Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Glaciers Are Melting

New Scientist seems to have made an error.

IT WAS a dramatic declaration: glaciers across much of the Himalayas may be gone by 2035. When New Scientist heard this comment from a leading Indian glaciologist, we reported it. That was in 1999. The claim later appeared in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most recent report - and it turns out that our article is the primary published source.

The glaciologist has never submitted what he says was a speculative comment for peer review - and most of his peers strongly dispute it. So how could such speculation have become an IPCC "finding" which has, moreover, recently been defended by the panel's chairman? We are entitled to an explanation, before rumour and doubt compound the damage to the image of climate science already inflicted by the leaked "climategate" emails.
Ah yes. The perils of rumor and doubt.

And the defense of speculation? I was under the impression that that was the chief job of the IPCC. Nice to see New Scientist on the job. Let me see if I can come to a proper conclusion: 2009 minus 1999 is about 10 years (more or less). Fortunately they have a crack team checking in to their errors and promptly publishing corrections.

I wonder what else in the IPCC report is just rank speculation? But they are not completely wrong. About 18,000 years ago the location that is now the city of Chicago was covered by a glacier as was much of the North American Continent. And those glaciers are now gone. Some one needs to be held accountable for this global warming.

As a commenter at Bishop Hill paraphrased the New Scientist reaction in his marvelous (to these American ears) British accent:
We are entitled to know why the IPCC used our article based on a false non peer reviewed speculative claim by a some shady Indian glaciologist.
Well I'm an Anglophile. I can hear the accent.

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