Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).It now appears that this claim was not based on peer reviewed research at all but on a news story in the New Scientist published eight years before the IPCC's report.
The Australian has the story. Here is an excerpt:
It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Mr Hasnain, who was then the chairman of the International Commission on Snow and Ice's working group on Himalayan glaciology, has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research.
Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on Himalayan glaciers in the 2007 IPCC report, said on the weekend he was considering recommending that the claim about glaciers be dropped.Such are the dangers of alarmism. There can be no doubt that as a result the IPCC and climate science will loose credibility. Is it a consolation that in this case we see some ready admission of mistake and not an endless circling of wagons?
"If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, then I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be
removed from future IPCC assessments," Professor Lal said.