Leeds scientist complains to PCC over Sunday Times article

Simon Lewis, a Leeds University expert on tropical forests, has complained to the Press Complaints C

Lewis has charged that the January article, about a supposed mistake made by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was "inaccurate, misleading and distorted" and fuelled claims that the IPCC was flawed and its conclusions unreliable.

The article, originally headlined "UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim," said that the 40 per cent destruction figure for tropical forests was based on an "unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise".

Lewis said the article led readers to assume that the IPCC's claim in its 2007 report that reduced rainfall could wipe out nearly 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest were false.

In his complaint, Lewis claimed when he was contacted by The Sunday Times before the article was published; he told them that though the IPCC statement was poorly written, it is correct.

He said the article quoted him as agreeing that the IPCC had made a false claim, when he actually said that it was correct but lacked enough references.