UN’s top climate guy to step down

Published September 23, 2013

| FoxNews.com

He must have been feeling the heat.

Rajendra Pachauri, the 73-year-old Indian leading the U.N.’s climate science arm, told Speigel Online he planned to step down from his position in 2015.

Pachauri, who once told climate skeptics to go rub their faces in cancer-causing asbestos, is not a scientist himself, despite the fact that he leads a group of climate scientists looking at global warming. Pachauri is rather a railroad engineer, an economist and a consultant with lucrative contracts in the energy industry, the German paper noted.

Meaning that when Pachauri vacates his position, anyone could step in to take over -- no degree in climate science necessary to chair the U.N.'s climate science group.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) he helms began a week-long debate in Sweden on Monday over the group’s latest report, a massive analysis of the state of the climate published every six years. While the report will not officially be released until Monday, the position it will strike is already well known.

“The scientific evidence for [man-made] climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction, despite the fact that there remain knowledge gaps and uncertainties in some areas of climate science,” said Qin Dahe, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I, in a statement on opening day.

Yet behind the scenes, governments have struggled to reconcile certain aspects of the climate record that simply don’t square up with that strengthening evidence, leaked emails reveal.

A report from the Associated Press on Friday revealed deep concerns among governments over how to address a slowdown in global warming that appears to cast doubt on climate models.

And a new study revealed earlier in the month underscored the frailty of those models. Out of 117 predictions, the study’s author told FoxNews.com, three were roughly accurate and 114 overestimated the amount of warming. On average, the predictions forecasted two times more global warming than actually occurred.

Some scientists say the study shows that climate modelers need to go back to the drawing board.

"It's a real problem ... it shows that there really is something that needs to be fixed in the climate models," climate scientist John Christy, a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told FoxNews.com.

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