The satellites and cameras do not lie : glaciers in the Himalayas are melting, and the loss of any part of this “third pole” ice cover threatens the freshwater supply for billions.
This weekend’s Media clamour on the subject focuses on the trail of a mis-attribution of a claim regarding the complete meltdown of the mountain glaciers.
Just because somebody’s got their references wrong, doesn’t mean that the glaciers have magically not been melting after all.
Yes, the IPCC process has failed to pick up this prediction error. No, it doesn’t throw the whole of the IPCC reports into the trash can.
You know exactly what the Climate Change Deniers are going to do with this story : run with it as far as they can.
They want scalps. They go about trying to collect them. It’s clear they want Dr Rajendra Pachauri out of the picture.
It remains to be seen exactly how bad the Himalayan melt becomes, but the plain fact is : the glaciers are clearly melting, and no amount of spin can bring them back !
The newspaper articles that will fuel so much Climate Change Denial include one from The Sunday Times, by a usually perceptive reporter Jonathan Leake. How he has failed to spot the denial spin machine in action is disappointing.
“From The Sunday Times : January 17, 2010 : World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown”
“UN science report which stated Himalayan glaciers would melt within 25 years ‘was a guess’ : By DAVID DERBYSHIRE : 17th January 2010”
“Good news for the world: bad news for official climate science body : By Geoffrey Lean Last updated: January 17th, 2010 : It’s the best news of the decade so far, but not for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the official ultimate authority on climate science, for it poses a much greater threat to its credibility than the much-hyped “Climategate” emails and puts further questionmarks over its embattled chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri. Reports today suggest that the IPCC may soon retract one of the more alarming predictions in its latest massive review of climate science, that the glaciers of the Himalayas are very likely to disappear by 2035, after it was found to be unjustified…Leading glaciologist Prof Graham Cogley of Ontario’s Trent University – who says that, at current rates, the melting might take ten times longer – has been worried for some time about the prediction. At one stage he thought IPCC had wrongly transposed two figures in the date from a 1996 scientific paper that forecast the glaciers’ disappearance by 2350. But the truth is even more embarrassing. It goes back to a story published in New Scientist in 1999 by its excellent environment specialist, Fred Pearce, which reported an Indian glaciologist Syed Husnain as saying they could be gone by 2035. This was mentioned six years later in a campaigning document by the environment group, WWF, and the IPCC then picked it up. This is serious, as the authority of the IPCC rests on meticulously basing its reports on peer-reviewed literature and, indeed, on taking a conservative view. Traditionally it has erred on the side of caution, sometimes excessively so. In the same report, for example, it grossly underestimated future sea-level rise, by excluding contributions form melting ice from the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets, though these would be major factors: last December a highly authoritative report suggested that its forecast level should be doubled. Dr Pachauri may be even more damaged, thanks to his reported reaction to an Indian paper late last year which suggested that the glaciers were not disappearing rapidly, leading the country’s environment minister, Jairem Ramesh to accuse the IPCC of being “alarmist”. Pachauri was widely reported as dismissing the paper as “voodoo science”, adding: “We have a very clear idea of what is happening” in the Himalayas…”
Flashback to November 2009, when the dispute broke onto the world stage :-
One of the pieces of media the Climate Change Deniers seem so worried about : a short film with expert commentary :-
From EuropeImages, part of the film “HIMALAYAS: THE ROOF OF THE WORLD IS MELTING” :-
Mark Lynas on this subject, referring to the Indian Government report :-
And as regards Dr Rajendra Pachauri and the media campaign against him. Well, there is strong evidence that this is happening. :-
“Pachauri accuses UK daily of ‘sustained vendetta’ : STAFF WRITER : H S Rao : London, Jan 17 (PTI) Rajendra Pachauri, the chief of the UN panel on climate change, today accused a leading British newspaper of carrying out “a sustained vendetta” against him even though he does not receive any payment, honoraria or compensation for work done for the IPCC. Pachauri, Chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), accused the The Sunday Telegraph of running a sustained vendetta against him. “I have been reading with growing indignation what appears to be a sustained vendetta against me in The Sunday Telegraph and on your blogs,” Pachauri said in his letter to the editor. The letter of the Indian scientist was published in the newspaper today while in a separate story the daily said “million of pounds of British taxpayers’ money is being paid to a research institute headed by Dr Pachauri.”
“Himalayan glaciers won’t melt by 2035, says new finding : Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times : New Delhi , January 18, 2010 : A United Nations body is expected to retract its oft-repeated prediction that most of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035. Two years ago, the UN’s Nobel prize-winning body — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) headed by R.K. Pachauri — had warned of the melting of glaciers, which would have far-reaching consequences for India. Now, evidence has emerged to suggest that the IPCC may have been mistaken. “We are studying the new evidence,” Pachauri. The IPCC’s claim was based on an article in the New Statesman, London, which relied on an estimate made by India’s leading glaciologist and Padamshree recipient Syed Iqbal Hasnain. “Pachauri said IPCC would issue a statement on the glaciers “by the middle of this week”.”