Noted environment scientist R.K. Pachauri, who heads the United Nation panel for assessment of climate change, Monday said that Himalayan glaciers are indeed melting faster but whether these snow rivers would vanish by the year 2035 is questionable.
“There is no doubt that glaciers are melting faster, but, yes, there is a question mark over the 2035 date,” said Pachauri, who is the chairman of United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Earlier in the day, Environment and Forests Minister jairam Ramesh termed as “alarmist” the view that the Himalayan glaciers would “vanish” by 2035. The view was “mistaken” and had no scientific basis, he added.
Botn Pachauri and Ramesh were referring to the 2007 study by the Nobel Prize winning IPCC that claimed that most of the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.
“The IPCC is deriving the source of this information and we shall be able to inform everyone about it in the next 2-3 days,” Pachauri explained.
“The IPCC does not make predictions about the future but we analyse various future scenarios,” he said.
The Pachauri-led UN panel had warned that the melting of glaciers would have far-reaching consequences for India. However, new evidence has emerged to suggest that the IPCC may have been mistaken.
The IPCC’s claim was based on an article in the New Statesman, London, which had borrowed the statement from India’s glaciologist and Padma Shri recipient Syed Iqbal Hasnain.
Hasnain, the man at the centre of the controversy, had his cell phone switched off all Monday.
Earlier, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said that the view that these rivers of ice would melt down completely by 2035 due to global warning is “alarmist” and without any scientific basis.
“It is a serious issue. Most of the Himalayan glaciers are in a poor state, but the report that suggested that the glaciers will vanish completely by 2035 is alarmist and misplaced,” Ramesh told reporters.
“The study was not made on any scientific evidence,” Ramesh said.
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