"POTSDAM -- Germany's top climate researcher says he hopes he and his fellow scientists around the world have got it all wrong about global warming.
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told Reuters he gets no pleasure at all in being a prophet of doom and hopes he and his colleagues have overlooked effects that could still arrest climate change.
'It would be wonderful if some mechanism that we haven't yet been able to understand could still have an impact and manage to stabilize global warming at a high level for a while,' he said in an interview in his institute's office outside Berlin.
'I would be delighted if it turns out that we haven't understood the system as well as we think we do and that we might get a 20- to 30-year 'breathing period' when global warming slows or is even halted,' the physics professor said.
But Schellnhuber, who advises German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union on climate change, said it was also possible scientists were erring in the opposite direction and underestimating the climate change dynamics."