Date published: February 15, 2010
The world of climate change heated up last year with the of "Climategate," the scandal that entailed hundreds of pirated e-mails showing that researchers had manipulated and hidden climate-change data. Adding to this heat is January's revelation that alarmist forecasts about Himalayan glaciers were based on misquoted speculation by an Indian glaciologist from an interview published nearly a decade earlier.
The Fourth Assessment Report ( AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claimed that global warming would cause the massive Himalayan glaciers to shrink to extinction by 2035. As reported by The Australian, the IPCC cited campaign literature published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in making the claim, even exaggerating that report to pin a high likelihood on the prediction.
The WWF gleaned its information from a 1999 article published in the journal New Scientist. The author, Fred Pearce, had quoted Indian scientist Syed Hasnain, who was at the time chairman of the working group on Himalayan glaciology for the International Commission on Snow and Ice. Hasnain told Pearce he had data about a portion of the Himalayan glaciers he feared were at risk. Pearce told The Australian he eventually obtained a copy of Hasnain's report, but it contained no specific date by which any melting was forecast to occur, nor had it been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.
On January 23, IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri acknowledged that the forecast was "a regrettable error," the Voice of America reported. 'The whole paragraph, I mean that entire section is wrong. That was a mistake."
Indeed it was. But it was this bogus data that was used by Pachauri to win grant money for his Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) based in India. The January 24 London Sunday Times reported that Pachauri "has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds" and that TERI "was awarded up to £3 1 0,000 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the lion's share of a £2.5m EU grant funded by European taxpayers."