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Scientists urge Senate action on global warming

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The move is the latest bid to try to shore up credibility for the IPCC, whose reports were tarred after hacked e-mails appeared to show bias in favor of global warming's severity during development of the panel's reports. Add to that glaring mistakes, such as the erroneous prediction in the IPCC's 2007 report (which won a Nobel prize) that Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035. In fact, the glaciers are melting about as fast as glaciers worldwide – about double the rate of 40 years ago, NASA has found.

Such revelations "have really shaken the confidence of the public in the conduct of science," Ralph Cicerone, an atmospheric scientist who heads the US National Academy of Sciences, said last month at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Recent polls show flagging public confidence that global warming is occurring. A recent Gallup poll shows 48 percent of Americans think the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated.

“The IPCC’s mandate is to provide objective scientific assessments for decision makers,” IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said in a statement. “The IPCC stands firmly behind the rigor and reliability of its Fourth Assessment Report from 2007, but we recognize that we can improve. We have listened and learned from our critics, and we intend to take every action we can to ensure that our reports are as robust as possible.”

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