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Glacial Advancement

January 12, 2010

Looks like there are some dust storms brewing over another statement in the IPCC report.

I’m not familiar with this particular controversy, but it seems to me that there are at least two ways of looking at it. One way, which is the way that I anticipate some from the contrarian community will view it, is as suggesting that this is yet one more nail in the coffin for the IPCC report. Another way, which is the way that I’m much more inclined to view it, is as suggesting that this is yet further evidence that the body of scientific knowledge is proceeding normally, albeit glacially, with the right sort of scrutiny.

Many are quick to suggest that the IPCC data is cooked or rigged in some way, but if there are observed errors in the report, and if then future iterations of the report are responsive to corrections of those errors, doesn’t that suggest that the process is in fact more open than is sometimes asserted?

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6 comments

  1. Ben:

    I believe this is old news.

    I believe that the prediction was based on a typo and the 2035 actually should have been 2350.

    With that typo fixed – the particular cited glacier is not retreating the fastest.

    This piece doesn’t even mention the typo – so appears totally inaccurate.


  2. That’s a very odd article. Fred Pearce spoke to Graham Cogley so he must know that Cogley has tracked the ‘2035’ prediction to a misreading of ‘2350’ in a 1996 report by Hasnain’s predecessor as head of the ICSI. The details are linked from this recent Cogley blog: . (If that link doesn’t go through, Google for ‘Glaciological blunders’.)


  3. Dunno. I just read it in New Scientist, so I assumed it must be new.


  4. The BBC reported on this last month as well.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8387737.stm

    Also a government report from India in November showed no evidence of disappearing glaciers.

    http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/MoEF%20Discussion%20Paper%20_him.pdf

    Vijay Kumar Raina, the geologist who authored the report, admitted that some “Himalayan glaciers are retreating. But it is nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to suggest as some have said that they will disappear.”



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