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« National Domestic Extremism Team | Main | Hockey Stick Illusion for US readers »

IPCC glaciers - some explanation

Photo by RichDrogPa under Creative Commons. Hot on the heels of New Scientist's story about how the erroneous Himalayan glacier story found its way from the lips of an Indian Scientist called Syed Hasnain, via the World Wildlife Fund, to the pages of an IPCC report, comes this article from Jonathan Leake in the Sunday Times, which fills in much of the detail. Amazingly, the claim that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 was not even remotely credible in the first place

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, said: "Even a small glacier such as the Dokriani glacier is up to 120 metres [394ft] thick. A big one would be several hundred metres thick and tens of kilometres long. The average is 300 metres thick so to melt one even at 5 metres a year would take 60 years. That is a lot faster than anything we are seeing now so the idea of losing it all by 2035 is unrealistically high.”

This rather begs the question of how such a remarkable claim managed to pass through the allegedly bulletproof peer review process of the IPCC and the New Scientist journalist, Fred Pearce, is demanding answers. It will be interesting to see if the IPCC deigns to respond.


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Reader Comments (19)

Roger Pielke Jr. already commented on this a month ago...

...and has other examples of the IPCC's "allegedly bulletproof peer review process"...

Jan 17, 2010 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

A commenter (Charlie) on Pielke's most recent post notes that even NASA used this 'mistake' as evidence to support the current AGW narrative...

...except they went one better and predicted 2030!

This sort of reminds me of the words of Sir Walter Scott:
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!

Jan 17, 2010 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Interesting article which prompted me to check out WWf web site, and quess what Keith Allot their head of climate change lists his area's of expertise/interest's include emmissions trading!! and international climate change negotiations.looks like the political tentacles spread far and wide.By the way Nat geo channel on sky were showing the Himalyan Glacieral decline programme again, coincidence?

Jan 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterdave the "denier"

Of course, a strong warmist response ought to nclude: Not to worry, the receding glacier scenario is supported by all sorts of other independent and "semi-independent" research studies (which have all undergone the same rigorous peer-review process as this one)!

Jan 17, 2010 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterDABbio

I don't have the funds to travel much any more. These scientists & their journalist friends, have produced this huge data well of junk. In their journeys they have seen the whole world; on our dime for the last twenty years. What valuable knowledge do we now know that we did not know in 1996, that is accurate, verifiable and repeatable dealing with AGW? From what I have been reading all this is over trying to quantify a change of global temperature that is in fact just a fraction of a degree. As you see how stations are added and adjusted for their readings over time... etc. dropped...etc. questions over cloud cover that are unmeasureable except by sat's. Tree rings from Russia at the cost of thousands and thousands of dollars--- I don't believe that this is truely able to tell us anything about the MWP. An interesting observation but that is as far as I will take it... All this time and money over roughly 1/2 a degree, over ten years. This should really be about the fifth ace that has just fallen from the sleeve of the man across the table from you. It is not about poker anymore...

Jan 17, 2010 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom

Tom, it is like counting fairies on a pin head. Note that the UAH satellite data set currently shows a global decadal trend of 0.127 C!

Jan 17, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling

"This rather begs the question of how such a remarkable claim managed to pass through the allegedly bulletproof peer review process of the IPCC and the New Scientist journalist ..."

Because it was what they wanted to hear.

Jan 17, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

This 'remarkable claim' managed to pass through because the IPCC uses material from activist groups instead of scientific papers..

While some of those activists may come in the guise of 'scientists' ( take a bow Phil 'cheers' Jones), and while the IPCC and the AGW proponents may push the propaganda about their pure, peer-reviewed science to silence the sceptics, after Climategate it should now be clear that there is hardly any science in the latest IPCC, and the little bit there is, is also tainted by the political agenda of the AGW proponents.

One's got to ask why nobody in the MSM tried a bit of fact-checking at that time - one does not have to be a scientist to understand that nonsense must be wrong.

Jan 17, 2010 at 3:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Sounds like other member's of the AGW conspiracy are being questioned about their veracity --
I think the Times took my complaint about having to look out of the window whenever the Met Office said it was raining seriously:

"When it rains, it pours!" (old Irish proverb)

Jan 17, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

No wonder IPCC was eager to publish this New Scientist's canard. The institute that pays Pachauri's wages has a share in a lucrative €3 million EU research project called "High Noon", aimed at assessing the effects of the Himalayan glaciers retreat, caused by climate change. Read more here:

EU Referendum's Richard North has done a lot of investment journalism on Pachauri's financial escapades, for which he not always gets the credits he deserves.

BTW Pachauri's reaction to glaciers not disappearing in 2035 is.... "Voodoo Science"....

Jan 17, 2010 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi

Somewhat OT have you seen that the BBC is considering junking the "forecast" services of the Met Office for an outfit in New Zealand? !!

After 90 years that would be quite some change.....wonder who else is for the chop this year?

Jan 17, 2010 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRossa

It appears to be a kind of group-think. Once the idea is out there it cannot be questioned.
I've heard that the glaciers in New Zealand will be gone in ten years and some of the glacier ski tours in the Canadian Rockies will be impossible 20 years from now.

Jan 17, 2010 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterwilliam

have you guys not seen this:

from the bbc no less

Jan 17, 2010 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commentervic

In fact, it looks like it was first blogged by Pielke Snr. on 1st December (i.e. just before the Copenhagen jamboree)...

All this begs the question: why has it taken New Scientist so long to register these facts?

Jan 17, 2010 at 6:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Why is New Scientist shifting the blame to others over this? If it doesn't do it's own vetting of articles it wishes to publish, it becomes no more useful than the environmental column in a daily newspaper.

Jan 17, 2010 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeterB

I wonder what poor Al will have to say about this? You don't think he will have to give his Peace Prize back along with the Oscar he "won" from his buddies, do you?


Jan 17, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

This is the kind of rubbish that undermines New Scientologist's credibility every week:

Paint away the CO2

"Rachel Armstrong of University College London (UCL), who suggests that her smart paint can turn buildings into carbon sinks.

Armstrong created the paint by dissolving salts and esters in oil droplets. Repeated coatings react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce calcium carbonate - which is the main constituent of limestone - and alcohol. The resulting "biolime" will provide extra strength and insulation, she says. How much CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere in this way has not yet been tested."

Just think for a few seconds how much paint you buy in a year and how much petrol/diesel. And I've got a scary feeling that the whole thing starts out in a limestone quarry. (If it ever happens - at the moment it starts out in a bedsit bong.)

Jan 17, 2010 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Rather like the other poster children of AGW, the Hockey Stick, glaciers on Kilimanjaro, the Maldives being inundated, drowning polar bears, it turns out to be at least not all it's claimed, and possibly, completely without foundation.

Now, why should those claiming a clear and present threat need to appeal to sensational, and as it turns out, incorrect evidence? Where have we seen that before in the last ten years?

Why is the IPCC not eager to correct these false indications that we are not heading for climate catastrophe? They should be relieved. Surely it can't be that they want us to believe a line for their own reasons and regardless of what the facts suggest?

Jan 17, 2010 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commentercosmic

Improper use of begs the question.

Jan 18, 2010 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN

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