Wednesday, January 20, 2010

UN Climate group issues apology for phony glacier data

In a recent post, I told you that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was expected to retract its warning that most of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035.  Well they did just that today.  Perhaps they thought it would get lost in the Senator-elect Scott Brown media frenzy.  CNN reports:

The U.N.'s leading panel on climate change has apologized for misleading data published in a 2007 report that warned Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said estimates relating to the rate of recession of the Himalayan glaciers in its Fourth Assessment Report were "poorly substantiated" adding that "well-established standards of evidence were not applied properly."

Despite the admission, the IPCC reiterated its concern about the dangers melting glaciers present in a region that is home to more than one-sixth of the world's population.

"Widespread mass losses from glaciers and reductions in snow cover over recent decades are projected to accelerate throughout the 21st century, reducing water availability, hydropower potential, and changing seasonality of flows in regions supplied by meltwater from major mountain ranges (e.g. Hindu-Kush, Himalaya, Andes)..."

"The chair, vice-chairs, and co-chairs of the IPCC," the statement continued, "regrets the poor application of IPCC procedures..."

The apology follows a growing storm of controversy which initially forced the IPCC to concede that data relating to the Himalayan glacier melt included in the 2007 report was not backed up by sufficient scientific data. (emphasis mine)
The equivocal nature of this "apology" reminds me of the New York Times headline back in 2004 regarding the forged documents that Dan Rather tried to use to discredit President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard:  Memos on Bush Are Fake but Accurate.

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