestation is indeed very risky.
In sum, unless the senators can point to serious deficiencies in the actual main conclusions about impacts of the IPCC report–which they have not done and cannot do–the prudent thing is to take the IPCC’s severe warnings about impacts at face value and prepare accordingly.Link: http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/12/05/scientists-inhofe-cancun/