Glacier goof-up scientist blames IPCC authorJanuary 20th, 2010 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Syed Iqbal Hasnain, the man behind the alarmist report that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, Wednesday blamed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expert who had included the information in an IPCC report.
The world body has landed in a mess as a result of the erroneous report.
“I have not given any date or year on the likely disappearance of Himalayan glaciers,” Hasnain said here.
“The statement I gave (in 1999) — on the basis of the results being found till then — was: ‘All the glaciers in the middle Himalayas are retreating ’ — and a scientific postulation was made that all the glaciers in the central and eastern Himalayas could disappear in the next 40-50 years at their present rate of decline.”
Hasnain told IANS: “The lead author of the chapter in the IPCC 2007 report should have got this information peer reviewed before including it. If that had been done, subsequent findings would have ensured that this information was not included, because it was outdated.”
The chapter’s author, M.B. Lal, has in turn blamed Hasnain.
The 2007 report brought world attention to IPCC and that year’s Nobel Peace Prize in conjunction with former US vice president Al Gore.
Now, faced with a grave threat to its credibility after the revelation that the error got into the report due to lack of sufficient peer review, the IPCC was Wednesday trying to decide how to get out of the mess.
Hasnain’s 1999 statement had made it to the British magazine New Scientist, from there to a 2005 report of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and from there to the IPCC report.
Hasnain, who has taught in New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and been vice chancellor of Kozhikode University in Kerala before joining The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as a distinguished scientist, complained: “Vested interests have targeted my research with the overall objective to malign the science of climate change”.
Saying “I have not given any date or year on the likely disappearance of Himalayan glaciers — neither in any interview nor in any of my publications in various journals”, Hasnain added: “Whatever got published in New Scientist was a journalistic assumption interpolated by the interviewer, over which I had no control. During the interview I presented the outcome of the findings on the basis of 20 years of my research till 1999.”
“I must stress that a journalistic substitution of the year 2035 was made - without my knowledge and approval - that was markedly contrary to my research-supported finding of the likelihood of the central and eastern Himalaya glaciers disappearing in ‘40-50 years’,” he said.
Despite Hasnain’s clarification, the use of the alarmist assertion in the IPCC report has given a fillip to climate sceptics, who are also pointing out that Hasnain works in the same TERI that is headed by IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri.
For long known as India’s top glaciologist, a defensive Hasnain said Wednesday: “Can there be any doubt on the pathetic state of the Himalayan glaciers? This has been affirmed by the findings of research works, published in peer-reviewed journals after 1990s, as well as the present research work being carried out by me and my team.”
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had last October released a study on Himalayan glaciers that contradicted Hasnain. Since the revelation about the IPCC report, Ramesh has said he had also found Hasnain’s prognostication “overly alarmist, though there is no doubt that Himalayan glaciers are overall on the retreat” due to global warming.
Hasnain signed off by saying: “The detractors should note that my research speaks for itself. To buttress this, very soon I will be presenting a report on the status of Himalayan glaciers, based on research works by Indian and international scientists on Himalayan glaciers published in different peer-reviewed journals across the world.”
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- Pachauri accepts Himalayan mistake, but won't resign (Third Lead) - Jan 23, 2010
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- 'Warning on melting Himalayan glaciers wildly inaccurate' - Jan 21, 2010
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- 'Mixed picture' emerging of Himalayan glaciers' melting - Dec 01, 2009
- Himalayan glaciers are in retreat: UN body - Jan 22, 2010
- Climate scientists blast IPCC's 'sloppy' melting Himalayan glaciers error - Feb 09, 2010
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