Thursday, January 21, 2010

Common Sense and Global Warming

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.
The stunning thing about the IPCC's assertion is not that it turns out to be pure speculation; the scary fact is that anyone believed this in the first place.  Just look at a picture: does it make sense that a degree or so of higher temperature could melt this within 30 years?

5 comments:

JimK said...

> The stunning thing about the IPCC's assertion is not that it turns out to be pure speculation...

Not really. It was more of a clerical error in one report that was not spotted. It does not change the core science of climate change in any way.

Instead of breathless hysterics, try some sober, scientific analysis: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/the-ipcc-is-not-infallible-shock/

Jess Austin said...

JimK, that URL is telling. I'd be much more impressed were it dated several years ago. For a decade we've been subjected to claims of, "the science is settled, just ask the IPCC!" The unsavory revelations of the last few months have confirmed what those who think critically have long suspected. The more we find out about the methods of the most secretive scientists in history, the more we find that their data have an anatomical source.

(I concede that I don't find Prof. Miron's pictorial argument compelling.)

Justin Kraus said...

I hope you are more careful in your economic thinking than you are in your thoughts about climate change. Referring to a picture and "common sense" is hardly a convincing scientific arguement. Although I share some of your skepticism about many climate change claims, flippancy about such a serious topic helps no one.

Anonymous said...

Survival group against God?? LOL. Good luck with that. Truth is, no one knows the exact time this will happen except the man upstairs, however, I firmly believe that there are people placed here by God that post the warning signs and it's up to you to take heed.
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