the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Glaciergate – It ain’t about love.

Posted by Jeff Id on January 23, 2010

The story of the IPCC exaggeration of glacier retreat in the Himalayas has been growing worse and worse for Rajendra Pachauri head of the IPCC. I’ve received some emails regarding an ongoing investigation by Jonathan Leake of the London Times. Apparently in there is financial benefit for exaggeration of climate facts after all.

To catch you up, it’s recently been discovered that;

1 – Glacier retreat was exaggerated dramatically in IPCC AR4. The very report used to document global climate change and make recommendations for policy and funding to the worlds governments. Indeed the IPCC AR4 is the premier docment on which commuhagen was based.

2 – The IPCC was apparently warned of the lack of basis for the claims prior to publication of AR4, however the warnings were rejected. – I need someone to provide a citation for this.

3 – Rajendra Pachauri initially said criticisms were without merit, but they were in fact so far out of whack he was recently forced to admit that in fact the skeptics were right—- again.

4 – Large scale projects were started according to the recommendations of the IPCC and funded by the EU for the investigation into these glaciers. These organizations substantial money to the TERI institute ALSO run by Rajendra Pachauri.

How fast are the glaciers melting?

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, said: “Even a small glacier such as the Dokriani glacier is up to 120 metres [394ft] thick. A big one would be several hundred metres thick and tens of kilometres long. The average is 300 metres thick so to melt one even at 5 metres a year would take 60 years. That is a lot faster than anything we are seeing now so the idea of losing it all by 2035 is unrealistically high.”

Now we find out that the IPCC “scientist” who made the claims is working in a high level position in the TERI institute!!

What has now come to light, however, is that the scientist from whom this claim originated, Dr Syed Hasnain, has for the past two years been working as a senior employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Delhi-based company of which Dr Pachauri is director-general. Furthermore, the claim – now disowned by Dr Pachauri as chairman of the IPCC – has helped TERI to win a substantial share of a $500,000 grant from one of America’s leading charities, along with a share in a three million euro research study funded by the EU.

source- Telegraph.

Today, from the London Times this is revealed.

Rajendra Pachauri’s Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), based in New Delhi, was awarded up to £310,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion’s share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers.

It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus. The revelation comes just a week after The Sunday Times highlighted serious scientific flaws in the IPCC’s 2007 benchmark report on the likely impacts of global warming.

The Carnegie money was specifically given to aid research into “the potential security and humanitarian impact on the region” as the glaciers began to disappear. Pachauri has since acknowledged that this threat, if it exists, will take centuries to have any serious effect.The money was initially given to the Global Centre, an Icelandic Foundation which then channelled it, with Carnegie’s involvement, to TERI.

Here is a link to the High Noon website where the grant’s are being directed and touted.

And apparently all the money of High Noon wasn’t enough to find one single HONEST ice specialist to point out that the cliams were way beyond physically impossible. The same lies were repeated to the EU commission, guess who was a keynote speaker.

Highnoon EU Glacier project

This is criminal in my opinion. First the IPCC lets through a comment which has no basis in science, organizations are formed and nobody bothers to check a paper before the millions are spent? And the very same people who put the bogus comment in the IPCC report get the payout. It’s a damned lie!! A scientist specializing in glaciers who doesn’t bother to read the literature……

BULLSHIT, YOU CROOKS! THE IPCC DOESN’T NEED RESPECT, IT NEEDS PRISON BARS.

It’s false alarmism again and JUST LIKE THE TERMITES THEY ARE YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS THAT IF THERE’S ONE FOUND, THERE ARE A HELL OF A LOT OF OTHERS.


46 Responses to “Glaciergate – It ain’t about love.”

  1. POUNCER said

    “Guess who was a keynote speaker.”

    May I have 3 guesses?

    Rush Limbaugh?

    No, hmmmm.

    Prince Charles?

    Al Gore?

  2. Skip said

    One thing that bugs me is that we seem to focus on the temperature record. But the other parts of the IPCC report are just as bad, or worse. If you read the section that details just exactly why temperatures rising a few degrees would be The End Of The World As We Know It, you quickly realize that the “science” there is just as bad.

    The downsides listed fall into two broad categories. Category one is “rising temperatures will cause weather changes that will cause droughts, and other natural disasters”. As we’ve seen, none of the weather models come even close to being able to predict things like this – looking at the hurricane predictions we can see that easily.

    The second category boils down to “higher temperatures with more CO2 will result in much more growth and life, and some of those things that grow more will be pathogens”. And that, of course, is true enough as it stands, but it completely ignores the offsetting benefits of a raised standard of living that comes from higher productivity.

  3. Hoi Polloi said

    Hardly breaking news, Richard North from EUreferendum already reported about “High Noon” one month ago: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/12/high-noon-for-pachauri.html.

  4. Peter of Sydney said

    I wonder long before we see Pachauri in a court of law fighting charges of corruption and stealing of public funded monies? Any guesses?

  5. boballab said

    Well turns out there is even more errors then just the date fiasco. It seems the IPCC has problems with map scales and simple mathematics:

    Scientists are reported today as identifying four further blunders in the same part of the report as the now notorious claim that the glaciers will disappear by 2035, for which Dr Pachauri apologised this week. Prof Graham Cogley of Ontario’s Trent University, who revealed the original howler, points out for example that the same paragraph indicates that the total area of the Himalayan glaciers is 500,000 square kilometres, whereas it is in fact 33,000. And he says the whole paragraph has been attributed to a WWF report, whereas only one sentence came from it.

    Cogley and Dr Michael Zemp of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, moreover, point out that Himalayan glaciers are not “receding faster than in any other part of the world”, as the passage states, but at about the same rate as their counterparts elsewhere. And a table exhibits a mathematical blooper, saying that one glacier, which retreated by 2,840 metres between 1845 and 1966, had therefore been shrinking by 135.2 metres a year, when the true figure should be just 23.5 metres (the overall figure was clearly divided by 21, rather than 121!)

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100023468/four-more-himalayan-howlers-revealed-in-official-climate-report/

  6. Chris D. said

    Hell hath no fury:

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com/

  7. Tilde Guillemet said

    I cruised the high noon site and eventually found a link to http://www.grid.unep.ch/glaciers/

    Where I found this quote

    There is mounting evidence that climate change is triggering a shrinking and thinning of many glaciers world-wide which may eventually put at risk water supplies for hundreds of millions — if not billions — of people. Data gaps exist in some vulnerable parts of the globe undermining the ability to provide precise early warning for countries and populations at risk. If the trend continues and governments fail to agree on deep and decisive emission reductions at the crucial UN climate convention meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, it is possible that glaciers may completely disappear from many mountain ranges in the 21st century

    Not quite as bad as 2035, but also quite at odds with any reasonable estimate, and also totally ignoring the fact that AGW can only have affected glaciers since the 70’s and that glaciers have been *slowly* receding since the end of the little ice-age. This is actually stated and restated in the body of the report. It’s just the headline which gets it dramatically wrong – and that’s about the only thing people will read.

    It’s typical alarmist, unreasoned, unsupported tripe designed to attract more funding and gain influence.

  8. Jeff Id said

    #7 Nice find, they sure as hell didn’t care what they said or did. This is a heck of a lot of money too. TERI has 600 employees now, not bad for an organization that doesn’t really produce anything.

  9. turkeylurkey said

    More;

    Anthony Wattsupwiththat has new linx from the British Sunday funnies…

    Apparently IPCC quoted extensively from a prior Hasnan interview published in the Indian ‘Down to Earth’ enviro-magazine, yet was able to assign the source to be the more circuitous WWF route. THis cannot be an accident.

    The point of the other article was not just that IPCC relied on poorly-sourced ‘science’ , but TERI had similarly made grant applications with poorly-checked claims. So, now the glacier-meltdown-meltdown is getting a more sustainable thread of interest; Public Grant money.

    Someone will hopefully, eventually find the review comments of WGII (sic?)lead author Kaser who claims to have objected in a timely manner…

    TL

  10. Matt Y. said

    The only surprising thing about foreign bureaucrats fraudulently raiding UN coffers is how sloppy they were. They almost certainly wouldn’t have been caught had they made even a half-ass effort to cover their tracks. No doubt there are many many more. The potential for abuse in the system is off the charts.

  11. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff ID, I think the bigger point to be made here is that the IPCC has used some rather mysterious probability ratings for predicting/forecasting climate events that will occur in the future (and all detrimental events – being what the IPCC is). They wanted to put some very subjective probability ratings into something that would appear to be more objective and objectively determined.

    I wrote to the IPCC and asked for how certain groups determined these ratings. The IPCC ‘s published directives allow the groups flexibility in how they go about determining these ratings but they say that the methods should be available and documented. I never received a reply nor did any other people making this request that I am aware.

    The whole consensus thing rests heavily on these ratings that IPCC groups put out by claiming that the ratings are seriously persued by the “experts” in the field. Here we have evidence that that could not have been the case and that a group of “experts” put a 90% or greater probability on the forecast that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 and without any understanding of the “peer reviewed” sources that werew being (mis)used.

    What I would like see coming out of this is the IPCC revealing the documentation that they have for all the groups probability ratings and how it was determined. I would not like to see the matter side tracked by who profits or who does not. Those probability ratings and how they were arrived at is more important in my view.

  12. leftymartin said

    Jeff – the cite you were looking for re: Dr. Georg Kaser, the Austrian glacier expert who reviewed the WGII report and blew (in vain) the whistle on the 2035 rubbish.

    http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=2455973&sponsor=

  13. Mike D. said

    Ya know, if the EU and the Carnegie Corp and the US Gummit and all those megafunders had spent just a small fraction funding climate Realists, umpteen $billions could have been saved. And you and I could be driven around in limos, eat caviar, and drink $100 bottles of wine, and the world would be better off for it.

  14. Carrick said

    Jeff, I think this is an even bigger story:

    UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters

  15. Carrick said

    Not surprisingly Piekle, Jr is all over it.

  16. boballab said

    This from WUWT shows that Glaciergate is going to leave a very big mark:

    Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified

    The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

    Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

    In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

    ‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

    That is admittance that at least that entire section of the IPCC report goes against the IPCC setup:

    According to the IPCC’s statement of principles, its role is ‘to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, scientific, technical and socio-economic information – IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy’.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#ixzz0dUzDHV2k

  17. Jimchip said

    Jeff,
    wrt to 2 – The IPCC was apparently warned of the lack of basis for the claims prior to publication of AR4…

    I supplied a ref over at CA, “However, an analysis of those 500-plus formal review comments, to be published tomorrow by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF),… suggests that when reviewers did raise issues that called the claim into question, Dr Lal and his colleagues simply ignored them.

  18. boballab said

    If you follow Carrick’s link over to Dr. Pielke Jr. site and read up on how the IPCC twisted his research and put words in his mouth to blow off a question dealing with their use of his work, and now you got the head of the Asian section saying that they deliberately tried to influence policymakers with false information. To me that is a sure sign to stick a fork in the IPCC AR4 report. That is two seperate sections, under two different lead authors and experts and they both made false claims. With one section you could barely strecth out a claim of it being a “small bunch of bad apples” (Iknow after climategate that is really stretching it), but now no way. Between Climategate, the problem with the Glaciers and the way it was used and twisting research concerning disasters and Climate Change, it shows a clear pattern of fraudulent claims. It’s not a case of a few bad Apples, its a case of a rotten culture at the core of climate science where the means justifies their desired ends.

  19. […] The “Air Vent” follows the money: […]

  20. TGSG said

    once is a mistake
    twice is coincidence
    thrice is enemy action

  21. STEPHEN PARKER said

    you getting angry yet jeff?

  22. Tonyb said

    Jeff

    I just posted this on WUWT before I noticed you were running a piece.

    This gets curioser and curioser.

    On checking the IPCC web site to ensure they hadn’t changed any information in their report following the glacier debacle, it seems the IPCC synthesis report (Summary for Policymakers) core writing team was Pachauri and A Resinger.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/contents.html

    This unit was funded by Defra (now the Dept of Climate Change) who passed the money to Cambridge University who passed the money to TERI -Pachauris unit

    http://www.democracyforum.co.uk/political-blogs/70670-eu-referendum-pachauri-money-laundering.html

    Reisinger is described as working for TERI and the Met office/Hadley centre (Who also receive tens of millions of pounds annually from Defra).

    The Dept for climate change is highly politically motivated as was observed in my article here;

    https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/crossing-the-rubicon-an-advert-to-change-hearts-and-minds/

    This is of course the Govt dept determined to impose carbon ration cards on the UK.

    The world of ‘climate science’ is very small and incestous. The tentacles of the British Govt much bigger it seems.

    Tonyb

  23. jazznick said

    I know we are all getting excited at the prospect of seeing Pachauri deposed
    but the UN are now likely to use him as a scapegoat.
    A ‘new broom’ will be appointed to sharpen things up then everything will be OK again.

    Already the Sunday Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6999815.ece)
    is using the ‘nothing to see here-move along’ line on the virtual assumption that the bearded wonder
    is doomed and once he has gone everything will be fine.

    To be fair to the ST a report on the front page http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999975.ece
    does wade in to Pachauri on his financial affairs associated with Glaciergate.
    Old beardy threatened to sue the DT over this sort of article a few days ago…………..

  24. P Gosselin said

    Jeff,
    Here! Here!
    It is a ceiminal operation.

  25. Hoi Polloi said

    “This unit was funded by Defra (now the Dept of Climate Change) who passed the money to Cambridge University who passed the money to TERI -Pachauris unit”

    Again Richard North has been on the Reissinger/Pachauri connection before on his EUreferendum blog: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/search/label/Reisinger

    North deserves some kind of Pulitzer Prize as many of the MSM is running away with his investment journalism. I believe only Booker from the Telegraph si mentioning his name, the others like the Times don’t mention his name.

    And there’s more: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/keeping-it-in-family.html

  26. DeWitt Payne said

    The importance of this is that it casts doubt on the entire Working Group 2 report on effects of global warming. If they can be this wrong on Himalayan glaciers, then why should we believe any the rest? WG2 is far more important for policy implications than WG1. The magnitude of the temperature increase from doubling CO2 becomes less important if the effect on the planetary ecology of increasing temperature is much smaller than reported.

    Loss of biodiversity is one example. If you want to see a classic example of appeal to unknowable statistics, look at the “data” for recent extinctions. A known loss of ~900 species since 1500AD magically becomes 20,000 to 2,000,000.

  27. stan said

    18 Boballab,

    The bunch of bad apples has been apparent for a long time. Gross incompetence has been the hallmark of climate science for a long time. That Mann’s work was so bad is one small strike. That it was accepted (and overturned the consensus) without any checking is a huge strike. That the community reacted the way they did after the work was so thoroughly debunked by McIntyre and Wegman can only be understood as the reaction of a bunch of bad apples.

    Watts’ work exposed a lot of incompetence. The reaction of the community showed us a bunch of bad apples. Their treatment of skeptical scientists over the years has demonstrated that they are bunch of very rotten apples.

    It didn’t take Climategate to make the case that something was extraordinarily rotten in the hearts of the alarmist horde. They stopped being genuine scientists (those that ever were) a long time ago.

  28. Don B said

    The co-author of the IPCC Himalayan glacier report now admits it was included to influence politicians.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#ixzz0dUoPiTkG

  29. Joe Crawford said

    Jeff,
    Did you really expect competence from the UN or any of its programs? I thought ‘Oil-for-Food’ answered that. It seems to me that over the last several years (or maybe couple of decades) the IPCC has become populated with two kinds of people: those ruled by ‘self interest’ (i.e., the bureaucrats and those scientists whose funding is totally dependant on maintaining the fear factor), and those that Eric Hoffer would classify as “true believers” (i.e., members from the environmental NGO crowd and those scientists that long ago swapped their support of the scientific method for political advocacy).

    Most of the true scientists that were initially involved in the IPCC got frustrated long ago. They either quit in disgust or just tried to concentrate on their own areas of science and ignore the rest. Now, after ClimateGate, the few true scientists left involved are (slowly) starting to bail out like rats from a sinking ship. It is even become acceptable to criticize parts of the AGW dogma without being totally ostracized within the community.

    This has become an interesting time for science. However, I’m not sure how long it is going to take to restore the lost creditability in the eyes of the public.

  30. ClimateQuoter said

    When Asian countries affected by glacier melt read this, they understandably should be concerned. This is no minor claim. They want action to be taken, by both their own countries and the world as a whole. If action isn’t taken, the glaciers will melt in 25 years with potentially disastrous consequences.

    The problem isn’t simply that the IPCC caused that sort of alarm with unscientific claims. That would be a problem in and of itself, but the real troubling concern is far deeper. They wanted that alarm. Even worse, they intentionally created that alarm by including a false statement and claiming it was science.

    http://climatequotes.com/2010/01/24/the-ipcc-meltdown-and-what-it-reveals-part-i/

  31. Carrick said

    Wow, it just gets worse and worse:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html

    Scientists acting as amateur politicians again:

    The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

    If I lie in reporting my data, can I get a Nobel Prize too?

  32. RomanM said

    From the TimesOnline link in the main post (my bold):

    It means that EU taxpayers are funding research into a scientific claim about glaciers that any ice researcher should immediately recognise as bogus.

    How long has the latest IPCC report been out? Did any “ice researchers” read it? Did any of them feel moved to correct the wild and exaggerated claims? Why are we not surprised?

  33. Viv Evans said

    Interesting work here:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/international-news/459-new-documents-show-ipcc-ignored-doubts-about-himalayan-glacier-scare.html

    From that link:
    ‘As a result of a Freedom of Information request, David Holland, a GWPF researcher, gained access to the responses by the IPCC’s lead authors. The documents show that most doubts and questions that were raised about the 2035 date were ignored and that the Review Editors failed to take any note of it. Since their reports, which were only signed statements, were never sent to Governments who commissioned the IPCC report, no one would have known had they recorded the contentious nature of the chapter anyway.’

    Can we now also say ‘IPCCgate’?

  34. Mark T said

    Carrick said
    January 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    If I lie in reporting my data, can I get a Nobel Prize too?

    I was just thinking that, Carrick. Actually, I don’t think you’d lie, so no, you can’t get a Nobel Prize seems an appropriate way to look at this.

    Mark

  35. boballab said

    Well things are quickly snowballing from all these revelations. Turns out the UK changed the Stern report after Dr. Pielke Jr. issued a paper on the mistakes in it. Did they mention that they were correcting a flaw (which btw deals with the linkage of increased costs from severe storms to climate change)? Nope, they did it on the QT and it wasn’t a small change either, it was a drop of an order of magnitude from 1.3% costs as % GDP to .13%.

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-tangled-web-we-weave.html

  36. Viv Evans said

    35 Boballab:

    A decimal point is neither here nor there, especially for all those who have enjoyed the British educational set-up …
    Precision even down to the numbers one copies from other people’s papers is not the point for them – all that matters is that it should sound really catastrophic.

    I am amazed that they didn’t think to re-calculate all other values.

    Actually, I’m not – its another example of science being abused to promote the political agenda.

  37. mondo said

    It would be very helpful indeed if there were a list of all of the IPCC/Team ‘transgressions’, together with brief synopsis of the key issues in each case, together with key references. Just off the top of my head, I can think of the following:

    1. Mann 1998.
    2. Mann 2008.
    3. Steig Antarctic issue.
    4. Glaciergate.
    5. Al Gore’s 35 (or 11) errors in An Inconvenient Truth.
    6. The Surface Stations Project of Anthony Watts.
    7. The emerging problems with the CRU and GISS temperature records
    8. The Darwin case.
    9. The NZ case.
    10. Issues coming out of the CRU e:mails affair.

    This could develop into a VERY long list, but it would be invaluable, since in aggregate the errors/mis-statements/exaggeration tell a compelling story.

    Perhaps such a list is already available. If so, could a link/links be provided.

  38. Peter of Sydney said

    I agree Mondo. Such a comprehensive list with detailed information would fill several volumes. It would be very beneficial when some of these clowns are taken to court.

  39. Sera said

    All reports of the IPCC are subjected to extensive expert and government review.

    Here is a list of some of those ‘experts’:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg3/ar4-wg3-annex4.pdf

    G. Von Goerne, Greenpeace (Germany)
    S. Sawyer, Greenpeace International (Netherlands)
    S. Teske, Greenpeace International (Netherlands)
    D. Pols, Friends of the Earth (Netherlands)
    C. Pearce, Friends of the Earth (UK)
    G. Volpl, WWF International (Brazil)

    So, the WWF/Greenpeace get to write AND review IPCC reports- Nice!

  40. Kondealer said

    IPCC and “Transparency”.

    See this from Chris Holland- “Byzantine” doesn’t even come close.

    2035 and all that
    By David Holland

    In Chapter 10 of the Working Group II contribution to the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report this short section of text has become very controversial:
    “Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) 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. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).

    The receding and thinning of Himalayan glaciers can be attributed primarily to the global warming due to increase in anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases.”

    On 20 January 2010 the World Wildlife Fund issued a correction to their 2005 paper in which they claimed the likelihood of the Himalayan glaciers disappearing by the year 2035 is very high. They now state:

    “This statement was used in good faith but it is now clear that this was erroneous and should be disregarded.”

    On the same day the IPCC issued a statement. Dr Pachauri, his Vice Chairs and the two TSU Co-Chairs – wrote:

    “In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly.”

    “This episode demonstrates that the quality of the assessment depends on absolute adherence to the IPCC standards, including thorough review of “the quality and validity of each source before incorporating results from the source into an IPCC Report”. We reaffirm our strong commitment to ensuring this level of performance.”

    Readers might recall Dr Pachauri telling an Australian TV audience:

    “Every stage of the drafting of our report is peer reviewed, and whatever comments we get from the peer review process are posted on the website of the IPCC, and the reasons why we accept or reject those comments are clearly specified. Where we accept a comment we say, “Yes. Accepted.” Where we don’t, we have to adduce very clear reasons why the authors don’t agree with the comment. So it’s a very transparent process.”

    I will discuss this “transparent process” and these “IPCC standards” and consider whether this is another case of Dr Pachauri’s claims not matching reality. But first It might be noted that one of the four Coordinating Lead Authors for the Chapter was Indian scientist Dr Murari Lal, who wrote on 22 January:

    “This is more about a systematic failure of the (IPCC) review process. The… conclusions were sent to hundreds of scientists and governments… and no one raised any doubts… then.”

    As will be shown he is right to say that it is a systematic failure of the IPCC review process, but entirely wrong to say no one raised any doubts at the time. Doubts were raised, as I will detail, by Government, Expert Reviewers and the Deputy Head of WGII TSU (Science), Clair Hanson, who all submitted comments to the Lead Authors, but were ignored.

    That such a basic error could be ignored, is because the IPCC review process is not as Dr Pachauri suggested in Australia and nothing like the “strong interactive peer review process”, which the American delegation stressed the need for at the first meeting of the IPCC in 1988. Despite being promoted as the guarantor of the quality of IPCC Reports, the current review process is its Achilles’ heel.

    The Government and Expert Reviewers are asked to read the draft text and, by email, send comments on each line should they wish. In the first, second and third IPCC assessments, that was the last the Reviewers saw of their comments unless they made a trip to an “open archive” at some location designated by the IPCC Secretariat. In May 2008 I asked the IPCC Secretary where these archives are but received no reply. However the curator of the Littauer Library at Harvard has confirmed he does have the Working Group I “open archive” for the Third Assessment Report in paper form in eight unindexed boxes.

    This is how the IPCC planned to archive the drafts, comments and responses of the last assessment until freedom of information requests forced their online disclosure. The archives are now available for the public despite the IPCC and not because of them. They are not at, and have never been at, the “the website of the IPCC” as Dr Pachauri claims.

    Accordingly up till now Lead Authors could be confident that the Expert Reviewers would not find out if their views had been accepted until they read the revised text months later when they could do nothing about it. The Lead Authors could also be fairly certain that no one would look to see if there had been an appropriate response to Reviewers’ comments.

    In 1990 to overcome what was thought by many to be a poor balance between Lead Authors and Expert Reviewers, ‘Review Editors’ were introduced into the IPCC assessment process. Although, in 2008, Dr Pachauri “co-authorised” a complaint to Ofcom, which stated that these Review Editors have the “final say” on the IPCC text, this is not what is stated in the “the IPCC standards” as he calls them.

    The procedures in Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work make it clear that the Lead Authors have sole responsibility for the text. They are free to accept or reject comments as they wish. Review Editors are only required to:

    “ensure that all substantive expert and government review comments are afforded appropriate consideration, advise lead authors on how to handle contentious/controversial issues and ensure genuine controversies are reflected adequately in the text of the Report.”

    Review Editors must also ensure that non-peer-reviewed sources such as the WWF papers are “selected and used in a consistent manner across the Report”. They are given no powers to ensure compliance but they must submit a written report to the Working Group Sessions or the Panel”. Review Editors, so far, have mostly if not entirely been drawn from the cadre of earlier author teams and cannot be thought of as independent auditors.

    Neither the IPCC nor the working groups have put these reports – the nearest thing in the IPCC process to a quality control report – into the public domain. I have been given the reports for Working Group I and II, but WGIII refuses to release any. For the Chapter being discussed here, the two Review Editors simply signed pro formas that were sent to them saying:

    “The review process for the development of the Chapter in the Working Group II Fourth Assessment, as laid out in the Principles Governing IPCC Work, has been properly followed.

    My reading of the Final Government Draft of the Chapter confirms the satisfactory completion of this process.

    My reading of the Final Government Draft of the Chapter confirms that it properly reflects scientific controversies.”

    Now I will show what Reviewers said and Lead Authors responded. While the Reviewers are named we are not told who actually wrote the responses.

    The contentious 2035 date appears in the paragraph from lines 13 to 17 on page 46 of the second order draft of Working Group II. The only changes to the draft text in the finally published text are the removal of a short redundant sentence and the addition the reference to (WWF, 2005).

    David Saltz, of the Desert Research Institute, Ben Gurion University made three comments on this short paragraph including one upon the obvious inconsistency of saying first that the likelihood is very high that Himalayan glaciers will “disappear” by 2035 if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate, and then stating “Its total area will shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035”. The Lead Author’s response to the comment on inconsistency was:

    “Missed to clarify this one”.

    The Government of Japan commented rather more critically:

    “This seems to be a very important statement, possibly should be in the SPM, but is buried in the middle of this chapter. What is the confidence level/certainty? (i.e.“the likelihood of the glaciers disappearing is very high” is at which level of likelihood? (ref. to Box TS-1, “Description of Likelihood”). Also in this paragraph, the use of “will” is ambiguous and should be replaced with appropriate likelihood/confidence level terminology.”

    The Lead Authors’ response to Government of Japan was:

    “Appropriate revisions and editing made”.

    From what I can see the Lead Authors found none appropriate.

    The paragraph, following the 2035 claim and table 10.10, begins:

    “The receding and thinning of Himalayan glaciers can be attributed primarily to the global warming due to increase in anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases.”

    Hayley Fowler from Newcastle University commented with citations:

    “I am not sure that this is true for the very large Karakoram glaciers in the western Himalaya. Hewitt (2005) suggests from measurements that these are expanding – and this would certainly be explained by climatic change in preciptiation and temperature trends seen in the Karakoram region (Fowler and Archer, J Climate in press; Archer and Fowler, 2004) You need to quote Barnett et al.’s 2005 Nature paper here – this seems very similar to what they said.”

    The Lead Authors responded:

    “Was unable to get hold of the suggested references will consider in the final version”

    The Government of Japan again noted the lack of any reference and commented rather critically:

    “This statement lacks any reference. Also, the reader wonders, are “global warming” and “climate change” interchangeable? Are we still using “global warming”? Clarification of this would be appreciated.”

    “The use of “will” (again) is ambiguous. The confidence level using IPCC terminology should be stated.”

    The Lead Author’s response to Government of Japan was once again:

    “Appropriate revisions and editing made”.

    But once again none were made either in response to Hayley Fowler or the Government of Japan.

    For the IPCC TSU, Clare Hanson commented that there was only one reference for the whole section. This was Hasnain, 2002. To Clare Hanson the Lead Authors’ response was:

    “More references added”.

    So far as I can tell only Shen et al., 2002 and WWF, 2005 were added.

    Conclusion

    Clearly questions were raised and were not properly dealt with, so it is true that the “IPCC standards” are either inadequate or were not followed or, as I believe, both. The ultimate fault lies with the Panel of Government representatives that jet off every year to exotic locations supposedly to oversee the work they have commissioned, and on our behalf paid for. On the last assessment it is certain that no Government saw any of the Review Editors’ reports. They never asked for them and they were never given them.

    The fundamental breach of the “IPCC standards” is far more basic. The assessment and review process is required by the Principles Governing IPCC Work to be undertaken on a comprehensive, objectiveopen and transparent basis. Eight unindexed boxes of paper never met the requirement to be open and transparent.

    Murari Lal tells us “the conclusions were sent to hundreds of scientists and governments”. If the drafts – all in electronic form – can be sent to so many people why can they not be put up on public Internet servers at the same time? And why not have the Reviewers and Lead Authors engage on line with the strong interactive peer-review that was originally called for? This way the public can see for themselves that the process not only works but is also open and transparent.

    We now know that at the next plenary meeting of the IPCC, later this year, the important “environmental matter” of IPCC information disclosure is to be discussed. Most European counties are parties to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention). It requires the parties to promote the objectives of the Convention within the IPCC and to hold public consultations on important environmental matters. Now is the time to press for the rights guaranteed by this Convention.

  41. Tony Hansen said

    Kon,
    And so the total area could be only 30,000 km^2 and ‘will likely shrink’ by maybe 13,300 km^2 per year for 30 years. Ya reckon the IRS would let me do my numbers that way?🙂

    And on the same page…
    ‘…The Gangetic basin alone is home to 500 million people, about 10% of the total human population in the region…’

    So then 5,000 million people live in the region. 5 billion…. No wonder there is some concern about the water.

  42. boballab said

    Well it gets better. Check out what Dr. Richard North found out about the IPCC’s claims on the Amazon Rainforest:

    And now for Amazongate

    The IPCC also made false predictions on the Amazon rain forests, referenced to a non peer-reviewed paper produced by an advocacy group working with the WWF. This time though, the claim made is not even supported by the report and seems to be a complete fabrication.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/and-now-for-amazongate.html

  43. PaulM said

    Mondo, I have a partial list on my site, of errors and exaggerations in the IPCC AR4 report.

    #40 David Holland’s analysis is interesting.
    But he missed one thing: they did change it, from
    “Its total area will shrink from ” in the second draft, to
    “Its total area will likely shrink from “. in the final.

    You can get the first and second draft and the reviewer comments at
    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/publications/AR4/ar4review_access.html

  44. Tonyb said

    BobAllab #42

    Now stop it, or there won’t be anything left of the AR4 and we will all have to go and find something else to occupy ourselves 🙂

    Tonyb

  45. […] Glaciergate – It ain’t about love. The story of the IPCC exaggeration of glacier retreat in the Himalayas has been growing worse and worse for Rajendra […] […]

  46. […] and that peer-reviewed science…did you mean this, this, this, or some other […]

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