Monday, February 01, 2010

The U.N.'s IPCC Caught Using Articles and Information That Isn't Peer Reviewed (Glaciers in the Himalayas)

Should products produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) carry the following warning label:

There is, as usual, shoddy information coming out of the enviro-wackos over at the United Nations. I will first quote a bit from these recent blunder, and then talk about the truth of the Himalayan Mountain Glaciers.

(Telegraph UK) UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article:
The revelation will cause fresh embarrassment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which had to issue a humiliating apology earlier this month over inaccurate statements about global warming....

(HotAir) IPCC based claims on a student dissertation and a magazine article:
...The [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]’s remit is to provide an authoritative assessment of scientific evidence on climate change.

In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.

However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.

The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master’s degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps....
(Telegraph UK) UN climate change panel based claims on student dissertation and magazine article:
...Professor Richard Tol, one of the report's authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: "These are essentially a collection of anecdotes. 

"Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been. 

"There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense." 

The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government's worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people....

Problems galore, as rightly pointed out, but what about these receding glaciers? Is there any truth to this?

(Discovery News) Himalayan Glaciers Seem to Be Growing:
Perched on the soaring Karakoram mountains in the Western Himalayas, a group of some 230 glaciers are bucking the global warming trend. They're growing.

Throughout much of the Tibetan Plateau, high-altitude glaciers are dwindling in the face of rising temperatures. The situation is potentially dire for the hundreds of millions of people living in China, India and throughout southeast Asia who depend on the glaciers for their water supply.
But in the rugged western corner of the plateau, the story is different, according to a new study. Among legendary peaks of Mt. Everest like K2 and Nanga Parbat, glaciers with a penthouse view of the world are growing, and have been for almost three decades....

(Times Online) World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown:
....When finally published, the IPCC report did give its source as the WWF study but went further, suggesting the likelihood of the glaciers melting was "very high". The IPCC defines this as having a probability of greater than 90%.

The report read: "Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate."

However, glaciologists find such figures inherently ludicrous, pointing out that most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of feet thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise. The maximum rate of decline in thickness seen in glaciers at the moment is 2-3 feet a year and most are far lower.