IPCC ’07 report kept Govt in dark
The Indian government had in 2007 approved the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the Himalayan glaciers that failed to mention that most glaciers would vanish by 2035. Chetan Chauhan reports.india Updated: Jan 20, 2010 00:47 IST
The Indian government had in 2007 approved the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the Himalayan glaciers that failed to mention that most glaciers would vanish by 2035.
“The policy document circulated by IPCC only said that Himalayan glaciers were melting at a fast rate,” said Pradipto Ghosh, who was then secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests. “There was no mention of the 2035 figure”.
IPCC chief R.K. Pachauri had said that respective countries validate all its reports before they are released. “The IPCC reports pass through a robust process involving all the countries,” Pachauri had said.
That was not the case with regard to Himalayan glaciers.
“I don’t want to get into what happened in the past,” Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said. “I know IPCC’s claim on glaciers were not based on facts.”
Hindustan Times has found that the UN’s climate body had used data from another glacier study by Indian glaciologist A.K. Naithani, who was in 1999 with the department of geology in Garhwal University in Uttarakhand to reach the conclusion that the Himalayan glaciers would shrink from 500,000 sq km to 100,000 sq km by 2035.
The IPCC, however, did not mention the source of the data on he retreat of nine glaciers but HT tracked it to Naithani and found the figures much higher than those now claimed by the central government.