IPCC Releases Statement on Melting of Himalayan Glaciers

20 January 2010: The Chair, Vice-Chairs and Co-Chairs of Working Groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have issued a statement on its estimates of the melting of Himalayan glaciers in the Fourth Assessment report (AR4).

In its statement, the IPCC reaffirms that the AR4 Synthesis Report's conclusion that "widespread mass losses from glaciers and reductions in snow cover over recent decades are projected to accelerate throughout the 21st century" is robust and consistent with the underlying science and the rest of the report. However, it also acknowledges that certain information contained in the Working Group II contribution to the underlying assessment refers to poorly substantiated estimates of rate of recession and date for the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers. According to the statement, "in drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly." The IPCC Chair and Vice-Chairs, and Working Group Co-Chairs express their regret about the poor application of well-established IPCC procedures in this instance. [IPCC Statement]