January 17, 2010
NYC Letter: Hot/Cold, Part V
Day 362 of CHOPE
The end of ice. [We dab an eye.] Again. [We blot the other eye.] It's settled science. [We swob our third eye.]
GLACIERS ARE MELTING FASTER THAN EXPECTED, UN REPORTS
March 18, 2008 (ScienceDaily)
October 5, 2009 (CNN) - The glaciers in the Himalayas are receding quicker than those in other parts of the world and could disappear altogether by 2035 according to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
Abode Of The Snow. Victim Of Settled Science
No. Wait. Plenty of ice.
January 18, 2010 (The Australian) - THE peak UN body on climate change has been dealt another humiliating blow to its credibility after it was revealed a central claim of one of its benchmark reports - that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 because of global warming - was based on a "speculative" claim by an obscure Indian scientist. The 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming, appears to have simply adopted the untested opinions of the Indian glaciologist from a magazine article published in 1999.
... But the scientists behind the warning have now admitted it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's report. It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
Mr Hasnain, who was then the chairman of the International Commission on Snow and Ice's working group on Himalayan glaciology, has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research.
Speculation, yes, but "settled science" speculation. Please observe the difference.
Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on Himalayan glaciers in the 2007 IPCC report, said on the weekend he was considering recommending that the claim about glaciers be dropped.
... When published, the IPCC report gave its source as the WWF study but went further, suggesting the melting of the glaciers was "very likely". The IPCC defines "very likely" as having a probability of greater than 90 per cent.
Glaciologists find such figures inherently ludicrous, pointing out that most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of metres thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise.
Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University:A small glacier such as the Dokriani glacier is up to 120m thick. A big one would be several hundred metres thick and tens of kilometres long. The average is 300m thick so to melt one at 5m a year would take 60 years.
Some scientists have questioned how the IPCC could have allowed such a mistake into print.
Professor Lal admits he knows little about glaciers.
When settling the science, gentle Gaea wastrel, speculation is more expeditious than the slog of formal research. Or doing the math.
Imminent doom coming soon. Just not anytime soon.Posted by Damian at January 17, 2010 03:00 PM