Himalayan Glaciers and Schoolboy Science
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change authoritative Fourth Assessment Report made the alarming suggestion that global warming could cause Himalayan glaciers to melt completely away by 2035. The IPCC assessment reports are supposed to be rigorously peer-reviewed by thousands of climate scientists. In November, the Indian Ministry of the Environment issued a comprehensive scientific review [pdf] of the dynamics of Himalayan glaciers which, among other things, concluded:
It is premature to make a statement that glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating abnormally because of the global warming.
The report was immediately denounced by the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, who scathingly dismissed it as "schoolboy science."
Now it turns out that the IPCC's magisterial declaration that the Himalayas would be glacier-free in 25 years was based on a statement from an Indian glaciologist lifted from a 1999 article from popular science magazine New Scientist. Schoolboy science indeed!
BBC News notes:
Some commentators maintain that taken together with the contents of e-mails stolen last year from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, it undermines the credibility of climate science.