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.
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. Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation"
This will be seized on by the denial lobby with joy, as "proof" that all climate science is a conspiracy to introduce World Government and tax us all to death.
In fact all it shows that there was a failure in the IPCC fact-checking process, which must be corrected, but overall, it is good news for all concerned, especially the millions who depend on glacier melt water. It gives us more time to rectify the situation and decarbonise our economy..
The fact remains that glaciers are melting, as this link shows.
"Image created by Robert A. Rohde / Global Warming Art".
[update 18th Jan: now the Daily Express has front-paged the story]
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[Update] Himalayan Glaciers are indeed retreating - paper