January 25, 2010

World Misled Over Glacier Meltdown: Report




By The Economic Times

 

London – A warning that most of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 owing to climate change is likely to be retracted after the United Nations body that issued it admitted to a series of scientific blunders.

 

Two years ago, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) headed by India's Rajendra Pachauri, issued a benchmark report that claimed to have incorporated the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming.

 

A central claim was that world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

 

In the last few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report, the Sunday Times reported.

 

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephonic interview with Syed Hasnain, an Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the report said.

 

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was a "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research, the report added.

 

If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research.

 

The IPCC was set up to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

 

Rajendra Pachauri has previously dismissed criticism of the Himalayas claim as "voodoo science" and last week the IPCC refused to comment on the report.







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