Rajendra Pachauri of IPCC says climate change is real and caused by humans

Rajendra Pachauri – who heads the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC – says global warming is real, and that the recent warming has been caused mainly by human activity. But, Pachauri added:

Rajendra Pachauri: I think we certainly need much more precise information through research in several parts of the world on the impacts of climate change.

Pachauri spoke with EarthSky’s Jorge Salazar at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December of 2009. He said that, since 1990, IPCC experts have documented over 25,000 examples of observed changes to Earth’s climate. These include early springs, snowmelt, premature bud bursts, and loss of coral. He spoke to his critics.

Rajendra Pachauri: We have assessed every piece of literature that has gone through the peer-review process. And there’s been no exclusion of anything at all. I think the IPCC authors have been completely open and objective.

Still, he hopes that, in the future, his organization will be able to make even more specific projections about climate change in this century.

Rajendra Pachauri: I think those need to be downscaled and we need to project those impacts in a way that we get much more reliable information on what’s going to happen in several parts of the world. There are gaps which I hope will get filled up, partly.

The press conference with Rajendra Pachauri happened during the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December of 2009. World leaders considered the legally binding commitments to actions that will slow and lower CO2 emissions, many of which could be economically costly to some parties, mainly developed countries such as those in the European Union and the U.S. EarthSky asked Dr. Pachauri what role science should make in filling the gap between what’s happening with Earth’s climate and what action is needed.

Rajendra Pachauri: We can produce the science. We can provide the assessment on climate change. I would say the media has an extremely important role to convey the truth to the public. And I think it’s time that that happened on a larger scale. Frankly, I’m very encouraged from what I’ve seen in the last two years. The media has been extremely active in this area. And they’ve made a difference, there’s no question about it.

December 10, 2009

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