New Scientist: Oops, the glaciers won’t have melted by 2035

The New Scientist swallowed its pride and has come clean about the hysterical claim they made in their magazine in 1999, that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by the year 2035. It turns out it was just “speculation” by a glaciologist at the time. But the big deal is that this speculation became an IPCC “finding.”

From the original article:

MELTING Himalayan glaciers are threatening to unleash a torrent of floods into mountain valleys, and ultimately dry up rivers across South Asia. A new study, due to be presented in July to the International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI), predicts that most of the glaciers in the region will vanish within 40 years as a result of global warming.

“All the glaciers in the middle Himalayas are retreating,” says Syed Hasnain of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, the chief author of the ICSI report. A typical example is the Gangorti glacier at the head of the River Ganges, which is retreating at a rate of 30 metres per year. Hasnain’s four-year study indicates that all the glaciers in the central and eastern Himalayas could disappear by 2035 at their present rate of decline.

Glaciers cover around 17 per cent of the Himalayas and contain thousands of cubic kilometres of water. Taken together with those on the neighbouring Tibetan plateau, they represent the largest body of ice on the planet outside the polar regions. Furthermore, their meltwater makes up two-thirds of the flow of great South Asian rivers such as the Ganges, on which hundreds of millions of people depend.

But Hasnain’s working group on Himalayan glaciology, set up by the ICSI, has found that glaciers are receding faster in the Himalayas than anywhere else on Earth. Hasnain warns that as the glaciers disappear, the flow of these rivers will become less reliable and eventually diminish, resulting in widespread water shortages.

The wheels are falling off…

Thanks to reader Josh for sending the scans in to us, and alerting us to the story.

Possibly related posts:

  1. Glaciergate: Another scientist rats on the IPCC’s fraudulent ways
  2. Scientists discover why the glaciers are melting. It was a typo.
  3. Glaciologist Syed Hasnain: “I was keeping quiet as I was working here…” UPDATE: so Parchouri’s TERI could rake in a half million?
  4. 12 more glaciers that haven’t heard the news about global warming
  5. IPCC apologizes for Himalayan glacier meltdown exaggeration, sort of

12 Responses to “New Scientist: Oops, the glaciers won’t have melted by 2035”

  1. Igor says:

    I wonder if there is a relationship between that article and the unprecedented number of culled comments in response to http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18279-deniergate-turning-the-tables-on-climate-sceptics.html

  2. troe says:

    … and so on it goes. “how” has been answered for all but the dullest of dolts at this point “it’s a scam” and the ipcc is a gang of grifters. Reminds me of a friend who gave a denizen of New Orleans’ French Quarter money for a bag of ganja. The local said “stay here and I’ll be right back” When I came across him several hours later he didn’t seem to understand that the guy wasn’t coming back.

  3. Ian Mc Vindicated says:

    The glaciers are melting, of course they are, and someday they will all be gone. If they were melting faster, wouldn’t the rivers which have flowed since they started melting be overflowing their banks??? Just a minor point….but no they aren;t.
    Also, if they weren’t melting, they would be freezing, then the rivers would stop flowing, or slow down…or freeze up…hello, is anybody out there. All the stupid arguemants we have had to put up with these past 20 years are finally coming out in the open..because none of us were allowed to speak.
    Thankfully it is all out in the open now, and true science will prevail, not the crap which we have been subjected to.

  4. cbullitt says:

    Idiotic of me not to have frequented your establishment before a few days ago–great resource.

  5. mondo says:

    A further material fact that you should add to this story is that apparently the speculation of the Indian scientist was actually that the glaciers might disappear by 2350, not 2035. The 2035 was a typo, apparently made by New Scientist, that became enshrined as IPCC ‘fact’, and still defended by Pachauri.

    Refer Bishop Hill. http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/1/15/new-scientist-on-glaciers.html

    • Noel Mann says:

      It appears that it was not the New Scientist that made a typo that changed the year from 2350 to 2035. Nor was it the scientist mentioned (Dr Syed Hasnain) who specified the year 2350.

      A colleague of Hasnain used the year 2350 in an unpublished report. Both (Indian) scientists, Hasnain and Kotlyakov, were then quoted on an Indian Government, public information, website. It was there that the change the year 2035 appears to have first occurred. Strangely, in the report that uses the year 2305, Kotlyakov the author, says that he is referring to world glacier formations in general and makes the specific statement that the Himalayan glaciers will counter the trend and survive past 2350. Even stranger, the Indian Government web report specifies that the Himalayan glaciers will vanish by the year 2035 – and refers to the above report!

      This is not just a typo. Not only was the year changed in the Indian Government report but the Himalayan Glaciers were changed from survivors to non survivors.

      So how did all this get into the New Scientist? Hasnain appears to be the sole link. Interviews with Hasnain seem to have been the sole source for both publications (one on the web) and neither mention any documentation being supplied for authentication. No known report of Hasnain ever mentioned vanishing Himalayan glaciers or the years 2035 /3250. He was however a source (apparently an interview) quoted by the Indian Government which did say that the Himalayan Glaciers would be gone by 2035.

      How to become a media star…..

      I am indebted to John Nielsen-Gammon the Texan Climatologist who tracked all this down..Np)

  6. I am so surprised at this happening, they are so careful with their data too at the IPCC. Tut tut. :-)

  7. Noel Mann says:

    There is a lot more to the IPCC report than the simple lifting of a dodgy magazine article. If you look at the IPCC report (IPCC AR4 WG2 Ch10, p. 493) on their website there appears to be some very, very, clumsy cutting and pasting by Pachauri and his team. Again I quote from the work of the worthy John Nielsen-Gammon, our climatologist from Texas.

    Here is a quote from the IPCC report:
    “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)

    Note that the credit is given to the WWF who also lifted the New Scientist article. It sort of gives a more authentic ring, does it not?

    Next, you might be confused as in two consecutive sentences Pachauri claims that the glaciers will disappear and also have an area of 100,000 km2 which for all I know might be a greater area than at the present time. Well, you could go to an unrelated report, cut out a sentence and add that to the end of the WWF report.

    Here is the quote from an Indian Goverment website. “The glacier will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates. Its total area will shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square km by the year 2035,”

    What does it mean when Pachauri claims he is presenting a report from the WWF yet he has pasted in an unrelated comment? Does this indicate that the United Nations has now moved from fake science to deliberate misinformation?

  8. Noel Mann says:

    Sorry Folks,
    It appears that some of us have been maligning the UN for what is actually perfectly normal and standard procedure. The Times Online had the matter clarified today in an official statement from the IPCC. I will paraphrase a little to avoid the officialese. (There is a link appended)

    The IPCC says that any idiot can make any stupid statement on scientific matters. The IPCC may then take such a statement and make it the official position of the UN and so advise the leaders of interested countries. This official position remains until and unless the perpetrator officially denies that he made the original statement or was misquoted.

    Here is the official IPCC statement.
    Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: “If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, than I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments.”

    There. I could not have put it better myself or maybe I did…..



  9. [...] know the story already: the IPPC was busted in their “finding” that the Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035. Finally, with [...]

  10. [...] ago we published a story which showed Glaciologist Syed Hasnain withheld his knowledge that the Himalayan glacier 2035 melt story was false, and that the company he worked for, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the [...]

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