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Himalayan glaciers: New errors in IPCC climate change report

Himalayan glaciers: New errors in IPCC climate change report
By Richard Gray and Ben Leach
Published: 9:00PM GMT 06 Feb 2010

Last month, the IPCC was forced to issue a humiliating retraction after it emerged statements about the melting of Himalayan glaciers were inaccurate Photo: ALAMY

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report is supposed to be the world’s most authoritative scientific account of the scale of global warming.

But this paper has discovered a series of new flaws in it including:

* The publication of inaccurate data on the potential of wave power to produce electricity around the world, which was wrongly attributed to the website of a commercial wave-energy company.

* Claims based on information in press releases and newsletters.

* New examples of statements based on student dissertations, two of which were unpublished.

* More claims which were based on reports produced by environmental pressure groups.

They are the latest in a series of damaging revelations about the IPCC’s most recent report, published in 2007.

Last month, the panel was forced to issue a humiliating retraction after it emerged statements about the melting of Himalayan glaciers were inaccurate.

Last weekend, this paper revealed that the panel had based claims about disappearing mountain ice on anecdotal evidence in a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.

And on Friday, it emerged that the IPCC’s panel had wrongly reported that more than half of the Netherlands was below sea level because it had failed to check information supplied by a Dutch government agency.

Researchers insist the errors are minor and do not impact on the overall conclusions about climate change.

However, senior scientists are now expressing concern at the way the IPCC compiles its reports and have hit out at the panel’s use of so-called “grey literature” — evidence from sources that have not been subjected to scientific ­scrutiny.

A new poll has revealed that public belief in climate change is weakening.The panel’s controversial chair, Rajendra Pachauri, pictured right, is facing pressure to resign over the affair.More here.

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