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back to article Glacier boffins rubbish IPCC apocalypse claims

Glacier and climate boffins have issued a stinging poohpooh to recent alarmist pronouncements on climate-change-driven glacier melt - in particular from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “In the last few years numbers have been named that do not pass a closer examination,“ says glaciologist and …

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FAIL

Sorry guys

you are all fired.

How dare you do proper science and research into climate change which we all know is happening anyway.

You are exactly the scientists we dont need in climate research as all we need is someone to publish alarmist claims and then we can all suck up grant money into 'researching' the claim while making our data fit our pre-conceived model.

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Grenade

Worse than Volcanic ash cloud

Speaking of alarmist. Ineos chlor based in Runcorn. Are building a MASSIVE incinerator for household rubbish.

When this bad boy is up and running, it will not only be spewing out tons of carcinogenic plumes into the air. But plastic residue that will is in the direct flight path for Liverpool airport.

I know I won't be using Liverpool or Manchester airports after this. As this really will cause more engine damage than any ash cloud

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Re: Worse than Volcanic ash cloud

Worse? That would be a complete lack of literacy ... Here's a hint, Boyo: If you want to be taken seriously, try to have a grasp of the grammar and syntax of the lingua franca common to the forum you are commentarding in.

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Troll

3...2...1....

Countdown to the predictable posts by the treehuggers that these guys aren't "climate scientists", that just being highly-educated glacier specialists means they just don't know as much as Al Gore, or the "independent" IPCC, or have they had any papers published recently?

Looks like Georg Kaser is another name that can be added to the list in response to the usual GreenieWeenie claims that "no serious scientists disagrees with the IPCC"!

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I hope so - but

Very amusing tone to the article. A couple of errors in a 10000 page report and it must be a huge conspiracy.

I hope he's right and I'm sure the IPCC will use his data if it's good enough. I'd hardly call the problems in Pakistan unimportant though.

I know it's difficult to prove causation but if the glaciers were doing what they normally do, catching snow rather than rain I don't think there would have been that level of flooding, so it's fine to say the glaciers will last a time yet but with the monsoon coming all at once without the glaciers storing quite a lot of water there is going to be tremendous damage.

It appears we have another scientist determined to defend his patch but not willing to consider the bigger picture.

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"the bigger picture"

The bigger picture seems to be that a lot of people like you, without any scientific notions whatsoever, are relentlessly pushing forth their idea of what the world should be like.

The issue I have with that is that you take whatever seems to agree with your "opinion" and refuse to consider anything that goes contrary to it.

I prefer getting the official scientific body mobilized on the subject and wait for their conclusions before running panic-stricken in any given direction.

After all, I am aware that I know nothing about climate change, so I'm not about to trust the first opinionated idiot who tries to impose his views on me.

I am perfectly willing to agree that climate change is a fact - thermodynamics is, after all, the most complex branch of science that exists. It's just that I'm not ready to be convinced of the direction in which the climate is changing, especially when faced with a group of hysterical groupies ready to corrupt or hide data before presenting a "conclusion" based on their massaged numbers.

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FAIL

What a clueless muppet

Nice try at conflating glacier's melting or not with the flooding in Pakistan. The most basic of research into the flooding in Pakistan will show that the Pakistan flooding was caused by the monsoon. Glacial melt-water had no causal link.

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WTF?

The Bigger Picture II

The bigger picture has been found to be photoshopped by IPCC. We cannot even tell what the original was.

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Boffin

Claims

From the snippets here, it is pretty clear that this latest report does not actually contradict the initial assertion that the glaciers are melting, merely that it won't actually matter directly to those who rely on them for drinking water.

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Poor Reading Comprehension At Work

What it actually says, it *not* that "won't actually matter directly to those who rely on them for drinking water". What it *actually* says is, if I may paraphrase, "The number of people affected will be "minuscule" as opposed to "enormous'".

See the difference there?

"Minuscule" in this case seems to mean "numbering in the thousands, while "enormous" means "a sizable fraction of the earth's population, measuring in the billions". (This is judging by the report's phrase "detrimental effects for smaller high-mountain communities".)

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Unhappy

Real data leading to proper debate

OK so there're a few analytical steps between those two. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that this comments section will quickly fill with the usual "Register is propagating its AGW-denial agenda" and "Well done finally we hear the truth about the money-making myth of AGW".

And it's really boring and infantile. The reality appears to be that there is general consensus amongst experts that AGW is a reality, but significant lack of reliable agreement concerning predicted effects of this AGW.

Unfortunately one side of the debate has been hijacked by ludicrous environmental activists with no scientific training or knowledge who make claims like the above concerning glaciers (that would include both WWF and the members of the IPCC responsible for including the "data" in the report).

The other side of the debate has been hijacked by ludicrous conservative activists with no scientific training or knowledge who make claims like "AGW is a myth and we should ignore anyone, regardless of their scientific and/or experimental background who says otherwise".

Who is there to represent the sane?

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But please, enviro-set ...

Don't let science get in the way of your hand-wringing. Those of us with an education are starting to find it entertaining, in a train-wreck kind of way.

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Coat

Words

Did you read the article? This isn't about climate change/global warming/etc., it's about how the disappearance of glaciers will affect the people nearby.

I could repeat this reply to about half of the commenters here... all of which are of the "see, proves no climate change!" brigade...

As usual, both extremes are as bad as each other... /sigh

IGMC: It's the flame-proof one

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Did you ?

As far as I can see, it's about the rate of glacier melt, not the disappearance of glaciers.

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FAIL

Another nail...

Another week, another Climate change organisation lying blatantly to secure more funding.

Anyone still believe what they keep saying?

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Stop

So...

1) Scientist makes off-the-cuff remark at conference.

2) Non-scientific environmental organisation picks up on comment and publishes it with no evidence.

3) One individual at the IPCC picks up on propaganda, mistakes it for science, publishes it.

4) Scientists notice, correct report.

5) Loonies jump up and down shouting 'Ignore all of the well established practical and theoretical atmosphere science and the known physical properties of carbon dioxide; there is no such thing as global warming (can I have my money now please Mr Oil Producer?)"

Personally, I think I'll listen to the well-reasoned, open and honest science, rather than those people who wish to undermine the science and push an agenda of 'business (and profit) as usual'.

It might interest readers to know that many of the anti-AGW organisations are closely associated with (or in some cases, are) the same people who lobbied for tobacco companies to argue that cigarettes don't cause cancer. The people they are arguing against are well educated, logical, systematic and rational individuals (on the whole). If it comes to taking sides (which it shouldn't), I'll stick with the science, rather than with greed and superstition.

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Boffin

Re: So...

"It might interest readers to know that many of the anti-AGW organisations are closely associated with (or in some cases, are) the same people who lobbied for tobacco companies to argue that cigarettes don't cause cancer."

Yes, but many of those readers don't care: they think they're speaking their own brains when parroting the messages put out by such organisations, and they actually think that they've cleverly "sniffed out the conspiracy" all by themselves.

It would be amusing to observe such people thinking they've avoided deception while being so readily deceived by people pushing the ruinous "business as usual" agenda if it weren't all so tragic.

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RE: Loyal Commentor

"5) Loonies jump up and down shouting 'Ignore all of the well established practical and theoretical atmosphere science and the known physical properties of carbon dioxide; there is no such thing as global warming (can I have my money now please Mr Oil Producer?)""

You use that one every time this happens.

And this happens a lot now.

Care to prove people cause global warming and get off your high horse?

What, you can't?

Bottom line, IPCC shouldn't publish anything without solid proof or have any effect on legislation or politics until they can prove 100 percent people cause global warming.

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Loyal Commentor

"Loonies jump up and down shouting 'Ignore all of the well established practical and theoretical atmosphere science and the known physical properties of carbon dioxide"

That's not proof people caused global warming to occur, so prove that they do if you're going to attack someone elses post without anything to support yours

And your last line where you tie anyone who actually has a brain to fag companies is brilliant.

It's still better than being a sheep, or a troll in this case

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Pirate

Just ignore the study

The science is settled, we don't need any more doing. Sure as the sun goes around the earth, there's just no need to keep on with this.

<-Skully, because we know that lack of pirates is what really causes global warming

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Not by a long shot

Science is certainly not settled.

If climatology was a done deal, the weather report would be 100% accurate.

As it is, the only times it is accurate is when there is not a cloud in sight over half the hemisphere. At that time, and at that time only, the weatherman can confidently predict sunshine for the next day.

The rest of the time, it's a coin toss as to whether there really will be clouds or rain. Half the time, the prediction is wrong.

And I'm only talking about tomorrow's weather.

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I really didn't think I needed the joke alert icon on that one.

But what the heck, I shall merely criticise your rather startling conflation of climate and weather, and your confusion between a long term model of average temp vs a short term model of whether or not it's going rain and see what happens.

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@jake

So, what exactly is your education? Was it as pointless as your comment?

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Silver badge

Pointless ? Hardly.

It was ironic and bordering on witty.

You, on the other hand, seem to have seriously mislaid your sense of humor.

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@R J Tysoe

"So, what exactly is your education?"

I started my Uni career at Kings College in London, reading organic chemistry with a strong minor in sub atomic physics. Transferred to Berkeley for my first two degrees (Electrical Engineering & an IT related Masters), to Stanford for my second two Masters (Mechanical Engineering and another IT related), to MIT for my Doctorate (IT related), and then back to Stanford for my MBA.

Now, I'm retired & work pre-dawn to way past sun-down, 7 days a week, doing all the "dumb heavy work" that keeps my Wife's horse ranch operational.

"Was it as pointless as your comment?"

Probably. Feel better?

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Not really "new" news...

Following the previous "scandal", it was well known that the particular claim about glaciers melting was incorrect so this isn't really anything new or anything that strengthens the criticism of the IPCC's other work.

This is after all how science works - someone publishes a a set of claims/research/data etc and others critique that information. If it is wrong then so be it - just because a small part is incorrect does not invalidate the rest.

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Boffin

Except...

when that wrong part is instrumental in shaping policy. When you base worldwide policy on incorrect, non-scientific data, you not only harm the credibility of your organization, you run the risk of causing real ecological and economical harm.

This is why it's important for policy organizations (i.e, IPCC) to verify that they are working from actual scientific conclusions and not, as in this case, an off-the-cuff remark.

The failure here was not a failure of science, but a failure of the IPCC to rely on science rather than on non-scientific literature from advocacy groups.

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FAIL

Quite right

The fact that the IPCC are lying bastards who will try and pass off any old bullshit propaganda as 'settled science' in order to get the population of the entire world to do as they say is absolutely no reason to criticise them or expose them to scrutiny.

When you decide to go green, where do you hand in your critical faculties ?

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But... some of those mountain huggers have CHILDREN

And possibly polar bears.

Look, anyone with half an ounce of sense knows that we can't stop climate change without murdering or at least sterilising half the population of the planet.

The only question is how many people we're going to employ to waste their time pretending to deal with it. The Anti ManBearPig Lobby seem to be doing pretty well out of it, and to be honest I'd rather we we paying our millions of mongers to sort out plastic into a huge pile (that we'll never, ever recycle) than having them shuffle paper around in the Inland Revenue, DVLA or similar non-jobs.

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Joke

Re:"murdering or at least sterilising half the population of the planet"

Now that's a plan we have the means to accomplish on record time !

When do we start ?

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Glaciergate

The 2035 disappearing glaciers claim was one of those "OMG this stuff is serious!" moments that nearly had me convinced. And when an Indian government report queried it, the head of the IPCC called them "climate change deniers and school boy science". Turns out the boot was on the other foot. More science and less alarmism would be nice but nobody trusts anybugger anymore, I expect to be disappointed.

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Comments Need Titles

Once again, the comments seem to lack the obvious third option (mostly). Most of the opinions suggest that you sit in one of these camps :

AGW is real and if we don't spend £lol now, the world is doomed

AGW is not real and we don't need to spend £lol, the world is fine

Where is the third option :

Climate Change is real, it's been going on for millenia after all, spending £lol wont alter this fact, but why don't we spend a small fraction of that £lol on actually useful science, like sustainable renewables (as opposed to wind farms) and stop beating people over the head for doing something we cant scientifically back up with reproducable results (like driving a car, going on holiday or turning the heating up when it's cold)

I like option 3, it's the realistic position to take given the current mire of mis-quoted and often mis-leading (from both sides) science (or more accurately statistical analysis).

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Bravo EvilGav 1

I like option 3 there too, but the IPCC and the people who believe everything they say (there's a few here) will resist at all costs and continue to argue for more tax to stop planes and cars, all the while avoiding that they can't prove people have any effect on global warming.

So by all means i support your third option as it's right and there is no logical reason to deny we would be better off with less polution and landfills.

Bring on the red arrows sheep/trolls

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WTF?

I think

an awful lot of 'denielists' also prefer option 3 - its just that when you argue for opt 3 the AGW crowd call you names - like 'climate change denier' and accuse you of working for the oil/tobacco companies - or they shout at you very loudly that you are stupid and a right wing anti-science child and polar bear gia hating idiot and that there is a consensus (as if a consensus has ANY bearing on the truth of an hypothesis)

All in all; once you have dared question the absolute truth of the IPCC and the mongers of AGW doom then you must be a denier - they accept no half way house.

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Anonymous Coward

What's that?

What's that the IPCC are quoting groundless figures? Well who'd a thunk it?

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Happy

Inaccurate

This is indeed an error that Georg Kaser has identified.

Unfortunately for this article, it is simple two sentences in a multi-thousand page report. Aside from these two sentences, the dozens of pages analyzing glacial melt are accurate.

In fact, Georg Kaser wrote many of them. Kaser is one of the authors of the IPCC report, and does not dispute the general theory of anthropogenic global warming or the validity of the IPCC report in general. He merely pointed out one factual error among thousands of pages. This article badly distorts reality. Lewis Page at TheRegister has a history of doing this, for example in his article "Much of recent global warming actually caused by Sun" which mis-represented scientific research in such a way that the scientists who did the research made more or less the opposite claim that Page did.

If you're interested in a more in-depth explanation of this and a few other errors in the IPCC report, RealClimate has an excellent discussion titled "IPCC errors: facts and spin".

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/ipcc-errors-facts-and-spin/

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The dozens of pages analyzing glacial melt are accurate.

According to people who lie to us. The IPCC simply has zero credibility, and this is entirely it's own doing. You can wibble on about the science all you like, it changes nothing. The IPCC is incompent, dishonest and unapologetic about either. Since 99% of the population of Earth can't interpret the thousands of pages of bum wad that the IPCC is trying to pass off as science, some of which we really do know is bullshit - like the CRU climate model in its entirety, for instance - we have a trust issue. The solution to this problem is not to run around defending the IPCC, but simply to accept that it's a bust.

It only hangs on by a slim thread because it's the darling of the green movement, to whom suppressing contradictory data in favour of propaganda and pronouncing the result to be science in order to further their agenda is in fact widely admired, rather than shunned as it rightly ought to be by people claiming to have such respect for science.

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FAIL

realclimate spin

errrr nwbailey, you link to the pro-gw spin site realclimate and trust them to explain the "facts and spin"??? Deep, deep fail.......

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Anonymous Coward

So much more to learn

I want to know the rain stopped in Perth just after the some odd magnetic spots formed out in the Indian Ocean. There are some north magnetic poles there and it's not as uniform as it had been from the time it was first mapped until about the 15 years ago which does correspond to a change in the solar cycle two solar cycles back (depending on how you define its start). I'm wondering if the odd magnetic field may have something to do with the opacity of the water vapor or CO2 high in the atmosphere since we know that energy opacity / absorption / reflection changes with magnetic alignment or else our fancy nMRI machines wouldn't work.

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Anonymous Coward

Glacier Melt

OK, just to stir up both sides about glacier melt and the associated reports of the Antarctic losing vast amounts of ice, try this.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080120160720.htm

Who'da thunk of volcanoes under the ice, eh!

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Business as usual

The point of this article - and the point of the study itself - is not to do with the existence (or otherwise) of global warming. It is all about the effects of warming. It's about the alleged catastrophe that we're told will follow our continued emission of CO2.

The catastrophe storyline included the melting of glaciers and the result that billions would be without water. A horrific storyline... if true.

But the study shows that it's not true. That storyline is a work of fiction. It belongs up there with The Day After Tomorrow...Core... and An Inconvenient Truth. All works of fiction.

So 'global warming' will not deprive billions of people of water. Well, at least not by glaciers melting.

So where's the catastrophe again?

And if there's going to be no catastrophe, there's very little reason to act. Better to continue with 'business as usual' and deal with the minor effects... if they ever materialise.

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Joke

@nwbailey

"Much of recent global warming actually caused by Sun"

Surely you jest. I would have thought it was the Mirror causing most of it - or the Daily Mail.

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FAIL

Man made global arrogance!!!!

I cannot get over the sheer arrogance of man that they think that they are important or powerful enough that anything they do could affect the plane one whit.

Talk about the Cnut syndrome!!! No, you can NOT hold back the sea.

There is sufficient evidence around that the earth manages to, in general heal itself quite adequately without puny man's assistance. Or is that man's puny assistance.

Man would be wise, however to lessen some of it's activities, such as dumping vast amounts of packaging (why do we need so much?), and try and limit the amount of pollution from chemical sources. There's certainly no need to exacerbate the situation.

Man also would be wise to develop alternative energy sources, renewable or otherwise, as that is of more concern to mankind than a couple of degrees temperature fluctuation which normally occurs in cycles anyway. Changing a few light bulbs might make you feel better, but has little effect overall.

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