Syed Hasnain, RK Pachauri and the mystery of the non-disappearing glaciers

As my esteemed colleague Geoffrey Lean reported yesterday, the IPCC has egg all over its face thanks to its ludicrously wrong claim that the Himalayan glaciers will have disappeared by 2035, when of course what it really meant was “Er 2350, probably, though we haven’t really got a clue. We got the story from New Scientist, which heard it in a phone call with a bloke called Syed Hasnain, and we didn’t bother to check because it suited our scaremongering cause just dandily…”

What our Geoffrey missed, though, in this midst of his most dextrous and athletic reverse ferret was the most interesting bit of the story, viz the relationship between Syed Hasnain and our favourite millionaire troll impersonator Dr RK Pachauri. Luckily, the great Richard North has the full details.

North sketches in the background:

Highlighted in The Sunday Times yesterday, Dr Hasnain was the scientist responsible for claiming that the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035. This was picked up by the New Scientist and then by a 2005 WWF report, and subsequently published as a definitive claim in the IPCC’s 2007 fourth assessment report, masterminded by Dr R K Pachauri.

But, while Dr Hasnain, who was then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, has admitted that the New Scientist report was based on “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research, he is now a direct beneficiary of that speculation.

Dr Hasnain’s claim that the glaciers would disappear within forty years was picked up by the WWF, whose concerns expressed in a report enabled our friend Dr Pachauri’s TERI to approach the wealthy Carnegie Corporation of New York for grant funding to support further research into this most important issue.

In November 2008, they were successful, being awarded a $500.000 grant for “research, analysis and training on water-related security and humanitarian challenges to South Asia posed by melting Himalaya glaciers.” This helped Dr Pachauri set up the TERI Glaciology team, putting at its head now professor Syed Iqbal Hasnain.

So, to recap: in the course of a garbled phone conversation a scientist accidentally invents a problem that doesn’t exist. This gets reported as if gospel in an influential Warmist science magazine and repeated by a Warmist NGO, before being lent the full authority of the IPCC’s fourth assessment report which, as we know, can’t be wrong because it is vetted by around 2,500 scientists. Then, on the back of this untrue story, the scientist gets a cushy job at the institution whose director is also in charge of the IPCC.

Nice work if you can invent it, eh?