IPCC and More of The Same

Source:  Reuters

Alister Doyle, Reuter’s Environment Correspondent, May 26, 2011

“The U.N. committee of climate scientists will fix any future errors “within a week or so”, its head said on Wednesday, after coming under fire last year for bungling a forecast of when Himalayan glaciers would thaw.”

“I think we now have a firm procedure by which we are going to deal with errors, or alleged errors,” Rajendra Pachauri told Reuters during a visit to Oslo, referring to a set of reforms agreed at a meeting in Abu Dhabi on May 17.

The panel’s 2007 report, the main guide for governments in fighting climate change, included an incorrect projection that all Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035, hundreds of years earlier than scientists’ projections.

Pachauri said that a “failure of communication” had contributed to delaying the correction of the Himalayan melt — a scientist spotted the Himalayan error but his doubts did not reach IPCC leaders.”

It seems that Dr Pachauri has serious recall problems, when he says:

In January 2010, leaders of the IPCC corrected the Himalayan error “three days from when it was pointed out,” Before then, “nobody among the elected officials had heard about it.”

However, The Times of January 30, 2010, reported that

“The chairman of the leading climate change watchdog was informed that claims about melting Himalayan glaciers were false before the Copenhagen summit, (which was in December 2009)

Rajendra Pachauri was told that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment that the glaciers would disappear by 2035 was wrong, but he waited two months to correct it. He failed to act despite learning that the claim had been refuted by several leading glaciologists.

Dr Pachauri had previously dismissed a report by the Indian Government which said that glaciers might not be melting as much as had been feared. He described the report, which did not mention the 2035 error, as “voodoo science”.

Christopher Booker in the Daily Telegraph, reported at the time, that the false claim came from one of Dr Pachauri’s own employees, in his TERI organisation, Dr Sayed Hasnain. Booker showed that TERI had benefited from two research contracts based on the false Himalayan scares. In an interview with the Economist, Pachauri virtually disowned Dr Hasnain:

The Economist: Given that Dr Hasnain feels that this report was misquoting him, and he’s been working at TERI for what two years now, did the subject never come up between you?

“Dr Pachauri: To tell you the truth, I hardly interact with Professor Hasnain. He is out in the field most of the time. I know nothing about glaciology, and there are 900 people working in TERI and particularly with the time I’ve been devoting to the IPCC report, I’ve been delegating most of these things to people at the next level. So, I’ve never discussed this situation with him at all.”

It looks like we are in for more of the same from Dr Pachauri and the IPCC.

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