The IPCC's reliance on Hasnain's 1999 interview has been highlighted by Fred Pearce, the journalist who carried out the original interview for the New Scientist. Pearce said he rang Hasnain in India in 1999 after spotting his claims in an Indian magazine. Pearce said: "Hasnain told me then that he was bringing a report containing those numbers to Britain. The report had not been peer reviewed or formally published in a scientific journal and it had no formal status so I reported his work on that basis.
"Since then I have obtained a copy and it does not say what Hasnain said. In other words it does not mention 2035 as a date by which any Himalayan glaciers will melt. However, he did make clear that his comments related only to part of the Himalayan glaciers. not the whole massif."
TimesOnLine notes the warning is "likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it."
The information had appeared in a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal. One recalls that the questionable story of Eli Kintisch on patent continuations in the journal Science had appeared as a "news" story.
IPBiz had discussed Pearce in a previous post, ClimateGate: PR disaster or beginning of openness? .
TimesOnLine later reported:
The UN’s top climate change body has issued an unprecedented apology over its flawed prediction that Himalayan glaciers were likely to disappear by 2035.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said yesterday that the prediction in its landmark 2007 report was “poorly substantiated” and resulted from a lapse in standards. “In drafting the paragraph in question the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly,” the panel said. “The chair, vice-chair and co-chairs of the IPCC regret the poor application of IPCC procedures in this instance.”
The stunning admission is certain to embolden critics of the panel, already under fire over a separate scandal involving hacked e-mails last year.
The 2007 report, which won the panel the Nobel Peace Prize, said that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high”. It caused shock in Asia, where about two billion people depend on meltwater from Himalayan glaciers for their fresh water supplies during the dry seasons.