'UN warning over Himalayan glacier meltdown based on speculation'

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London, Jan. 17 (ANI): A UN warning that global warming will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was based on a "speculative" article published in New Scientist, experts behind the report have admitted.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world's glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035, The Times reports.

Recently, the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. asnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research.

If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research.

The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: "If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, than I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments."

The UN warning was termed as "ludicrous" by glaciologists, as most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of feet thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise. (ANI)

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