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Climategate: The Wheels Come Off for the IPCC

Two major errors based on poor science. Not a good week for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (See also Roger L. Simon: "Climategate: The Scandal that Keeps on Giving")

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

January 24, 2010 - 10:22 am
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Back in December 2009, Madhav Khandekar, in a guest posting on the blog of Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., questioned the IPCC AR4 report’s conclusion that glaciers in the Himalayas — vital to the water supply of the whole Ganges Valley — would disappear by 2035.  (This was first reported by PJM on December 1.) The problem was that this really couldn’t be verified in the “peer-reviewed” literature. In fact, as it was investigated, it looked more and more suspicious.

Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute followed the footnotes and tracked the suspicious 2035 number down to a World Wildlife Fund report, which mentioned (without citing a source) the 2035 number. The earliest source anyone could find for that number was an article in the New Scientist that quoted “Syed Hasnain of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the chief author of the ICSI report.”

The result was that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — after Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, called the 2035 story “voodoo science” — eventually had to withdraw that section of the report. (The full statement is here.)

Bad enough.What had been revealed was that the IPCC had put this inflammatory (and physically impossible) date into the IPCC report, even though it hadn’t been peer-reviewed and couldn’t actually be sourced to anything more than an offhand remark in a casual phone interview.

Naturally, everyone involved was shocked, utterly shocked, that such a thing could happen. There were calls for Pachauri to resign, but Pachauri refused on Jan 23.

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