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Climate Change pachaurie

Published on January 23rd, 2010 | by Mridul Chadha

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IPCC Chief Blames Lack of Knowledge Base for 'Glaciergate'

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January 23rd, 2010 by
 

Responding to the ‘Glaciergate’ incident at The Energy and Resources Institue in New Delhi, IPCC Chief Dr. R K Pachauri said that the error in predicting the disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers was a result of lack of adequate knowledge about the glacial dynamics. He also reiterated that even though there was an error in the estimation of complete melting of the glaciers the fact that they are actually melting must not be overlooked.

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Refusing to accept that the error has raised credibility issues about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr. Pachauri said that there is only one error in the 3000 pages long report which has been prepared by scores of eminent researchers under the aegis of the IPCC which has been trusted and supported by countries around the world for over 21 years.

It was recently reported that one of the paragraphs included in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report regarding the shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers which predicted there disappearance by 2035 was actually based on an interview of an Indian climate researcher rather than any scientific evidence. The Indian research has said that his remarks were misquoted that the prediction was reached through the study of only small glaciers and could be extrapolated for the bigger Himalayan glaciers.

Dr. Pachauri argued that a vast majority of the countries lack knowledge base to estimate and understand the impacts of climate change and that, primarily, is the reason for such mistakes. He said that glacial dynamics is a complex field and not many countries have either the technology or the professionals to carry out studies on the adverse effects of climate change on glaciers.

When asked if he would take the moral responsibility and resign from his post as the Chairman of the IPCC, Dr. Pachauri said that he has been elected by a wide consensus among the members of the United Nations and seeks to fulfill his duties assigned to him and is looking forward to release the Fifth Assessment report. Elaborating about the fifth assessment report, he said that the new report would highlight the social and economic impacts of climate change. The report would also enlist the possible mitigation technologies which could be used in order to reduce the carbon dioxide emission concentration in the atmosphere, including the largely untested carbon storage and sequestration technologies.

Dr. Pachauri also refused to take any action against the person/s responsible for the inclusion of the erroneous data in the report. He said that the researchers contributing to the Assessment reports are not the employees of IPCC and thus no action can be taken against them. But Dr. Pachauri did give assurance of stricter selection process for researchers contributing to the future reports.

Image Credit: UN Climate Talks (Creative Commons)

The views presented in the above article are author’s personal views and do not represent those of TERI/TERI University where the author is currently pursuing a Master’s degree.

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



  • rich EE

    I’m sorry Susan . You’ve done some excellent reporting but this time you’ve missed the problem .

    The IPCC itself has used many non-peer reviewed papers from 1 biased source to support its position . There was no research involved in these papers . See :

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/24/the-scandal-deepens-ipcc-ar4-riddled-with-non-peer-reviewed-wwf-papers/

  • rich EE

    I’m sorry Susan . You’ve done some excellent reporting but this time you’ve missed the problem .

    The IPCC itself has used many non-peer reviewed papers from 1 biased source to support its position . There was no research involved in these papers . See :

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/24/the-scandal-deepens-ipcc-ar4-riddled-with-non-peer-reviewed-wwf-papers/

  • Susan Kraemer

    Jon:

    When your side’s “scientists” have published even one peer review study let alone getting them all summarized into 3,000 pages that every government in the world has approved, then you can criticize 1 error in the millions of data points summarized by the IPPC.

    Glaciers are melting. One glacier region in one study had some conclusions that are not complete. That study does not represent the state of the science accurately for that region. It needs some further study. That’s all.

    This happens all the time in other scientific disciplines. Even petroleum geologists make corrections. It is no big deal.

  • Susan Kraemer

    Jon:

    When your side’s “scientists” have published even one peer review study let alone getting them all summarized into 3,000 pages that every government in the world has approved, then you can criticize 1 error in the millions of data points summarized by the IPPC.

    Glaciers are melting. One glacier region in one study had some conclusions that are not complete. That study does not represent the state of the science accurately for that region. It needs some further study. That’s all.

    This happens all the time in other scientific disciplines. Even petroleum geologists make corrections. It is no big deal.

  • Jon

    Please explain the risk? All current indicators say that the IPCC cooked all the numbers to promote a political stance. I think the real question is, is the level of risk trusting them acceptable? Are you willing to look back 30 years, realizing your economy and lifestyle was destroyed for a lie? Do you trust them to know what’s in our best interests? They have to date, yet to properly refute any accusations against them, merely that we “misunderstand” them. If they can’t promote an ideology without feeding us lies and propaganda, it’s not a worthwhile ideology.

  • Jon

    Please explain the risk? All current indicators say that the IPCC cooked all the numbers to promote a political stance. I think the real question is, is the level of risk trusting them acceptable? Are you willing to look back 30 years, realizing your economy and lifestyle was destroyed for a lie? Do you trust them to know what’s in our best interests? They have to date, yet to properly refute any accusations against them, merely that we “misunderstand” them. If they can’t promote an ideology without feeding us lies and propaganda, it’s not a worthwhile ideology.

  • Buzz

    There is no global warming, period. All of the measures that were so called “scientific” were smoothed to make a model adhere to the numbers that they wished to establish. Some figures were even erased. The fact of the matter is, we are actually heading into a period of cooling for the earth. Maybe if facts are used, idealists would wouldn’t have anything to crow about.

  • Buzz

    There is no global warming, period. All of the measures that were so called “scientific” were smoothed to make a model adhere to the numbers that they wished to establish. Some figures were even erased. The fact of the matter is, we are actually heading into a period of cooling for the earth. Maybe if facts are used, idealists would wouldn’t have anything to crow about.

  • http://www.openlybalanced.com Jess @OpenlyBalanced

    Ugh, another -gate. I think part of the problem is that we’re continuing to treat this “debate” as if the climate change skeptics are coming from a fact-based logical place, which I don’t think they are. But even then, perhaps the conversation would be more effectively framed as a question of acceptable risk. Even if you don’t believe in the climate is changing, is the level of risk acceptable?

  • http://www.openlybalanced.com Jess @OpenlyBalanced

    Ugh, another -gate. I think part of the problem is that we’re continuing to treat this “debate” as if the climate change skeptics are coming from a fact-based logical place, which I don’t think they are. But even then, perhaps the conversation would be more effectively framed as a question of acceptable risk. Even if you don’t believe in the climate is changing, is the level of risk acceptable?

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