GreenerWorking.com » UN admits glacier not melting as fast as predicted

UN admits glacier not melting as fast as predicted

January 22, 2010 by Tom Guay
Posted in: Latest News & Views, News

A huge crack just appeared in the wall of science that the United Nations uses to justify calls for drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) now admits that it was wrong about a prediction that some Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2035. The IPCC now admits that its 2007 prediction was “poorly substantiated” and that “well-established standards of evidence were not applied properly.”

The prediction of the early demise of Himalayan glaciers was made in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report on global warming. CNN reports that IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri came clean during an energy meeting in Dhabi.

The mistaken claim of the glacial melting in the Himalayan region was traced back to a 1999 article in the popular science magazine, The New Journal.

However, Pachauri also insisted that the mistake does not alter the IPCC’s claims that climate change is made worse by human activity. He said that although the IPCC “slipped on one number, I don’t think it takes anything away from the overwhelming scientific evidence of what’s happening with the climate of this Earth.”

CNN reports that the World Glacier Monitoring Service says part of the problem is that there is very little data of any kind to measure if or how fast these glaciers are retreating.

The bombshell admission that at least one prediction in the IPCC’s document was fudged is sure to flame the opposition against cap-and-trade legislation in the U.S.

However, it’s unlikely to actually change the Obama administration’s commitment to put America on course to reduce GHG emissions.

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2 Responses to “UN admits glacier not melting as fast as predicted”

  1. David Gage Says:

    The following was picked up from a more current report:

    Of course, following the IPCC’s erroneous claims about glaciers in their 2007 report — which led to calls for the panel’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, to step down — many people may be skeptical about this latest warning. But while the melt date given by the IPCC was pulled from an article in a non-peer-reviewed popular science magazine, the WGMS’ alert is based on rigorously conducted research. The respected Swiss body, founded in 1894, currently gathers information from 96 of the world’s 160,000 glaciers, including 30 “reference” glaciers, which the WGMS has been monitoring since 1980.

    Preliminary figures for 2007-08 show that while 30 of those 96 glaciers gained in mass over the course of the year, the other 66 had diminished, yielding an overall average shrinkage of 0.5 meters. That’s part of a wider melt pattern: between 1980 and 2008, the world’s glaciers shrank by an average of approximately 13 meters each.

    If temperatures continue to rise, Haeberli said, continental Europe could find itself almost entirely glacier-free. “We are on the path of the highest scenario [of global warming] in reality, but if you take a medium scenario in the Alps, about 70 percent [of glaciers] will be gone by the middle of the century, and mountain ranges like the Pyrenees may be completely ice-free,” he said, adding that the Rockies and Andes were also highly vulnerable.

    Indeed, one Andean glacier — Chacaltaya in Bolivia — has already melted away. In 1998, scientists predicted that the vast ice block above Bolivian capital La Paz would stick around until at least 2015, a claim dismissed at the time as overly dramatic. In fact, the prediction was too optimistic: In May, a team of scientists stationed near the capital declared that Chacaltaya officially “no longer exists.”

  2. Matt Says:

    Some of us have been saying this for years. What a bunch of frauds. Cap-and-Trade is dead!


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