Slamming a UN climate body for predicting that most of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035, the government on Monday said such forecasts were alarmist and sans scientific basis.
"The health of the glaciers is a cause of grave concern but the Intergovernmental Panal on Climate Change's (IPCC) alarmist position that the glaciers will vanish by 2035 was not based on an iota of scientific evidence.
"In fact, we had issued a report (by scientist V K Raina) that the glaciers, have not retreated abnormally. That time we were dismissed, saying it was based on voodoo science. But the new report has clearly vindicated our position," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters in New Delhi.
He also took a dig at the comments made by IPCC chairman R K Pachauri, who had dubbed the Environment Ministry's report as "voodoo science".
Ramesh's comments came following revelations that the IPCC's claim that glaciers will melt by 2035 actually came from a 1999 article in a scientific journal, which relied on an estimate made by a leading glaciologist Syed Iqbal Hasnain and was in no way verified by any members of the climate body.
There are indications that the IPCC might retract from its claim that glaciers will melt by 2035.
The Minister, however, added, "I still maintain that the glaciers issue is very serious issue for India. Most glaciers are receding and most are in a poor state of health but from that to derive the conclusion that all glaciers will vanish by 2035 was alarmist and misplaced."