5/14/2010 11:14:02 PM

Leading Scientist: Climate Predictions Coming True

Sea ice with large leadThe climate dice are "dangerously loaded," said NASA Scientist Jim Hansen, with climate predictions made 10 years ago now coming true. At the same time, though, he expressed worry about "the large gap" in knowledge between specialists and the public, including politicians.

"That gap has increased substantially in the last year," Hansen said at a press conference in Paris. "While the science was becoming clearer, the public's perception became less clear, in part because of the unusually cold winter in both North America and Europe, and in part because of the inappropriate over-emphasis on small minor errors in IPCC documents and because of the so-called Climategate."

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had minor errors in its 2007 report, since corrected, Hansen said, which do not affect the overall conclusion. And the scientists involved in the stolen email scandal dubbed "Climategate" were cleared by a British parliamentary panel of any wrongdoing.

Despite the cold winter in the U.S. and Europe:

  • Worldwide, this was the second warmest winter on record in 130 years
  • Seven out of the last 10 winters in Europe have been warmer than the long-term average
  • Eight out of the last 10 winters in the U.S. have been warmer than the long-term average

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