Monday, 25 January 2010

IPCC's Bogus Claims About Melting Glaciers

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Himalayan glacierThe scandal surrounding alarmist claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to build. The reputation of the IPCC had already been severely undermined by the “Climategate” scandal and the political implosion of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Now, as reported previously for The New American, the IPCC is at the center of a new scandal following revelations that its statements regarding the alleged shrinkage of the Himalayan glaciers relied on the claims of one scientist who had not undergone peer review.

As Rebecca Terrell reported for The New American, the IPCC’s current claims regarding the Himalayan glaciers was based on reports from over a decade ago concerning a unpublished study by an Indian scientist who now works for the IPCC:

The WWF gleaned its information from a 1999 article published in the journal New Scientist. The author, Fred Pearce, had quoted Indian scientist Syed Hasnain who was at the time chairman of the working group on Himalayan glaciology for the International Commission on Snow and Ice. Hasnain told Pearce he had data about a portion of the Himalayan glaciers he feared were at risk. Pearce told The Australian he eventually obtained a copy of Hasnain’s report, but it contained no specific date by which any melting was forecast to occur, nor had it been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

Hasnain now works for the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, as head of the glaciology team for TERI, an energy research institute headquartered in India. Last week TERI announced plans to collaborate with the University of Iceland and the Carnegie Corporation of New York to study "the effects of climate change on the Himalaya and the manifold consequences that follow for the possibilities of water management and food production on the plains below." In its press release, TERI bemoaned the fate of Himalayan glaciers: "According to predictions of scientific merit [emphasis added] they may indeed melt away in several decades." The EU Referendum reports that TERI received hundreds of thousands of dollars toward this research from the Carnegie Corporation.

Further details are now surfacing concern the size of the grants awarded to the IPCC on the basis of Hasnain’s controversial claims. According to a story available through the online edition of The Times of London:

The chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Rajendra Pachauri's Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers.

It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus. The revelation comes just a week after The Sunday Times highlighted serious scientific flaws in the IPCC's 2007 benchmark report on the likely impacts of global warming.

The IPCC had warned that climate change was likely to melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 — an idea considered ludicrous by most glaciologists. Last week a humbled IPCC retracted that claim and corrected its report.

Since then, however, The Sunday Times has discovered that the same bogus claim has been cited in grant applications for TERI.

One of them, announced earlier this month just before the scandal broke, resulted in a £310,000 grant from Carnegie.

In the aftermath of a “Climategate” scandal that has cast doubt on the scientific credibility of the entire theory of anthropogenic climate change, the new scandal (already awarded the unimaginative name of “Glaciergate”) raises further challenges for a scientific theory that is steadily losing credibility in the public eye.

The IPCC is endeavoring to get ahead of the building scandal, and is acknowledging that an “entire section” of their report was in error. According to

The chairman of the IPCC panel, Rajendra Pachauri, on Saturday called the forecast "a regrettable error," and says it arose because established procedures were not diligently followed. "The whole paragraph, I mean that entire section is wrong. That was a mistake," said Pachauri.

At present, Pachauri continues to resist calls for his resignation, and there is no word, as yet, whether there will be formal government inquiries concerning the process by which TERI applied for the massive grants that were supposed to fund research in a field of study that credible experts have now deemed ludicrous.

No doubt the voices of the skeptics will grow louder in the immediate future. One of the most significant “doomsday” claims made by advocates of the theory of manmade climate change has now lost any semblance of credibility. If one vital part of the overall model has collapsed, and the reputation of many of the scientists involved with the entire theory has been badly shaken, it seems reasonable to wonder what will happen if, and when, the next scandal erupts.

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