A United Nations body is expected to retract its oft-repeated prediction that most of the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035.
Two years ago, the UN’s Nobel prize-winning body — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) headed by R.K. Pachauri — had warned of the melting of glaciers, which would have far-reaching consequences for India. Now, evidence has emerged to suggest that the IPCC may have been mistaken.
“We are studying the new evidence,” Pachauri.
The IPCC’s claim was based on an article in the New Statesman, London, which relied on an estimate made by India’s leading glaciologist and Padamshree recipient Syed Iqbal Hasnain.
Fred Pearce, who wrote the article, has told Sunday Times, London, that Hasnain, who made the claim in 1999, had said he would provide a report explaining his conclusion.
“I obtained a copy, and it did not have what Hasnain had said,” Pearce told the newspaper. “It does not mention 2035 as a date by which Himalayan glaciers will melt.”
Hasnain had told Pearce his claim was “speculative”.
Attempts by Hindustan Times to reach Hasnain failed. His family said he was away and there was no telephone number at which he could be contacted.
Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said the claim about the glaciers should be dropped. “If Hasnain says he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments,” Lal said.
Pachauri said IPCC would issue a statement on the glaciers “by the middle of this week”.