China Nods to Warming Skeptics, Glaciers Continue to Melt

In the wake of a controversy over a dubious claim made about melting glaciers by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a top Chinese official says that the panel should include the views of global warming skeptics in its next report.

Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of China’s national Development and Reform Commission, told a meeting of rapidly developing nations that the IPCC needs to “adopt an open attitude to scientific research and incorporate all views.”

His comments came after the IPCC apologized last week for a faulty forecast in its 2007 report on global warming, which stated that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. That forecast was based on a press interview with an Indian scientist, not a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri said he will not resign over the glacier controversy and other recent criticisms of the IPCC’s methods. Meanwhile, the World Glacier Monitoring Service reported that many of the world’s glaciers, particularly those in lower-altitude mountain ranges, will disappear by mid-century.

The most vulnerable glaciers are in the Alps, the Pyrenees, Arica, parts of the Andes, and the Rocky Mountains in North America, the report said. The 96 glaciers monitored by the service lost an average of a half-meter in height, and 66 of the 96 glaciers lost mass overall.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo by overatli

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