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According to Monday’s Australian:

The peak UN body in climate change has been dealt another humiliating blow to its credibility after it was revealed a central claim of one of its benchmark reports – that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 because of global warming – was based on a ‘speculative’ claim by an obscure Indian scientist.

The 2007 IPCC report included a claim made several years earlier in New Scientist by Syed Hasnain.

Hasnain’s claim was not subjected to any checks. The IPCC did not refer to any other glaciologists before publishing it, nor did they talk to Hasnain.

At the beginning of this year Hasnain admitted the claim was an off the cuff remark made in a telephone interview, and that it was not based on any research.

Nonetheless, Hasnian’s off the cuff remark became a central plank of the IUPCC’s 2007 report. The chief writer of the relevant section, Professor Lal, followed the WWF, which had picked up the original New Scientist story, in claiming the predicted glacier melt was ‘very likely.’ In IPCC parlance, that means a likelihood of greater than 90%.

All this on the basis of no research whatever.

Glaciologists including Julian Dowdeswell of Cambridge University say the claim is inherently ludicrous – no possible level of warming could result in that level of melting – and asked how such an egregious error could have appeared in the report. Professor Lal has admitted he knows nothing about glaciers.

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