12 years ago
A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by
2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the
United Nations body that issued it.
Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a
benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most
detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the
world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could
vanish by 2035.
The report read: "Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any
other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood
of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the
Earth keeps warming at the current rate."
In the past 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.
It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a
short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist
then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
The revelation is the latest crack to appear in the scientific concensus
over climate change. It follows the so-called climate-gate scandal, where
British scientists apparently tried to prevent other researchers from
accessing key date. Last week another row broke out when the Met Office
criticised suggestions that sea levels were likely to rise 1.9m by 2100,
suggesting much lower increases were likely.