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Claims of Himalayan Glacier Disaster Melt Away

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the embarrassment-on-embarrassment dept.

Earth 561

Hugh Pickens writes "VOA News reports that leaders of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have apologized for making a 'poorly substantiated' claim that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. Scientists who identified the mistake say the IPCC report relied on news accounts that appear to have misquoted a scientific paper — which estimated that the glaciers could disappear by 2350, not 2035. Jeffrey Kargel, an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona who helped expose the IPCC's errors, said the botched projections were extremely embarrassing and damaging. 'The damage was that IPCC had, or I think still has, such a stellar reputation that people view it as an authority — as indeed they should — and so they see a bullet that says Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035 and they take that as a fact.' Experts who follow climate science and policy say they believe the IPCC should re-examine how it vets information when compiling its reports. 'These errors could have been avoided had the norms of scientific publication including peer review and concentration upon peer-reviewed work, been respected,' write the researchers."

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Shhhh! (5, Insightful)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874092)

If you think that's bad, for each of these errors that gets publicized, vast swaths of the population lose faith in the mountain of scientific evidence for anything whatsoever, including support for man-made global warming.

Re:Shhhh! (4, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874228)

Preface: I'm perfectly aware that all available evidence indicates that the global climate is changing, has changed in the past, and will change again in the future (assuming no human intervention to prevent change).

If you think that's bad, for each of these errors that gets publicized, vast swaths of the population lose faith in the mountain of scientific evidence for anything whatsoever, including support for man-made global warming..

The same vast swathes would lose faith in scientific evidence if the local quack saw the image of a fictional deity in a piece of foodstuff.

Now, this is the sort of error that should not be occurring. Yes, it in no way undermines the rest of the IPCC report, but the report should still be held to the highest standards of rigour. To dismiss the error as petty, and that it can be left now it has been corrected, would be to commit a grave mistake. For a subject as complex and important as the impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on climate change, continuous and rigorous checking of data should always be performed. Working from an informed 'devils advocate' viewpoint should be encouraged, and not be shunned as "Denialism/shilling for Big Oil/The Gubernmint/etc". That does not absolve criticisms from being subject to the same high standards of rigour, though, as otherwise crack-pottery will prevail.

Re:Shhhh! (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874648)

Full rigor, vetting, and peer review should apply.

But don't over estimate this: they just needed to hire a freaking editor.

That other components of human-induced environmental problems is at the crux of overwhelming evidence still applies; this being one more heap of evidence on top of mountains of it.

That large corporations aren't interested, and their paid-off governments looking the other way, is only natural. Costs money, is perceived to remove profits, thus undermining sustained personal asset growth.

I'm reminded of the aphorism that an attorney, seeing that his case isn't going well, will plead to the jury's sympathies. Barring success, he'll play to the evidence and the law. Barring that, he'll question the veracity of the prosecution. Barring success there, he'll try to get a mistrail. Barring that, he'll appeal.

This bring to light the question of just how many piles of vetted, scientific, mountains of evidence do you need before you're burned to a crisp on what was once a mountain top?

No, I'm not trolling you, I really want to know.

Re:Shhhh! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874702)

The lolly-pop is a phallic symbol. It was invented by man in his eternal quest to subjugate women and dominate them by teaching children the act of fellatio at a young age - especially female children. To have equality among people, we should eliminate such travesties of recreation.

Re:Shhhh! (5, Insightful)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874392)

If you think that's bad, for each of these errors that gets publicized, vast swaths of the population lose faith in the mountain of scientific evidence for anything whatsoever, including support for man-made global warming.

If these kind of errors are indicative of the standard by which scientific evidence is being gathered, then the public *should* lose faith in the claims of science.

Exactly why does science deserve to be put upon a pedestal unquestioned, anyway?

Re:Shhhh! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874556)

The claims were made available for peer review. A peer scientist (Prof. Kargel) took it up and debunked one of them.

Scientists make mistakes. In addition to the honest mistakes, there is occasional fraud and exaggeration. But that's what the peer review system is all about - to make these claims reviewable by the community at large.

Re:Shhhh! (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874592)

I am curious how and by whom you think actually discovered the flaw in the IPCC's claims. Science requires that scientific work, claims, publications etc. undergo some degree of peer review which is exactly what happened. The IPCC made a claim which was analyzed and corrected by a scientist. Error correction is one of the most remarkable traits of science that is completely absent in its alternatives (pseudoscience, political infighting etc.)

Science should be self-correcting. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874526)

True science is self-correcting. That is, when some scientists came in with claims based not on observation, but rather the need to satisfy certain political and financial agendas, they should have been shut down immediately.

It should never have gotten to the point where it is now, where absolutely pathetic mistakes like this are made.

Then again, science and the UN are complete orthogonal to one another. The UN is the epitome of pure political bullshit, while science should be absolutely apolitical. A body like the UN should never have any involvement with science, because their methods are completely contradictory to those of science.

A typo (4, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874096)

Gpasp, there was a TYPO in a summary report, and the editing process didn't catch it.

A typo.

In a summary report. Not in an actual scientific paper. Not even in the _science_ summary (which is IPCC working group 1 report, "Physical Science Basis of Climate Change"-- this was the WG-2 report.).

Yes, it's an annoying typo-- 2350 is significantly different from 2035. Nevertheless, note that the error is NOT in any of the science papers-- it was in a summary report. It should have been edited better (especially as, it turns out, one of the reviewers actually pointed out the error, but his correction didn't make it in), but bad editing in the summary says absolutely nothing about the science. And, in fact, the scientists pointed it out and published the correction in a major venue.

The problem is, the deniers believe that even one error in a summary report means that the science is wrong, while the scientists are all aware that, yes, it's a bitch, but indeed, sometimes typos creep through.

All of you who have never had a typo show up uncorrected, feel free to kvetch.

Re:A typo (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874114)

What are you talking about? The IPCC claimed the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. They based this on an article, based on an article, based on offhand speculation of a single scientist, who admits is was pure speculation with no supporting fact.

This wasn't a typo. It was damningly shoddy work on the part of the IPCC.

Re:A typo (5, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874160)

Gpasp, there was a TYPO in a summary report, and the editing process didn't catch it.

A typo.

About as much a typo as your claim. If you RTFM (I know, asking a lot on /.), you will see that the UN Panel wrote the number in the report based on "a 2005 publication by the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF itself had picked it up from a 1999 magazine article based on a phone interview with an Indian scientist". In other words, the UN Panel read a random non-scientific report and used the erroneous prediction presented there. There is a massive failure here -- by the UN Panel when they relied on non-scientific sources for important predictions.

Unethical IPCC and World Wildlife Fund (1)

rebelscience (1717928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874418)

Both organizations should be investigated for soliciting international funds under false pretexts. IPCC's Chairman, Pachauri the crook, is known to have received funding from the European Union for his Delhi-based climate organization on the basis of the melting glacier lie/scare.

The IPCC should be immediately disbanded and its leadership and members investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Whoever oversees UN ethics and conduct should immediately call for an independent probe of this whole stinking mess?

Re:A typo (2, Interesting)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874198)

FTFA

The chairman of the IPCC panel, Rajendra Pachauri, on Saturday called the forecast "a regrettable error," and says it arose because established procedures were not diligently followed. "The whole paragraph, I mean that entire section is wrong. That was a mistake," said Pachauri..

You may have to dig in a bit more than the summary, but this as not just a typo.

Re:A typo (3, Informative)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874260)

What do you mean "it was a typo"? It wasn't a typo, it was cribbed from a New Scientist article, that itself was cribbed from a WWF report. It wasn't "scientific" research at all; they basically published information from a WWF pamphlet! This is a direct and attributable deliberate lie: TERI, the organisation that Pachauri works for was recently awarded 3,000,000 euros to study the Glaciers. The guy representing TERI, Syed Hasnain, was the source of the original 2035 claim. Do you think his grant application referred to 2350 or 2035? I for one intend to FOI the grant applications, if they are available. They should make interesting reading.

When is a summary not a summary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874444)

It was a summary of the report, but it was issued for the non-scientist movers and shakers who will never read the report. And for them, it wasn't just a typo, it was a major source of FUD based panic. It was issued months before the WG report, and when the error was pointed out to Pachauri and the IPCC, they stood behind it, and denied it was a typo or any sort of mistake.

To make matters worse, the head of the ipcc, Rajendra Pachauri is also the head of a think tank, TERI, that does AGW consulting. Pachauri's think tank, TERI, has made millions and millions based on the UN sanctified IPCC reports.

And who is buying TERI's services?

The movers and shakers who read the executive summary that the UN denied there was any problem with.

Re:A typo (5, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874534)

The problem is, the deniers believe that even one error in a summary report means that the science is wrong, while the scientists are all aware that, yes, it's a bitch, but indeed, sometimes typos creep through.

The problem is that gullible idiots like you make unwarranted assumptions about the quality of the scientific evidence based on no more than faith. And every piece of evidence to the contrary is summarily ignored.

The problem isn't with the "deniers" who are pointing all of these problems out. The "deniers" don't deny climate change or even global warming. They just deny the right of censorious assholes like you to claim that climate change is a) unprecedented and b) caused by man-made fossil fuels without actual engineering-quality reports showing either of these things to be true or even likely. They aren't the ones in denial - it's you.

The smell from underneath the IPCC bandages is pretty bad. The proxy reconstructions of past climate have been shown to be heavily cherry-picked and badly done statistics [climateaudit.org], the measurement of surface temperatures by NOAA and NASA appears been heavily manipulated to show warming [investors.com], as has the temperature records from the Climate Research Unit [scienceand...policy.org] relied upon for the calibration of climate models - and is the subject of several independent investigations for possible scientific fraud in the US and the UK.

But you'll ignore it all because it comes from "deniers" and you'll invoke preposterous conspiracy theories involving fossil fuel companies while ignoring the cosying up of nearly entire fossil fuel industry with the alarmists.You'll ignore the clear conflict of interest of the scientist who made the original bad claim on Himalayan Glaciers claiming millions from the European Union [eu-highnoon.org] to investigate the problem that he knows doesn't exist. You'll ignore the clear conflict of interest [wattsupwiththat.com] of Rajendra Pachauri and his willingness to fill his pockets with cash [blogspot.com] all the while exhorting everyone else to embrace the New Poverty of enforced energy rationing to Save the Earth from Global Warming that no-one knows is even happening to any great extent nor even a serious problem that can be "fixed".

Those aren't typos. The entire climate science story is falling apart as scientists investigate clear evidence of fraud, conscious manipulation of evidence in order to deceive and junk science.

The "deniers" are not the problem - its the neo-creationists like you who keep waving away that "there's nothing to be seen here - move along" while the Global Warming Hysteria explodes behind you.

And yes, I'm a liberal. A very angry liberal.

Re:A typo (1, Interesting)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874642)

First rate, and 100 % correct, it was, is and always will be a scam.

The absolute killer is that HAD-CRU (Jones) and NASA Cherry picked there data so hard that the do not have enough outliers, so when I re-ran some of the data myself there is nowhere near enough noise in their data, so I suggest that this is the quick way to evaluate a data-set, Compute the Variance of the Test data set, normalized; compare to the average of the Variances of a good number of randomly chosen station-single-series datasets, if the Variance is far too small suspect fraud; they were not thinking clearly and did not expect to be challenged. But forget the manipulated proxies.

Re:A typo (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874580)

The problem is, the deniers believe that even one error in a summary report means that the science is wrong,

On the other side of the coin, the AGW alarmists insist that the science is right no matter how many of the so-called "facts" turn out to be fabricated.

Overstated issue by deniers (-1, Troll)

diretalk (1712478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874098)

The deniers are again at it to overstate this issue.

Re:Overstated issue by deniers (2, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874298)

I think perhaps you understate the issue, or just don't understand what's going on here. Refer to my post on the 3 million euros given to the guy and organisation who made the claim to study the issue further. I doubt that a 2350 figure would have warranted 3 million euros. It's a happy coincidence for the researchers that this "typo" was made.

Re:Overstated issue by deniers (3, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874646)

As far as I can tell, the typo wasn't in the research paper but in the subsequent re-phrasings by various groups. FTA:

The IPCC apparently sourced its forecast on a 2005 publication by the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF itself had picked it up from a 1999 magazine article based on a phone interview with an Indian scientist.

*That* is what is so damning about the entire ordeal. The IPCC republished the figure from an article by the WWF which wrote their piece based on an article in a magazine which was based on a phone conversation with a scientist. It was a shoddy and completely unacceptable comedy of errors by the IPCC. I say this as a pro-AGW scientist myself; they really ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Four YEARS? (5, Informative)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874110)

According to the NY Times article, a scientist (Georg Kaser) warned the working group in 2006 that the findings were erroneous. How did it take four years to bubble up?

I'd call that a pretty glacial response time. (rimshot)

Re:Four YEARS? (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874182)

It took four years because global warming is a hot political issue. Anything that doesn't support imminent disaster is heaped with scorn. I don't know if the earth is heating up or not. I'm not a scientist. I do know that a huge number of the people running around screaming about global warming aren't scientists either. It's too bad that there can't be a quiet, sensible discussion on the subject thanks to all the political baggage.

Re:Four YEARS? (5, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874248)

And anything that dares to contradict the AGW-believers is treated with derision and actively attacked, instead of investigated. You know, exactly the opposite of science.

Re:Four YEARS? (0)

bug1 (96678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874384)

And anything that dares to contradict the AGW-believers is treated with derision and actively attacked, instead of investigated. You know, exactly the opposite of science.

So scientist are bad because they arent treating the un-scientific criticism of their work in a scientific manner ?

Re:Four YEARS? (4, Insightful)

NeoTron (6020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874468)

So scientist are bad because they arent treating the un-scientific criticism of their work in a scientific manner ?

^---[citation needed] YES they are bad. ANY and ALL scientific pieces of work should be able to stand up on the merits of their reserach and reasoning alone. Yes, scientists are also human and have human emotions - but as soon as they resort to insult they bring themselves down to the level of this alledged unscientific criticism, and hence open themselves up to doubt in the listener's mind.

Re:Four YEARS? (0)

bug1 (96678) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874566)

and hence open themselves up to doubt in the listener's mind.

There you have hit the nail on the head, it doesnt matter how you talk to the person who will not hear.

The general population just doesnt have the scientific background to understand or question the correctness of climate change (or most other scientific research fields).

Scientists arent teachers, scientists should be expected to share knowledge and open themselves up to criticism from their peers, its the job of educators to spread the message to the general public.

There are psychological reasons why some individuals disbelieve in climate change and some people will just never agree because they like to different or argue, scientists cant be held responsible for them flawed understanding.

Re:Four YEARS? (2, Insightful)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874440)

Let me summarize:

Random person: Hey, Scientists! You're wrong!

Scientist: How exactly? Do you have any evidence?

Random person: Look! They're not being scientific because they don't research my claims!

*Far, far away, the scientist suddenly face-palms, and doesn't quite know why*

Re:Four YEARS? (5, Insightful)

NeoTron (6020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874546)

Nice try, but you have it completely wrong.

Let me pick a random website to cite an example...

www.climateaudit.org

<climateaudit> Hey guys, I noticed something a bit weird about your figures - here's what's weird...

<Scientists> PREPOSTEROUS! LIES! DENIER! SCUMBAG! IDIOT! MORON!

<climateaudit> Er, ok. Lemme recheck..... yep gone over the figures again. Say, could you send me the raw data you used for your research?

<Scientists> DENIER! DENIER! LIES! I"D RATHER ERASE ALL THE RAW DATA THAN SEND IT TO SCUM LIKE YOU! ...ad nauseum...

STUPID BIASED DIPSHIT (-1, Flamebait)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874554)

STUPID BIASED DIPSHIT, need I say more, You are trying to defend the indefensible as IPCC has already acknowledged. Good luck with that.

Re:Four YEARS? (4, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874252)

It's too bad that there can't be a quiet, sensible discussion on the subject thanks to all the political baggage

And that's the problem. No one (or at least, no one in the general population) had heard of global warming / climate change until we had politicians saying "If you don't elect me so that I can pass X laws to stop GW / climate change, we will all die!" - and right from the beginning it was all a matter of politicians using it to get elected so that they can pass other laws that suit their personal views. The fact that as it gets more an more political we have more "evidence" is easily explained by 1) politicians paying people to find "proof" so that they can get elected and 2) people realizing that there's easy money in "proving" global warming.

Yes, I know many will mod me a troll for being skeptical - I don't care one way or another if the temperature is changing or not. However, since only about 4% of daily CO2 output is from man-made devices and we have plenty of proof of temperatures changing long before the industrial revolution, the claims of man-made global warming are a bunch of bullshit being used by people who want to pass laws to change society to how they feel it should be. The issue is not "are temperatures changing", the issue is "is this caused by human behavior" and there is absolutely no evidence that it is.

Re:Four YEARS? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874316)

we have plenty of proof of temperatures changing long before the industrial revolution

Shouldn't we be doing something about that? What if it gets too hot for us?

Re:Four YEARS? (1, Troll)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874308)

Yes...there it goes. I didn't even have to dispute global warming at all. Just mention something that is less than fully supportive and I'm labeled troll. All the global warming zealots out there that attack vehemently anyone that dares say they aren't fully convinced about the subject should be happy. They are the reason for the backlash in the media. Scorning and attacking with foaming mouths anyone who dares to mention that politics is involved at all in the global warming issue doesn't make the undecided think you're right. It makes them think you're crazy. Call me troll...I don' t give a shit you are your own worst enemies.

Re:Four YEARS? (1)

NeoTron (6020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874412)

Heheh - see my rant in support of you, too.

I just labelled you as "friend".

I can't say I'm surprised you were marked as troll on Slashdot for saying what you did.
It appears there are too many people who have either been taken in by the IPCC propaganda over the last decade
or so, and/or who simply aren't thinking the whole issue through sensibly.

Anyway - keep it up.

^--Why on earth is this marked as Troll? (4, Insightful)

NeoTron (6020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874360)

Whoever moderated this as Troll is being disingenuous in the extreme.

There is absolutely NOTHING troll-worthy in what amiga3D said.

See, this is what I've noticed about /. in the last 5 years or so - seems to be inhabited by
people who can't subscribe to any anti-anthropogenic cuased global warming argument. So, anything
which is said against the AGW argument gets modded down.

FACT : AGW *IS* heavilly politicised.
FACT : anti-AGW arguments and reasoning appear to be met by insult,ridicule, and attempted censorship.

Honestly, people, if you can't simply argue your case for and against, in a reasonable manner, and have to
resort to insults, and censorship, then you have already lost the argument.

Re:Four YEARS? (3, Insightful)

Jay L (74152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874374)

How did it take four years to bubble up?

Probably the same way it took four years before they fixed that bug you reported in [software package of your choice].

Take home point (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874122)

The scientists who caught this error are scientists who support the consensus that global warming is a real problem. The distinction between good science and bad science is the ability to be critical of theories and colleagues that you agree with. In that regard, while this is an embarrassing snafu, it shouldn't alter our overall confidence that anthropogenic global warming is real and a serious threat to both environmental and economic health. I'm tempted to make a comparison to Piltdown man, a fossil hominid which turned out to be a hoax. Creationists like to point to it a lot but ignore that it was scientists who realized that Piltdown man was a hoax, not creationists. I don't think that global warming is in the same category, in that there are good scientists who disagree. But the general consensus is pretty clear. And events like this show that the general scientific community is still doing good, careful science on this matter, and engaging in careful critical analysis of their own claims. This event underscores that claims by global warming denialists that climatology is a cultish echo-chamber are simply without basis.

Re:Take home point (3, Interesting)

berashith (222128) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874166)

Unfortunately, some of the scientists that originally noticed this issue were afraid to bring it up because of the politically charged nature of this group. Shocking as it may sound, there are global warming scientists who denounce anyone who disagrees with them, and have the power to effect the funding of anyone who is not in lock step with the agenda.

Pachauri and the IPCC denied there was an error (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874258)

JoshuaZ, I agree with much of what you write, but while the science may be good, the evidence points to the IPCC and Pachauri being bad.

The IPCC and Pachauri stated for a long time there were no errors made and the 2035 number was accurate. Even now I've seen apologies that state this simple shift of 300+ years is meaningless and ignorable.

But the kicker is here at climate audit:

http://climateaudit.org/2010/01/23/pachauri-and-high-noon/ [climateaudit.org]

This error was used for fundraising the same as Microsoft uses FUD to keep people from looking into linux. And worse, the funds were funneled into what many are saying seems to be a Rajendra Pachauri laundering scheme. That is, the head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri seems to have a terrible conflict of interest. Scare people about glaciers and global warming. Contract out TERI to look into them and fix them. Pachauri collects directly from TERI.

This is not a good background for good science to be proliferating.

Global WHAT? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874310)

What is this global warming that you are talking about? The earth has been cooling over the past 8 years at least. All this is a scam to enforce a world tax and a world gov. Lucky, they FAILED at the last Copenhagen meeting.

Re:Global WHAT? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874456)

If you are into world-wide conspiracy theories spanning many decades, there's more plausible one: some oil industry shill planted the error in hopes it will trickle down and give "common sense folks" something to hatch on in rallying against AGW.

Much, much more likely; if only because insanely easier to do.

Still stupid. The story is about an error and scientists being humans (though they did catch it)

Re:Global WHAT? (1, Insightful)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874518)

And the great thing is that the lies and deceit are now in the public domain and next to NO LEGISLATURE will enact the Alice in Wonderland these crooks wanted.

This is the Club of Rome, Act 2.

When the speculators had the oil price at USD 168, the IOCs were making a profit at USD 22.50.

I approve of looking for alternative energy sources, but geothermal, fusion and solar MUST be made to work, far too little money is spent on geothermal, which is effectively infinite and the same is true on fission and both are not even science but engineering. If these were targeted effectively then we could afford to synthesise hydrocarbons and this boring nonsense could go away.

Let me add that the REAL solution is to get into space, so all our eggs are not in one fragile basket, and I am pleased people like Hawking firmly agree. If the UK government had either sense or balls they would ask someone like the emeritus Lucasian Professor at Cambridge to look into Phil Jones and Mann's calculations.

Re:Take home point (4, Informative)

mrcaseyj (902945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874406)

The scientific process will probably ultimately work, but it doesn't always take the most direct route to the truth. I had heard accusations that the hockey stick graph was garbage, but I dismissed such claims as anti-scientific oil company propaganda. But after the climate gate emails came out I started looking at stuff a little closer. The disturbing thing is not the hockey stick graph itself, but the fact that they're STILL defending it. The hockey stick graph uses tree ring data that gives false temperatures for the last 50 years, but they're still trying to get us to believe that the temperatures those rings give from 1000 years ago are not false. Their analysis of evidence is so biased that they can't even see that that is absurd. The only excuse they seem to give on realclimate is that only some of the tree rings give false temperatures for the last 50 years. But if that's the case, and they knew some of the trees were giving false data, then why on earth would they use those known defective trees in their calculations? It's been reported that they used those defective trees because if they didn't, then the medieval warm period wouldn't be flattened out enough.

The climate crisis promoters have a tough job. Not only do they have to prove that the globe is warming, they have to prove that the warming is caused by humans. And then they still have to prove that the temperatures are significantly higher than they were at other times in the past. If the temperatures have gone from what they were when we started measuring them in the middle of the little ice age, and risen just up to normal, that would be global warming, and maybe even man made global warming, but nothing to worry about. The hockey stick graph and others like it are critical to their case that temperatures now are especially high. But it's very hard to accurately determine what the temperatures were a thousand years ago. In fact I doubt if it's even possible. Boreholes, sediments, and tree rings seem like very iffy measurement techniques. If we hadn't caught them sending emails about how they needed to crush the medieval warm period, then maybe we could put a little more weight to those past temperature reconstructions of theirs.

Total BS (1)

rebelscience (1717928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874578)

You're saying that it took 2,500 of the best climate scientists of the world (IPCC) close to four years to realize that a mistake of this magnitude is in one of its prime reports and you find this normal? This crap was being talked about in the blogosphere for some time and it's only because of the ugliness of climategate that these so-called "concerned scientists" are no coming out. It's called preemptive damage control. The very climate scientist whose work is at the origin is a friend and employee (at TERI) of Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman. The entire thing stinks something foul and no amount of perfume is going to cover it up. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Climate Science is tainted for a long time, thanks to the greed of a few. Too bad. We don't believe in anything climate scientists have to say anymore because their livelihood is directly tied to how much alarm and hysteria they can whip up. Their noses are too close the grinder, so to speak.

Come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874134)

This is the kind of error that destroys my faith in humanity. Seriously, people. You were writing an important document that you knew would determine policy, one on which the reputation of many scientists would rest, and you were off by an order of magnitude? Nothing about that number raised any red flags for you?

The carelessness and disregard that the writer must have had for this report is truly shocking. One can only hope that this is not representative of the level of care that the UN takes in all its activities. But it probably is.

There's a problem with this coverage (4, Insightful)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874146)

There is something absolutely wrong with the kind of media coverage. You're telling me that a transposition of digits within a report full of otherwise solid information is "highly damaging"? This is a false sense of even-handedness at best.

How is solid evidence of shrinking polar caps [nrdc.org] not highly damaging? The hard empirical fact that we've taken the atmospheric CO2 level from ~280 parts per million to over 370? The increasing ocean acidity from absorbing this increased CO2? The fact that widespread deforestation in the midst of de-sequestering carbon locked in oil and carbon and putting it back into the atmosphere on this level has a significant impact?

The question that will matter to all of us in coming years is not whether the IPCC had, in the midst of a large report of substance, accidentally transposed numbers when discussing a real and dangerous trend. It's not about whether or not you like Al Gore. It's not about the way scientists chattered in their emails while creating and testing computer simulations. This coverage of personality cult or anti-cult, the minor gaffes in an overwhelming body of documented evidence being treated even-handedly as if it thwarts all the rest, it is responsible for promoting complacency or belligerency in the face of a severe environmental threat.

Will we come to our senses already, or will it take soaring food prices and flooded cities and islands first?

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (4, Informative)

jlar (584848) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874208)

Because it is not a transposition of digits. There simply is no forecast and the estimate that they put in is pure BS. From TFA:

"The IPCC apparently sourced its forecast on a 2005 publication by the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF itself had picked it up from a 1999 magazine article based on a phone interview with an Indian scientist.

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, earlier this week, said that Himalayan glaciers are receding but he said the report they will vanish by 2035 is not based on scientific evidence. "

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874266)

Interesting article. They mention a 3 foot rise in sea level by 2100. I read the report by the IPCC and they state a rise somewhere between 7 and 82 centimeters. That's part of the problem with credibility right there. The IPCC report is solid science but the NRDC report you linked to takes those facts and picks through them to accentuate the points they want to make. I'm not a scientist but I know that global warming appears to be real. How great and how sudden the effect will be seems to be the question. Al Gore and others using it as a political agenda have caused the skepticism by trying to shock people with the most extreme possible cases. This, when people discover the facts for themselves, can't help but have a backlash effect.

Yes indeed, wrong coverage! (1, Informative)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874352)

Please write polar CAP (without S). The south pole ice has been EXPANDING (appart 2 small isolated parts of it).

What's the trend that you are talking about here? The trend for the last decade is a global cooling, and even the IPCC said it. There's no "minor gaffes" but major cover-ups! FACE IT, YOU'VE BEEN FOOLED !

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874410)

I'll take the flooded cities and islands first.

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874506)

oh, you sound sensible, but i note the gold standard was supposed to be the thermometers. this helped produce the hockey stick supposedly. now the thermometers have been showing a distinct north american cooling. so nobody talks about the thermometers anymore. funny about that.

people try to call economy a science, but the standard macro theories are not predictive. It is pretty much something for lackeys. so the big awgers are pretty much scientists in the same sense. this is not to say there cannot be an honest and careful fool awger.

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874558)

now the thermometers have been showing a distinct north american cooling.

So?

so nobody talks about the thermometers anymore.

Yes they do [nasa.gov].

NASA says: not CO2 causing glaciers to melt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874528)

NASA says it's not C02 causing the Himalayan glaciers to melt:

Stolen from a comment at real climate:

"In fact, the new research, by NASA's William Lau and collaborators, reinforces with detailed numerical analysis what earlier studies suggest: that soot and dust contribute as much (or more) to atmospheric warming in the Himalayas as greenhouse gases."
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-warming.html [nasa.gov]

"Based on the differences it's not difficult to conclude that greenhouse gases are not the sole agents of change in this region. There's a localized phenomenon at play."
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-soot.html [nasa.gov]

"But some scientists claim that glaciers in the Himalayas are not retreating as fast as was believed. Others who have observed nearby mountain ranges even found that glaciers there were advancing."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8355837.stm [bbc.co.uk]

"The report, by senior glaciologist Vijay Kumar Raina, formerly of the Geological Survey of India, seeks to correct a widely held misimpression based on measurements of a handful of glaciers: that India's 10,000 or so Himalayan glaciers are shrinking rapidly in response to climate change. That's not so, Raina says."
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/326/5955/924 [sciencemag.org]

"The most recent studies by researchers at ETH Zurich show that in the 1940s Swiss glaciers were melting at an even-faster pace than at present."
http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/archive_articles/091214_gletscherschwund_su/index_EN [ethlife.ethz.ch]

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (5, Insightful)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874536)

I grew up in the military industrial complex. You know what the military did every time they wanted a shiny new toy? They created this big boogy man. Back then it was the "Soviets have this new Mig-25 that goes Mach 3+. We must have something to counter it". "The Soviets have this new T-80 tank, we need something to counter it". And the thing of it was the Military damn well knew that the T-80 was a dressed up T-72 and that the F-15 would beat a MIG-25 any day of the week. Yeah, the MIG-25 could go Mach 3....once before the engines had to be replaced. And the people in the defense industry as well as the DOD knew this, but they played the boogey man to Congress and the American people.

I'm sorry, but I see the same thing happening with this whole Environmental and Global Warming thing. Are there real problems out there? Should be trying not to pollute? Yes. But the tactics these people are using remind me too much of what I saw from the Defense industry.

These predictions reminds me of an article around 1900 that claimed that if trends continue, the horse manure on the streets of chicago would be 6 ft. deep by 1930. It never happened, the automobile came along and replaced horses. And that, perhaps, is the biggest problem with these predictions. The longer the predicted , the less likely the prediction is to be correct. Things change and I don't believe we have a model yet that works. I don't believe a working model can be created either. Show me one of these ecological dire predictions that I remember hearing in the 1970's and 1980's that have come to pass. I remember the presentations back then saying New York would be underwater by 2010! What about global dimming back in the 1970's? Whatever happened to that?

None of these models can even begin to take into account uncertainty. What happens if there is a massive Krakatoa type eruption in the next 50 years? Or in this case, the next 350 years? What if there continues to be a lack of sun spot activity for the next 350 years. It's happened before. Oh wait, the Little Ice Age was just a fluke right? We'd better adjust our data and pretend that it and the Medieval warm period never happened according to our models.

The problem is this has all become political. It's more about power and money than science at this point.

There are real environmental problems out there. Not only that, but they are problems affecting people's health and real steps we know work can be taken today to help clean them up and instead of spending the money and resources to help fix those problems, it looks as though we are going to spending a bunch of money world wide to fix a problem that is appearing to be more suspect everyday.

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874570)

How is solid evidence of shrinking polar caps not highly damaging?

Yeah, obviously shrinking polar caps [nationalgeographic.com] are evidence of anthropogenic global warming. That darned Mars rover is just heating up the place.

The question that will matter to all of us in coming years is not whether the IPCC had, in the midst of a large report of substance, accidentally transposed numbers when discussing a real and dangerous trend.

A better question is whether the IPCC, in a report full of nonsense and propaganda, accidentally told an easily-verifiable whopper.

Re:There's a problem with this coverage (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874624)

You see, Mars is a whole different planet altogether. It has got a different atmosphere, different gravity, different temperature and so on.

Traceability (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874154)

This is how it works in the specifications I deal with. You start with a set of customer requirements and they go into DOORS [ibm.com] which is a crap tool, its just better than all the alternatives. Then from that you generate system specifications which describe your system at a high level and technical specifications which pretty much how it is going to work. At any point you can point and click to trace back to the source of a particular requirement.

Now all of that has nothing to do with climate change (apart from the horrible overhead of those big binary doors files we keep copying around) but the concept is pretty straightforward.

When you write your intermediate and final documents you somehow retain traceability back to the source of the information, so that if one of your conclusions is based on crap assumptions then you can easily identify the problem.

Its not hard. Just takes some experience in fairly professional technical writing. You don't have to use the craptastic tools. I have written doors like functionality into xslt, for example.

Global warming hoax (0, Flamebait)

//violentmac (186176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874184)

What the UN lies to support global warming hoax? That's strange almost like there is a conspiracy of scientists to trick the 1st world public. Huh. Go figure.

But, I'm sure some East Anglia "scientists" can "prove" that global warming is real.

Oh, what's that? Temps are declining for the past 10 years? INCONCEIVABLE!

But, mod me down you are the one denying the truth.

I would be shocked if this doesn't reach -2.

Re:Global warming hoax (3, Funny)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874278)

I would be shocked if this doesn't reach -2.

Defy the hive-mind that the majority of slashdotters are part of at your own peril my friend! Other ways to get to -2 are to suggest that you believe in God or voted for a Republican at any point in time -- and God help you if they find out that you don't know how to program, don't like Linux, and don't like Firefly....those crimes are punishable by death around here!

Re:Global warming hoax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874688)

God help you if they find out that you don't know how to program, don't like Linux, and don't like Firefly....those crimes are punishable by death around here!

Or post in defense of the enforcement of copyright law, *except* in the specific case of the GPL and other FOSS licenses, where violators need to be sent to prison (preferably Guantanamo Bay).

Sometimes you're part of the Slashdot mob, other times the Slashdot mob buries you and whatever you post. The point is that if you're looking for a balanced discussion on controversial issues, this ain't the place.

Re:Global warming hoax (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874376)

In the future most politicians will be replaced by the following bash script (no need for Python due to the extremely simple nature of functionality).

#!/bin/bash
# Generate a crisis in order to gain political power, and implement
# all the things I want to implement anyway on the pretext of saving
# the nation from the crisis. Muhahaha.

for manbearpig in "terrorists" "poverty" "drugs" \
"Communism" "pro-lifers" "liberals" "child molesters" \
"Islamists" "heart disease" "conservatives" \
"Fox News" "man-made climate change"
do
cat <<EOF
We must all work together to end the threat of ${manbearpig}. The Government has consulted top scientists and determined a plan that will significantly reduce the risk to the nation posed by ${manbearpig}. All you need to do is believe everything we say, do everything we ask, and viciously attack anyone who isn't cooperating, because those guys are part of the problem, not the solution. Only by working together can we be saved from ${manbearpig}, which will otherwise surely destroy us all. Won't somebody please think of the children?
EOF
done

# TODO: add more crises to convince those not taken in
# by the lies listed above.

Re:Global warming hoax (0, Offtopic)

NeoTron (6020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874512)

If I had mod points I'd mod you back up. Unfortunately Slashdot is overrun by
morons these days.

Keep it up. They're losing the argument.

Re:Global warming hoax (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874598)

It's sad that the same people who were so skeptical of the "war on terror" and the "war on drugs" are such strong believers in the "war on climate change".

Guess the Government just needed to find the right buttons to press...

Posting as AC to avoid connecting crimespeak to my read ID.

But the Himalayan glaciers *are* still retreating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874188)

Are the Himalayan glaciers retreating/losing ice volume? Yes
Is this what the scientific studies on the issue says? Very clearly, yes

What's wrong is the projection quoted in the IPCC report: the exaggerated claim that the rate of retreat means the glaciers could disappear by 2035. Instead the expectation is "only" that they will continue to shrink between now and then, and that their eventual disappearance would only occur if the trend were maintained for a few centuries, which is an awfully long projection.

It's a big mistake, but mistakes happen. There is nothing here that calls the evidence for global warming into question, or even calls into question the evidence that the Himalayan glaciers are retreating. At most, it means the IPCC reports need to be more carefully vetted, and they shouldn't quote questionable sources like newspaper articles rather than the original scientific studies.

I'm sure this won't stop some people from claiming the mistake undermines everything.

Re:But the Himalayan glaciers *are* still retreati (2, Interesting)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874288)

I'm sure this won't stop some people from claiming the mistake undermines everything.

One mistake wouldn't. But the rate at which "mistakes" are piling up is becoming troubling, to say the least.

Erroneous (0, Troll)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874196)

Five errors from what I've read. Makes one question it all. As one should.

Global Warming's a sham and does not matter. Pollution matters. Gore and his ilk hurt the issue because they are such big polluters and hypocrites. The biggest thing Gore could do to help is stop breathing.

Haha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874202)

Global warming doesn't exist you fucking morons grow some ball

Good (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874214)

Any correction of error, whether by you or anyone else, is a good thing. It gets you closer to an accurate picture of reality.

I've managed to internalize this viewpoint. It wasn't easy. :) But now, when I make a coding mistake and it's pointed out to me, I actually feel good about it. Getting that way took a lot of practice. :)

IT WAS NOT A TYPO (2, Informative)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874216)

From the URL at the bottom:

"But he [Rajenda Pachauri (Head of the IPCC)] admitted that there may have been other errors in the same section of the report, and said that he was considering whether to take action against those responsible." ...

"A table below says that between 1845 and 1965, the Pindari Glacier shrank by 2,840m -- a rate of 135.2m a year. The actual rate is only 23.5m a year." ...

"I [Professor Hasnain] was keeping quiet as I was working here," he said. "My job is not to point out mistakes. And you know the might of the IPCC. What about all the other glaciologists around the world who did not speak out?"

My opinion: This is the only section of the IPCC under critical review right now. Do you really think are not "other errors" elsewhere in the report that make "innocent mistakes" that mischaracterize actual observations to the tune of x10-x100 the actual observations that always seem to error on the side of promoting AGW? Billions of dollars of funding are awarded to scientists substantiate the theories that their political check writers want, this is the poison in the science! After all, this error was not until recently 'pointed out' by Prof. Hasnain because he was afraid of the "might of the IPCC". Still think it's not a house of cards? Just wait until public opinion shifts enough for scientists to speak critically of the report without the threat of losing their job and/or funding.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999051.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

How about the conomy? Any prediction? (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874284)

Predicting the weather (or climate) 340 years from now, nobody can do that. It's like telling about the economy in 100 years from now. Who can believe someone claiming such thing? Not me at least.

Re:How about the conomy? Any prediction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874370)

maybe they can that guy that invented the internet to do it.

Re:How about the conomy? Any prediction? (1)

Dalambertian (963810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874596)

I would venture to say that climate science is harder to model than the world's economy. And no I don't participate in the stock market either.

You would think (2)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874314)

You would think before trying to seize $10's of trillions of the world economy that these climate scientists would want backcast their models for as far back as we have meaningful data. You would think. Maybe the chance to become "Lords of the Earth" is a little too seductive a notion for these eggheads. Climate science is a fraud. The US should withhold funds from the IPCC immediately.

AGW (1, Troll)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874330)

There is now just NO CHANCE of saving this self serving, lying fiasco.

The HAD-CRU (East Anglia) MET (Reading) NASA and NOAA have all been exposed as a bunch of lying, self serving innumerate jerks, whose analysis and data is fatally flawed at so many levels.

The tree-ring scam, disgarding 75% or Russian data, with no reason, the proxies, Ice cores, bad chemistry ... the list goes on, and on, and on. The scope of the stupidity never ends from the BBC looking for a new forecaster, since the MET is so bad, (I know I use 'eurometeo.com') to CRU writing and then loosing code that just fudges the data for a pre-wanted conclusion (ClimateGate).

Now some of the smarter politicians, starting with Obama, may begin to see the light and back away. What amazes me is that so many were duped for so long.

Re:AGW (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874522)

This graph [nasa.gov] uses the following data:

A global temperature index, as described by Hansen et al. (1996), is obtained by combining the meteorological station measurements with sea surface temperatures based in early years on ship measurements and in recent decades on satellite measurements.

Note that tree rings are not mentioned [nasa.gov].

It wasn't even an error, it was INTENTIONAL! (4, Informative)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874332)

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report's chapter on Asia, said: 'It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action. 'It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Re:It wasn't even an error, it was INTENTIONAL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874620)

Daily Mail? Really? Find a reputable source, and get back to us.

Global warming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874344)

Total con. Invented by the Yanks to try to unify the World to distract everyone from the Vietnam that is Iraq. Pipesmokers.

to all the eco-fascists: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874368)

HAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAH

YOU LIE!

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Has anyone looked at the most recent photographs? (3, Insightful)

vulpinemac (570108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874382)

Some of those glaciers have retreated more than 16 miles! If you want my opinion, it's very possible some of those glaciers could disappear by 2035.

Re:Has anyone looked at the most recent photograph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874562)

There is a big difference between voicing your opinion and stating it as a researched fact in a scientific document

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874436)

Seems the spectacular Himalayan glacier scientific expedition just vanished Into Thin Air.

"Authority"? (0, Troll)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874498)

The damage was that IPCC had, or I think still has, such a stellar reputation that people view it as an authority -- as indeed they should

Um, no. You get to be viewed as an "authority" when at least some of your predictions come true.

Can anyone name one specific, numerically-quantified prediction made by IPCC researchers that has actually come to pass, by means other than obvious coincidence or luck?

Nice apology (0, Troll)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874550)

TFS is a nice apology for politicaly and economically motivated bureaucrats who are keen to exagerate to sew fear.

An inconvenient typo (2, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30874560)

The IPCC calling this FUD a "typo" is like Hillary Clinton saying that she "misspoke" when she made up a story about running from sniper fire in Bosnia.

Someone should take back the Nobel prize from Al Gore (he should not be difficult to track down, just look for a big SUV, for a private Jet or for a mansion that needs a dedicated power plant).

Global warming verses Creationism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30874604)

What most want to say is that since this one piece of data is flawed the whole theory of global warming is false and the ocean of other data is also false. The problem is it's exactly the same argument Creationist use to disprove Darwinism. One of the fundimental elements of Darwinism is slow gradual change. Darwin was wrong and the truth seems to be sudden changes with long stagnant periods between, thousands or tens of thousands of years instead of millions of years for major changes in species. According to the Creationist since this one part is wrong the whole theory is wrong so obviously God created everything and Darwin was completely wrong. Not true just one part of theory needs revision so you don't throw out the whole theory and go with the one with zero scientific evidence. Melting all the glaciers in 20 years never made sense because the obvious problem of mass. Take a block of ice and hit it with a blow torch. The block of ice doesn't vanish it takes a long time to melt where as an ice cube melts in seconds. Mass is the difference. 300 years is still scary fast. Global warming is based on hundreds of different observation not just glaciers so like Darwinism don't throw out the theory simply because one part of the data was flawed. The north pole is still melting almost completely during the summer and in 300 years most glaciers will be gone. That's less time than the US has been settled and only a little longer than it's been a country. In geological terms it's a sudden event we just don't live long enough to see it for what it is.

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