There have been new developments in the Rosegate, the scandal about the way David Rose sexed up his story about the IPCC and the Himalayan glaciers. Andrew Revkin has posted an email from Murari Lal, the scientist that Rose verballed:
I am not a Glaciologist but a Climatologist and the statement attributed to me in “Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified” By David Rose in UK Daily Mail on 24th January 2010 has been wrongly placed. I never said this story at any time and strongly condemn the writer for attributing this to me.
More specifically, I never said during my conversation with Rose the following statements being attributed to me:
(a) ‘it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.’
(b) ‘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.’
(c) ‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’, and
(d) ‘We as authors followed them to the letter,’ he said. ‘Had we received information that undermined the claim, we would have included it.’.
Contrary to the claim by Rose that “Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University, suggested that their draft did not mention that Himalayan glaciers in the Karakoram range are growing rapidly,” the Asia Chapter does include this finding under section 10.2.4.2 on page 477.
What I said was “As authors, we had to report only the best available science (inclusive of a select few grey literatures as per the rules of procedure) which is “policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral” and that’s what we collectively did while writing the Asia Chapter. None of the authors in Asia Chapter were Glaciologist and we entirely trusted the findings reported in the WWF 2005 Report and the underlying references as scientifically sound and relevant in the context of climate change impacts in the region.
Checking chapter 10 of AR4 WG2 I find that Lal is correct. They state:
A recent study in northern Pakistan, however, suggests that glaciers in the Indus Valley region may be expanding, due to increases in winter precipitation over western Himalayas during the past 40 years (Archer and Fowler, 2004).
Compare with Fowler’s comment on the draft report:
I am not sure that this is true for the very large Karakoram glaciers in the western Himalaya. Hewitt (2005) suggests from measurements that these are expanding – and this would certainly be explained by climatic change in precipitation and temperature trends seen in the Karakoram region (Fowler and Archer, J Climate in press; Archer and Fowler, 2004)
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Rose is going to correct his story. He emailed Revkin:
I’ve only just become aware that you have stated in your blog that I misquoted Dr Lal in my recent Mail on Sunday article. This claim is utterly false. I reported Dr Lal’s remarks to me exactly as he made them, and as I recorded in verbatim notes at the time. Would you please amend your blog at once to take account of this. I don’t have to tell you that this is a very serious allegation to make about a fellow reporter. I am, I must say, surprised that you made no attempt to put it to me before publishing it. Dr Lal may regret what he said, but say these things he did. I would appreciate a speedy response.
Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?
I think the Daily Mail should conduct an investigation into Rosegate and Rose should stand down from reporting on climate change until it is completed.
See also: James Hrynyshyn on Rosegate.