21 Jan 2010:
IPCC Apologizes for
"Poorly Substantiated" Himalayan Claim
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has apologized for a “poorly substantiated” claim
in its 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. The UN body was forced to review the claim after reports that it was based not on peer-reviewed studies but on a media interview with an Indian scientist. “In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of
View from a Himalayan glacier
evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly,” IPCC leaders said in a statement. The latest controversy, which comes weeks after e-mails pirated from a UK climate institute stoked furor among climate change skeptics
, has attracted more scrutiny to research into the human effects on climate. But Lonnie Thompson, a glaciologist from Ohio State University, told reporters that the controversy should not undermine the credibility of the IPCC report or cast doubt on the reality that the world’s glaciers are melting. From Alaska to the Alps to the Tibetan Plateau, Thompson said that 95 to 100 percent of glaciers under observance are retreating. Of the 800 glaciers in the Himalayas being monitored, 95 percent are in retreat, he said. “We’re good at what we do, but we’re still human beings, and some errors can always get through the cracks,” he said. “[But] these issues are very specific, and they do not detract from the overall findings.”
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
e360 on Facebook
Donate to e360
View mobile site
Subscribe to our newsletter
Subscribe to our feed:
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Peter Essick documents the swift changes wrought by global warming in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung places. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video that chronicles the story of a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant, was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.