IPCC Brand Science™ – extrapolating 10 himalayan glaciers to speak for 54,000 – meanwhile Himalayagate 2 is evolving over the Stern Report

10/54,000 = .0185 % That’s an impressively small sample size. Apparently Pachauri’s zeal to get back the Himalayagate claim of melting by 2035 outweighs any rational attempts at science. In any other discipline, a sample size this small would be laughed off as ridiculous, but this is climate science, where ridiculous has become the norm, especially when trotted out for the Durban Climate Conference.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/25/Himalayas_landsat_7.png/320px-Himalayas_landsat_7.png

Himalayas from NASA Landsat 7 Satellite. Click for a larger image

Excerpts from the UK telegraph:

Himalayan glaciers are melting, says IPCC research

The Himalayan glaciers are melting after all, according to new research released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The research was released in an effort to draw a line under the embarrassing mistakes made about the effects of global warming on the region in the past.

The IPCC were forced to apologise for claiming that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035.

The 2009 scandal, known as ‘Himalayagate’ led to criticism of the IPCC, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to warn governments around the world about the effects of climate change.

In an effort to move on from the embarrassing episode, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, has now announced that the latest statistics show the glaciers are melting, according to the limited amount of science available.

The reports, presented at the UN climate change talks in Durban were brought together by the the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

One three year study, funded by Sweden, found that of 10 glaciers measured in the region all are shrinking, with a marked acceleration in loss of ice between 2002 and 2005.

==============================================================

“…funded by Sweden” Does anyone care to place any bets on WWF and/or Greenpeace involvement in this? I’m sure Donna Leframboise will take a good look into this one.

Meanwhile, here’s all the reason you need not to trust anything the IPCC says. This comment left on our open thread today from Roger Knights is about as growing into  Himalayagate 2 as you can get:

Three Strikes Against the IPCC’s Asia Group (By Roger Knights)

(Summary: This post points out the cherry picking of quotations by the IPCC’s Asia group to spice up its widely publicized claim that 3/4 of a billion Asians were at risk of water shortages from glacier-melt.)

Here’s a bone for the gang to gnaw on and flesh out (to mangle a metaphor). I haven’t fully researched the matter, but what I’ve noticed is intriguing.

During a dispute with one of the one-star Amazon-reviewers (T. Bruner) of Donna Laframboise’s Delinquent Teenager book about the IPCC, I wrote:

“She [DL] wrote, at Location 763 in Chapter 14: ‘When the IPCC declared that three-quarters of a billion people in India and China depend on glaciers for their water supply, is it not strange that its only source for this claim was the Stern review?’ The link she supplied there takes one to that section of the IPCC report, 10.4.2, where one can see the single citation for oneself, as I have done.”

(My exchange with T. Bruner starts on the 5th comments page of his review, linked to below, but the most relevant material is on the 6th page. http://www.amazon.com/review/R3D6YKUGYE4WA0/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg5?ie=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2983WIRKIRW6A&cdPage=5&asin=B005UEVB8Q&store=digital-text&cdThread=TxO5HUAZSS2GUT#wasThisHelpful )

Bruner pointed out that the Stern Review in turn had cited, as its authority for that statement, Barnett et al., which, unlike Stern, was a peer-reviewed and before-the-deadline publication. He added that the Fresh Water Group had cited Barnett alone, in Section 3.4.3 (of AR4).

This made me wonder: Why had the Asia group taken the risk of violating the IPCC’s rules by citing Stern alone? Wouldn’t citing Barnett in addition, or instead, have been prudent?

It’s unlikely that the group hadn’t been aware of the Barnett paper, given that it was cited by Stern, and given its relevance, recency, and prominent & prestigious source, which could be found in Stern’s bibliography:

Barnett, T.P., J.C, Adam, and D.P. Lettenmaier (2005): ‘Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions’, Nature 438: 303-309

So this relevant, recent, and prestigiously published primary source, Nature, which all contributors had access to in their libraries, was omitted in favor of citing a gray, secondary, after-the-deadline (2007, hence unpublished per the IPCC’s rules) source. (It’s not cited anywhere in the Asia Group’s chapter, per its References section.)

Why? Let’s get started by looking at what the two sources and the Asia Group said. I’ve emphasized the most pertinent passages. (h/t to T. Bruner for the quotes.):

1. Barnett et al., as summarized by the Fresh Water Group, in AR4 WGII Section 3.4.3:
“Hence, water supply in areas fed by glacial melt water from the Hindu Kush and Himalayas, on which hundreds of millions of people in China and India depend, will be negatively affected (Barnett et al., 2005).”
Go to 5th paragraph, last sentence, here:
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch3s3-4-3.html

2. Stern Review, 2007, Section 3.2, page 63:
“Climate change will have serious consequences for people who depend heavily on glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season, including large parts of the Indian sub-continent, over quarter of a billion people in China, and tens of millions in the Andes. (Barnett et al., 2005)”
Go to p. 8 at this link: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/Chapter_3_How_climate_change_will_affect_people_around_the_world_.pdf

4. Asia Group, in AR4 WGII Section 10.4.2.1:
“Climate change-related melting of glaciers could seriously affect half a billion people in the Himalaya-Hindu-Kush region and a quarter of a billion people in China who depend [unqualified] on glacial melt for their water supplies (Stern, 2007).”
Go to the second paragraph, second sentence, here: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-4-2.html

Strike one: If the Asia group had cited Barnett at all it would have exposed its claims about three-quarters of a billion and “seriously affected” as being hyperbole. (Barnett et al. had used the less-exaggerated, less-alarmist words, “hundreds of millions” and “negatively affected.”) It’s not a big leap to infer that that was the motive for its omission. What other motive could there have been?

(“Hundreds of millions” suggests the lower end of the one-hundred-million-to-one-billion range. If Barnett et al. had had three-quarters of a billion in mind when they wrote “hundreds of millions,” they’d likely have indicated that they were thinking of the upper part of the range by saying something like “over a half-billion” or “many hundreds of millions.”)

Strike two: The Asia Group lied by omission by omitting Stern’s key qualification, “during the dry season.” Including it would have muted the alarmist impact of their sentence. It’s not a big leap to infer that that was the motive for its omission. What other motive could there have been?

Strike three: The Asia Group’s gray-lit-backed claim of a 2035 melt-by date now looks likely to be a similarly culpable instance of cherry-picking in the service of alarmist hyperbole, rather than clueless unfamiliarity with the dynamics of glaciers. They were likely knaves, not fools, in other words.

One reason it’s “likely” is the context provided by the two “strikes” above. Another reason is the context provided by their refusal to correct the error in their 2035 melt-by date when reviewers pointed it out to them, and their turning a deaf ear to Dr. Georg Kaser’s subsequent attempts to have it corrected.

(I’m skeptical of the IPCC’s excuse that Kaser sent his first complaint to the wrong department—wouldn’t they have forwarded it?—and that his second letter wasn’t received—a “likely story.” It seems more likely to me that the group couldn’t possibly admit to ignoring his letters—so it didn’t.)

Strike four: The three strikes above suggest that the IPCC has been infected by gang-of-green alarmism. The IPCC’s apologists have spun a deceptive damage-control message about the 2035 error by attributing it to ignorance, not malice—to cluelessness, not culpability. In the context of the deceptive pattern described above, that’s hard to believe.

Obviously, it would be awkward for the IPCC if the second interpretation gained traction, because that would raise the questions, “Where did the gangrene start?”, “How far has it spread?”, “Is amputation needed?”, and “Or maybe a mercy killing?”.

Paging Dr. Kevorkian!

========

For a brief history of Himalaya-gate, see my comment here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/17/the-wit-and-wisdom-of-real-climate-scientist-dr-ray-pierrehumbert/#comment-683880

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It gets even better, commenter DirkH adds in the same thread:

The funniest part is that the IPCC report contains a table of glaciers and the speed with which they retreat or grow. ON THE SAME PAGE AS THE 2035 DATE!
http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-6-2.html

The only part they left out is the length of the glaciers; in the case of the Gangotri, for instance, 30km. So obviously nobody of them ever did this mental exercise called “computing” where you divide a length by a yearly distance to get an estimate of the number of years that have to pass until the thing is gone. This is, as the media repeatedly told us, the Gold Standard of climate science, and serves as the blueprint for all future international scientific collaborations under the UN.

Here’s the IPCC errata and table 10.9:

(Errata)
Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world (see Table 10.9) and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).

So let’s do the math for Gangotri glacier, which according to Wikipedia: The glacier is about 30 kilometres long (19 miles) and 2 to 4 km (1 to 2 mi) wide.

30 kilometers (30,000 meters) divided by 28 meters/year = 1071.4 years for Gangotri glacier to disappear at the current retreat rate.

That’s a bit further out than 2035.

UPDATE: I’ve updated IPCC table 10.9 and it is shown below with two column additions. I was unable to find a reference for length of the the Ponting Glacier but if someone can locate it I’ll update the table to include it.

Note that the Pindari Glacier does have a chance of disappearing by 2035 if the rate of retreat keeps up. Perhaps that one was the source of confirmation bias. Looking at this photo from Wikipedia though…

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Pindari_glacier%2C_Uttarakhand%2C_India.jpg/640px-Pindari_glacier%2C_Uttarakhand%2C_India.jpg

…it looks rather “dirty” with a lot of albedo reducing components in it. That might explain why it is melting at a much faster rate than all the others.


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114 thoughts on “IPCC Brand Science™ – extrapolating 10 himalayan glaciers to speak for 54,000 – meanwhile Himalayagate 2 is evolving over the Stern Report

  1. 0458.txt is interesting. It appears to have started with discussion of some program concerning how changes in the Indian monsoon may have impacts on the glaciers.

    Clare Goodess at UEA says:

    Sushma rang me about this on Friday and Gregor later emailed me. It is possible that Cubasch may be leading things from the German side. Sushma may also talk to Goswami at IITM, Pune. And I have a potentially useful contact with WWF India in Delhi. Have not heard about any other potential consortia (e.g., from UKIERI community). Thinking back to last year’s meeting in Pune, Geoff Boulton could well be interested/involved in this.
    Clare

    That was in December 2007

    So apparently there are “useful” connections between WWF and UEA (again).

  2. I would love to know who is funding those two. I know Greenpeace makes money off their organic food. Not sure if they grow it, sell it or what.
    On a different note, I have been having a discusson with Andrew E. Derocher, Ph.D.
    Professor
    Department of Biological Sciences
    University of Alberta
    Edmonton, AB
    T6G 2E9
    [SNIP: If Dr. DeRocher did not give explicit permission to publish this we're not going to. REP]

    http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/faculty/andrew_derocher/

    on his Coke funded polar bear high artic retreat. (I really want to be there when they herd those polar bears into it.) I sent him “Millennial-Scale Cycling of Climate in Disko Bugt, West Greenland”
    explaining that since polar bears lived through the RWP and MWP which were warmer than now, I felt they were in no risk.
    His response-Dear Eve,
    It is an interesting paper but I have not read it in detail. The paper doesn’t mention anthropogenic global warming. I couldn’t find where this point is supported by the paper “And it can thus be appreciated that 20th-century global warming was only to be expected to occur when it did, and that it could reasonably be expected that the region may warm even more before cooling again, for it still has a ways to go to equal the warmth of the Roman Warm Period or even the Medieval Warm Period, which in many locations was also warmer than it is currently.” I gather this is the interpretation of some other than the authors? The whole problem with historic climate records is that they provide little insight on future conditions unless they relate to carbon dioxide levels. They can tell what sorts of biological communities exist in an area and clearly, as this paper shows, tell us about temperature patterns. The problem is simple, carbon dioxide levels are increasing, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse case, and unless we suspend the laws of physics, the climate will continue to warm and it will warm far beyond the current levels.

    The paper shows (Figure 6f) that the current terrestrial temperatures are much warmer now than than anything in the past 2000 years. When it comes to the dynamics of water masses (which this paper is examining) the issue is much more complex and I have not examined such patterns.

    Interesting paper nonetheless.

    Sincerely yours,

    Andrew

    [SNIP: I'm presuming you did not intend to print the reply twice. -REP]

  3. OK. So if current trends accelerate at the current rate of acceleration then a glacier the size of Jupiter will disappear from the Himalayas every year for the next trillion years until 2050…

  4. WWF’s international headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland, and the organization has 28 national branches. The U.S. branch maintains its headquarters in Washington, D.C. William K. Reilly is the current Board Chair of WWF-US, and Kathryn Fuller is the current President. Fuller also chairs the Executive Committee of the Ford Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

    WWF received over $30 million in foundation grants between 1994 and 2004. Leading contributors include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Blue Moon Fund, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Summit Foundation, the Turner Foundation, and many others. WWF also realizes substantial income from private donations and its sale of periodicals. As of 2004, the organization’s net assets totaled $169,065,633.” Its revenues that year were $112,001,561.

    WWF’s public relations are handled by David Fenton (of Fenton Communications).

    The same Fenton Communications that provides us with such wonderful sites as “Real” Climate.

  5. Triloknath Glacier ~5km 5km/15.4m=325years

    http://www.portal.gsi.gov.in/pls/gsipub/pkg_ptl_search_pages.pViewOldReportDtl?inpReportId=1994002&inpFSPId=4458

    Pindari Glacier 3.2km 3.2km/135.2m=24years

    http://margholidays.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107&Itemid=98

    Milam Glacier 16km 16km/13.2m=1212years

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milam_Glacier

    Ponting Glacier ?(couldn’t find length)

    Ch(h)ota Shigri Glacier 9km 9km/6.7m=1343years

    http://etienne.berthier.free.fr/download/Wagnon_et_al_JOG_2007.pdf

    Bara Shigri 11km 11km/36.1m=305years

    http://www.peakadventuretour.com/bara-shigri.html

    Gangotri Glacier 30.2km/23m=1313years

    Zemu Glacier ~26km 26km/27.7m=939years

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zemu_glacier

    It’s worse than we thought. (TM)

    Just like mutant tree rings form Yamal,the 2035 date comes from just ONE glacier, the Pindari Glacier.

    Also, it’s interesting to note the the IPCC’s OWN DATA shows that the Gangotri Glacier is SLOWING its retreat, not speeding up.

    REPLY: Thanks I just did the same calcs for all and added a table, I see you also had trouble with Ponting – Anthony Watts

  6. “One three year study, funded by Sweden, found that of 10 glaciers measured in the region all are shrinking, with a marked acceleration in loss of ice between 2002 and 2005.
    However the studies also say more research needs to be done as only 10 of the 54,000 glaciers in the region have been studied regularly.”

    Exactly what caused the “marked acceleration” between 2002 and 2005. It could not have been global warming according to the Hadcrut3 data. The anomalies for 2002 to 2005 are 0.465, 0.475, 0.447 and 0.482. So the maximum difference is 0.035 C during these 4 years. Average thermometers cannot even measure a difference of 0.035 degrees.

    The average of these 4 years is 0.467. The average of the years 2006 to 2011 is 0.405. So why are we not told in this “new research” what has happened over the last 6 years? Did the melting drastically slow down?

  7. I also meant to add that I find it odd that Pindari and Ponting Glaciers were included when they don’t have any recent data, certainly not from after AGW is supposed to have kicked in significantly.

  8. Please be careful when leading with an implication of a poor sample when citing a .0185% number. It is not any standard requirement to hit any specific % of the sample. It is the sample type: SRS, convenience, stratified etc.. and the sample size that make an inpact.

  9. Werner Brozek says:
    December 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    A lot depends on the precipitation patterns. The last few years they have had significant rains in that part of the world as weather fronts have become stalled and rains have persisted in one location resulting in severe floods. Great amounts of rainfall on the glaciers also cause them to retreat quickly. We are seeing much larger amounts of rain in the mountains of Pakistan. This might be one possible source of data for academics:

    http://www.icimod.org/?q=254

  10. “In any other discipline, a sample size this small would be laughed off as ridiculous”

    Opinion and political polls question about 1000 people.

    With 300 million people in the US that comes out to be about .00033%.

    Just saying.

    REPLY: I see your point but Politics isn’t what I would think of as a discipline – Anthony

  11. Unfortunatley glaciers don’t retreat (or flow) at uniform speeds. Additionally they are not a uniform thickness…the upper portions are generally thicker and likely to retreat slower than the lower portions. Moreover, glaciers tend to surge rather than flow at a uniform speed (the lower parts of the glacier could be moving faster than the upper parts of the glacier (think of the way a caterpillar moves).

    To me, those rates, which seem to be based on only a few years data are rather dubious. The rate likely doesn’t take into account accumulation of snow (and ice) in the upper portions…only the retreat at the thinner and faster flowing lower end of the glaciers, so I would view these rates as an upper end and not an average.

  12. Another thing…the rate for the Pindari glacier (135.2 m/yr) doesn’t seem right. According to the table, between the years 1845 and 1966 (i.e. over 121 years) the glacier retreated 2840 m, which equates to a rate of approx 23.5 m/yr. Am I missing something here…I might be oversimplifying this?

  13. There appears to be an error with the IPCC’s math regarding the Pindari Glacier.

    1966-1845=121 years
    2840m/121yrs=23.47m/yr not 135.2m/yr

    3.000m/23.47m/yr=127.8 years

    The IPCC table is wrongly based on mistakenly using 1945 instead of 1845.

    1966-1945=21yrs
    2840m/21years=135.2m/yr

  14. I am confused!

    The “glaciers melting” warnings all sound the same. “When they are gone, water supplies will dwindle. Woe is us.” . Now all of this is predicated on bad AGW, right?

    But if the glaciers were growing, and it was getting colder (not a good thing) then what happens to annual water supplies? My aging logic tells me there would be less water going down the rivers because more is being tied up in glaciers. I do not know, it just seems as if that would be so.

    They can argue, “Well there is more ice in winter and some can melt in summer. All is good.” But the warmers want glaciers to grow (and we all know what happens to societies and economies in ice ages) and the record is clear that cold periods are dry periods.

    Methinks that when the glaciers start growing again (as Gore et al apparently want), then there will be less water. I suppose it way more complex than that.

    Mind you, parts of Canuckistan will so damn cold we won’t care about watering crops and gardens. ☺

  15. Regarding the rate of the Pindari glacier…if you divide 2840 m of retreat by 21 (i.e. 1945 to 1966 and NOT 1845 to 1966!!) you get 135.2 m/yr. Either the date is wrong or the rate is wrong.

  16. Timo Soren says:
    December 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Please be careful when leading with an implication of a poor sample when citing a .0185% number. It is not any standard requirement to hit any specific % of the sample. It is the sample type: SRS, convenience, stratified etc.. and the sample size that make an inpact.
    ————————————————————-
    Agree, Timo, this could be better expressed. For example, if one is studying plankton, you would be doing well to get anything like .0185% of a population as a sample. And a much lower percentage would be perfectly fine to work with, if your study design was appropriate.

    OTOH, when dealing with rivers, or mountains, (or glaciers), in a large area like the Himalayas, the percentage is almost irrelevant, as each has unique features. It would be like making a blanket statement about all the rivers in North America, based on measuring one variable in less than a dozen of them – just nonsense. As this latest effort is.

  17. It is a great and sad irony that most of the big foundations in America were originally funded by large, successful capitalistic ventures but are now run by socialists who do all they can to undermine capitalism.

  18. 1) Some Himalayan glaciers are melting due to black carbon from diesel and wood fires in India and China.
    2) South Asia does NOT depend on melt water but on the massive summer monsoon rains.

  19. The life blood of a glacier is lots of snow! not cold. Warm wet air up drafting on cold mountains yields heavy snows. I once lived in an area that got up to 100 feet of snow a year and a lot of spring rain and barely below freezing all winter. The local canyons were filled with very deep wind deposited wet snow and real glaciers. The Pindari Glacier looks to be a old snow field and not a real glacier. Real glaciers are made up of ice and are sapphire blue in the sun with a white top coating of snow and crushed ice. pg

  20. When they talk about anyone “depending on” glacier melt, I would just want to know if they are confusing snow melt and glacier melt – and if they have any standardized method of determining the dividing line between the two.

    Also, what is meant by “dry season”? Do they mean when there is no rain or snow? Or do they mean after all the snow melt has ended for the year and before the snow begins accumulating again? These are pertinent points.

    Snow melt is what drives all spring and early summer runoff, and this does, indeed, provide a source of water for hundreds of millions. But usually the time between the end of snow melt and the beginning of snow accumulation is only a month or two.

    One would really want to see where the monsoons fit into all this, too, with maps and data, captured over several decades.

    FWIW: Back in about 1950 it was observed that the uniformitarian view of glaciers as having existed for hundreds of thousands or millions of years is contradicted by the rate of receding of the lower ends of the glaciers, measured from the bottom of their valleys. If I recall my reading from back then, no glacier seemed to have a life longer than about 3,500 years or so. Obviously that is not quite the case, but it points up that the entire issue is more complicated than simply measuring the rate of receding.

    While science points fingers at others and accusing them of simplistic reasoning, it has been my own observation that scientists themselves almost always break things down into the most simplistic concepts, and they do very badly on complex or compound issues (such as, say, climate), ones that have too much chaos in them. This appears to me in terms of them trying to come up with simple equations that usually have a number of assumptions. While useful as a stop-gap intermediate measure, as they work to find more solid and true answers, I have yet to see a scientist admit that their understanding is only partial and that there is a long time to go before they know in full.

    Claims that underlie Glaciergate are the most simplistic of ideas I’ve seen put out there. I am pretty certain it has to do with turning glaciers into Bambi’s mother, a symbol of the nastiness of modern society as it blasts away at anything and everything in nature. Who cares if it is true, as long as it gets a big tear running down the face of Bambi lovers everywhere?

  21. It might be useful to point out the following about glaciers:

    “Ablation zone refers to the low altitude area of a glacier or ice sheet where there is a net loss in ice mass . . .”

    In comparison to . . .

    “. . . the high altitude accumulation zone.”

    Quoted parts are from

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ablation_zone

    Then consider:
    low altitude — warmer
    high altitude — colder

    It should be no surprise, all else being similar, that ablation is rapid following a terminal position and slows at some time after warming starts (think after the LIA) as the topography steepens and the remaining ice is at a higher elevation. Accumulation or lack thereof is important (note MT. Kilimanjaro). Aspect (which way does the ice face) and atmospheric-sourced surface debris (may be natural or anthro) can change the albedo. If a lack of high altitude snow can be attributed to AGW — (How? Maybe wind pattern changes.) — then that is something else to consider.

    Generally, then: higher ice ought to not disappear as fast as the lower ice.

    ——-
    My comment at 7:26 pm now seems out of place as the missing not has been added.

  22. “”””” Timo Soren says:

    December 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Please be careful when leading with an implication of a poor sample when citing a .0185% number. It is not any standard requirement to hit any specific % of the sample. It is the sample type: SRS, convenience, stratified etc.. and the sample size that make an inpact. “””””

    Lemme see if I have this correct: “”””” It is not any standard requirement to hit any specific % of the sample. “””””

    So we are sampling the sample; is that correct ?

    I’ll tell you what makes by far the largest “impact”. That would be complying with the most fundamental theorem of band limited sampled data systems; that being the Nyquist criterion, which calls for a minimum sampling frequency that is twice the highest frequency of the band limited signal being sampled. Well that is for uniform sampling, which is not absolutely required. But with non uniform sampling, the number of samples has to be increased, since the maximum spacing cannot be longer than one half cycle of the highest signal frequency. Now some would argue that it is not required to reconstruct the continuous band limited function from its samples; since only the average (zero frequency value) is being sought.
    Well you only have to undersample by a factor of two to corrupt the zero frequency signal with aliassing noise; so even the desired signal average is not recoverable in the event you undersample by a factor of two or more.
    Since the daily temperature cycle is NOT a pure sinusoid, then it contains at least a second harmonic component at a frequency of two cycles per day; so with a min/max Temperature reporting regimen, the temp[oral sampling is already in violation of the Nyquist criterion, by a factor of two so the daily average Temperature is already in error.

    And for a good laugh you should estimate just how much undersampled the spatial frequency is.

    And fo course Briffa thought that a single Yamal tree, was a perfectly scientific sample.

  23. Thanks for making a topic of my mini-exposé, Anthony, by reposting it from the Open Thread. I’m pleased with the little bit of detective work I did. (I wonder how many other thumbs could be found on the IPCC’s scales by persons who really knew the nitty gritty of the “Impact” sections, where I suspect most of the fudging has occurred.) I’m posting here one of the comments on my contribution from the open thread, by Philip Bradley. I think he may be mistaken in his third criticism, but I don’t want to misrepresent what he said by leaving it out.

    Philip Bradley says:
    December 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Stern was being deliberately deceptive. Barnett says the water supply will be negatively affected (by an unquantified amount), not the people.

    Barnett is also saying the dependence of hundreds of millions of people in China and India is on the water supply, not the glacial melt.

    Stern is being further deceptive by saying “will have serious consequences for people who depend heavily on glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season”, because the dry season is the winter when there is, for practical purposes, no glacial melt. Stern’s statement is literally true, because the number of people who depend heavily on Himalayan glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season is zero.

  24. I posted this a few hours ago in unthreaded, but it goes to the heart of the glacier issue.

    1. Barnett et al., as summarized by the Fresh Water Group, in AR4 WGII Section 3.4.3:
    “Hence, water supply in areas fed by glacial melt water from the Hindu Kush and Himalayas, on which hundreds of millions of people in China and India depend, will be negatively affected (Barnett et al., 2005).”
    Go to 5th paragraph, last sentence, here:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch3s3-4-3.html

    2. Stern Review, 2007, Section 3.2, page 63:
    “Climate change will have serious consequences for people who depend heavily on glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season, including large parts of the Indian sub-continent, over quarter of a billion people in China, and tens of millions in the Andes. (Barnett et al., 2005)”
    Go to p. 8 at this link:

    Stern was being deliberately deceptive. Barnett says the water supply will be negatively affected (by an unquantified amount), not the people.

    Barnett is also saying the dependence of hundreds of millions of people in China and India is on the water supply, not the glacial melt.

    Stern is being further deceptive by saying ” will have serious consequences for people who depend heavily on glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season”, because the dry season in the Himalayas is the winter when there is, for practical purposes, no glacial melt. Stern’s statement is literally true, because the number of people who depend heavily on Himalayan glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season is zero.

  25. If NGO’s are not subject to FOI, they must be the best place to hideone’s money.

    Isn’t it in the nature of claciers that they melt? From where has all that water of the Ganges river been coming for the last milion years or so?

    Google ‘glaciers growing back’ and see what pops up. The first item at the top is:

    Himalayan Glaciers Seem to Be Growing: In the Western Himalayas, a group of some 230 glaciers are bucking the global warming trend.
    “Perched on the soaring Karakoram mountains in the Western Himalayas, a group of some 230 glaciers are bucking the global warming trend. They’re growing.”

    So Pachauri manage to find ten glaciers that are to his liking, that is, retreating. But another guy found 230 glaciers that are growing. Pack up, Pachauri, please. Repent, your end is nigh.

  26. Timo Soren says:
    December 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    “Please be careful when leading with an implication of a poor sample when citing a .0185% number. It is not any standard requirement to hit any specific % of the sample. It is the sample type: SRS, convenience, stratified etc.. and the sample size that make an inpact.”

    Those are valid points for objective scientific research. But this is IPCC work. Amazing what they can do with a tree, ten glaciers, and four drowned polar bears.

  27. Calculation of sample size is a standard tool of statistics, and is as valid for climate science or even politics as anything else. Basically what the authors of the report should do is say to themselves “With a population size of 54 000, what sample size do I need to achieve a confidence level of x with a confidence interval of y” (where x is normally 95% and y is the error).

    Which leads to answers of the form “I’m 95% certain that my results, + /- the error, did not arise out of pure chance variation”.

    With a very quick search in google (which I’m sure the authors could also have done) I found this sample size calculator

    http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

    which shows that the sample size ought to be like 400 or so to meet the usual 95% criterion. Not 10.

  28. Philip Bradley says:
    December 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    “Stern is being further deceptive by saying ” will have serious consequences for people who depend heavily on glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season”, because the dry season in the Himalayas is the winter when there is, for practical purposes, no glacial melt. Stern’s statement is literally true, because the number of people who depend heavily on Himalayan glacier meltwater to maintain supplies during the dry season is zero.”

    That’s a beauty Philip. Well done. And i would guess that Stern did not even realize how decepetive that was. He’s not that swift. His line just sounds like it is from the eco-crisis template and it is hard to scare people about water in the ‘wet’ season.

  29. Here’ are a few posts I found in my offline collection of “Bests of WUWT” that point the finger at other causes than heat:

    Jimbo says:
    November 15, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    The lower segments are more prone to change due to the higher temperatures associated with lower elevations, making the measurements taken there less reliable.

    Sorry Anthony, but I’m not going to beat around the bush.
    SOOT
    Glaciers in northern hemisphere partly melting due to soot.
    James Hansen

    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.full

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2005/Koch_Hansen.html

    Soot could equal up to 60 percent of the current global warming effect of carbon dioxide

    http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2010/july/072710global-warming.html

    Are all Himalayan glaciers melting?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8387737.stm

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/326/5955/924

    Himalayan glaciers ‘melting’ due as much to soot and dust as CO2

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-soot.html

    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-warming.html

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/26593/2009/acpd-9-26593-2009.html

    Here’s a post I made last year:

    From what I recall of prior threads on this matter:

    1. The Himalayan glaciers (which are the ones that large numbers of people rely on for meltwater) can’t melt back much further, because most of them are so high that the temperature hardly ever gets above freezing. They aren’t analogous to glaciers elsewhere.

    2. Even if they did vanish, river flow would not be much affected, because rivers are fed by an annual snow-melt that is stretched out over most of the year. It is summer snow-melt, not glacier melt, that “2 billion people” (including me) rely on for water, not glacier-melt.

    3. Himalayan glaciers (like many other glaciers alarmists cite) have been retreating since long before 1950, which tends to largely exculpate manmade CO2.

    4. Soot, aerosols, infra-red solar variation (in the Alps), and precipitation-variation may be responsible for some of the glacial retreat.

  30. This on Chinese glaciers supports my point above.

    http://www.hceis.com/chinabasic/Glacier/Glaciers_of_China.htm

    runoff from June to August contributes 90% to that of ablation season.

    Which is the Monsoon season.

    Glaciers do play a role in moderating interannual river flow variability.

    The glacier melting runoff plays a role in regulating the interannual stream flow variation. This can be explained that the former, being mainly controlled by temperature, will be lesser than normal during wet years with lower temperature and large amount of solid precipitation stored in mountain glaciers, while for dry and warmer years, vice versa. Therefore, it leads to the fact that rivers with larger portion of glacier melt water supply are characterized by runoff being not so insufficient in dry years and having smaller interannual variability.

    But this is not what Stern and The IPCC claim.

  31. Interesting read while I’m sitting here in Sydney Australia after the coldest first week of summer for 44 years!! Bring on global warming.!

  32. MIchael Kelly
    ‘It is a great and sad irony that most of the big foundations in America were originally funded by large, successful capitalistic ventures but are now run by socialists who do all they can to undermine capitalism’.

    Actually the climate scam is about making trillions of pounds through dodgy deals and daft science. Does that not sound more like a classic capitalist scam than socialist control?

  33. When the IPCC declared that three-quarters of a billion people in India and China depend on glaciers for their water supply, is it not strange that its only source for this claim was the Stern review?’

    What is strange is that the IPCC would claim that the water supply for a billion people depends on melting glaciers. Guess we better not do anything that might stop them melting, huh?

    Good thing it isn’t really melting glaciers that supplies the water to Asia (it is annual precip instead), or GreenPeace would have to demand that everyone drive SUVs.

    S

  34. @Gareth Phillips

    re: “capitalist scam” or “socialist control”

    I don’t think what is going on is such a binary either/or. There are enormous elements of both. Vast governmental take-overs sought via “carbon taxes” and “cap and trade” etc. are paralleled by enormous “rent-seeking” (as economists term it) of companies and individuals seeking to get in on the gravy train.

    There is so much “crony capitalism” and state-driven economic change going on under the rubric of urgent response to devastating CAGW (sic).

    With all the corrupt connections (Solyndra etc. is just the snowflake on the iceberg) there is a vast and growing set of financial beneficiaries from the CAGW scam.

  35. If NGO’s are not subject to FOI, they must be the best place to hideone’s money.

    If the NGO is operating with government money, you send the FOIA request to the government agency providing the funding. They would, in turn, compel the NGO to provide the information to them and then on to the requester.

  36. asmilwho says:
    December 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Calculation of sample size is a standard tool of statistics, and is as valid for climate science or even politics as anything else. Basically what the authors of the report should do is say to themselves “With a population size of 54 000, what sample size do I need to achieve a confidence level of x with a confidence interval of y” (where x is normally 95% and y is the error).

    Which leads to answers of the form “I’m 95% certain that my results, + /- the error, did not arise out of pure chance variation”.

    With a very quick search in google (which I’m sure the authors could also have done) I found this sample size calculator

    http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

    which shows that the sample size ought to be like 400 or so to meet the usual 95% criterion. Not 10.
    ————————————————————————————
    Nope. A sample of 400 glaciers in the Himalayas would not necessarily give anything like that confidence. As I mentioned in my PP, it is not just a numerical function. It depends what you are dealing with. For example, opinion polling can be accurately done on very small population samples. Studies of plankton can be done on even smaller ones. Geographical features in a very large area are much trickier, because there are so many variables. You could not use your suggested approach to extrapolate anything useful about all the rivers on a continent, for example, especially when you are only taking a snapshot of one variable (in this case, glacier length).

    It’s total junk science, and measuring another 390 glaciers out of 54,000 wouldn’t improve it to a noticeable degree.

  37. Regarding the question of sample size. Political pollsters falsely claim a level of accuracy. The level of accuracy would be correct if the underlying assumption of the mathematical calculations were met. The assumption is that the sample is truly representative which is difficult to achieve.
    A frequently used example is the abject failure of US. Presidential polling which used telephone polling when only the the richer voters had telephones. Obtaining a representative sample is very difficult when there is a diverse population.I suspect the glacier population is very diverse not to speak of the diverse climatic conditions other than just temperature. Lies damn lies and statistics is not just a smart quip.If you change the assumption you change the result.for most of us statitical mathematics is too hard so we are easily fooled.Just don’t waste your time trying to fool Steve Mc Intyre.
    Garth from Oz.

  38. The point about sample size is that cofidence intervals depend on the absolute size of the sample, not the percentage sampled. 10 is too small, but not because it’s a small percentage. Note confidence intervals also depend on how the underlying data is distributed _ normality should not be just assumed.

  39. @Gareth Phillips:
    Actually the classical way of making trillions through dodgy deals are through pseudo-socialist / corporatist measures of state protected monopolies. And those usually failed.

  40. This is the standard format of AGW alarmist mainstream research:

    1. Some measured parameter or other has changed in the last 20-30 years indicating warming…

    therefore

    2. Humans and CO2 are 100% responsible (climate never changes without human cause, no evidence needed for this, its the post-modern null hypothesis) and we are all going to DAAAAIIIIIIYYYYYYEEEE (die)

    unless…

    3. All world governments hand over 100% political power to a global watermelon dictatorship.

  41. asmilwho says:
    December 4, 2011 at 11:18 pm
    Which leads to answers of the form “I’m 95% certain that my results, + /- the error, did not arise out of pure chance variation”.

    Based on the sample size, you can be 95% confident that 10 +/- 13 out of 95000 glaciers are retreating.

  42. Also note that the Pindari Glacier has the highest retreat rate, but that this was BEFORE 1966, BEFORE the main rise of C02 in the atmosphere.

    All the glaciers recorded in more recent shorter periods have MUCH SMALLER retreat rates.

  43. WWF and Greenpeace get the bulk of their monies from frightened little old ladies who believe their hyped up lies. When the coffers run low the lies get bigger.

    Glaciers also melt from below by geothermal heat. So annual snows are important for glacier replenishment. Summer surface melt, forming moulins which the BBC latch onto for their Frozen Planet alarmism, does not remove a large proportion of the ice despite IPCC concerns. Geothermal melt is an all year event which keeps rivers running at their dry season levels. High water level flows, and flood levels, come from snow melt.

  44. Anthony
    Please note apparent error in table 10.9
    John says:
    December 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    Regarding the rate of the Pindari glacier…if you divide 2840 m of retreat by 21 (i.e. 1945 to 1966 and NOT 1845 to 1966!!) you get 135.2 m/yr. Either the date is wrong or the rate is wrong.

    Also noted by Willie B at 9.23

  45. “Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world” So it’s a regional issue then? Why is CO2 working differently in the Himalayas?

  46. if Pindari Glacier was really melting at 135.2 m/y from 1845 till 1966 and (at least ), I presume, at the same rate since 1966 till now (3000m length), it must have been 25 km long back in 1845! Quite impressive…

  47. Bet out of that 54,000, there’s at least 10 that are advancing!!!

    Sadly there will be a lot of hype at the moment including , no doubt, some horror stories in BBC’s Frozen Planet this week. One lives in hope that reason and genuine inquiry will eventually win the day.

    Great website, thanks Anthony.

  48. Greenpeace claims to not accept cheques drawn on Corporate Accounts …

    “Where does Greenpeace get its funding from?
    To maintain absolute independence Greenpeace does not accept money fromcompanies, governments or political parties. We’re serious about that,and we screen for and actually send checks back when they’re drawn on acorporate account. We depend on the donations of our supporters to carry on our nonviolent campaigns to protect the environment.

    Our books are audited every year, in every office around the world, and we publish our Annual Report on the web every year so you can see exactly how much money we’re given and how it gets spent.”

    The annual reports make interesting reading, particularly their bit about “non-violent” direct action which, given that they now hold training camps in how to disrupt, block and obstruct, I find more than a little ambiguous. So to are their Financial Statements which demonstrate vast amounts of capital being invested, but not what they are invested in or who manages these investment funds.
    The full report on finances can be found on Page 24 of the 2010 Annual Report. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/greenpeace/2011/GPI_Annual_Report_2010.pdf The size of the funds available explians a great deal about how they are able to commission and operate a large number of ships that are engaged in barely legal “stop and search” activities that frequently put the lives and safety of the ships they are targeting in jeopardy. In short, this is a legitimised pirate organisation operating under a cloak of “morality.”

    It is widely believed here in Europe that they earn vast amounts of money from investments in windmill manufacturing and from the construction of windfarms which is why they foam at the mouth at the mere mention of any alternatives to wind or solar. Looking through the names of the Directors there is also a suspicion that the organisation is run by some very wealthy and powerful individuals who, unless they have become completely detached from the family fortunes their names are linked to, must in some way, also represent those families.

    The report doesn’t go big on science, it is written one suspects by a PR person and is big on hyperbole and self congratulation. While I think the majority of its ordinary members may have very good intentions, the activities of their “scientists” and “activists” are highly suspect in my humble opinion.

  49. The Barnett 2005 aricle is available on-line and is much cited and is interesting if disappointing (http://meteora.ucsd.edu/cap/pdffiles/barnett_warmsnow.pdf). In the string of comments on the Bruner review, I noted what for me is a money quote in Barnett et al (2005): “Without adequate water storage capacity, these changes will lead to regional water shortages.” (P307) Which presumably is the semantic equivalent of saying that “With adequate water storage capacity, these changes will NOT lead to regional water shortages!”
    By the way the Barnett article is very disappointing. As far as I can see they do not give any estimates as to the % contribution of fossil water to total run-off. Without that number I see no way of gauging the significance of glacier loss for the long term water supply.

    In short, in the unlikely event that (a) fossil water from the glaciers is a significant portion of the actual water supply, (b)the glaciers are melting at an accelerated rate and (c) the change leading to the melting is not also leading to increased preciptiation, then since the glaciers are essentially natural reservoirs the problem can be largely addressed by creating man made reservoirs and other water management practices.

  50. Green”peace” and WWF do not like civilisation. They want to set us back to the stone age.
    And they want to reduce our numbers to the same as a medium sized monkey-tribe in africa.

    Simple as that.

  51. The reason Anthony couldn’t find a reference for the “Ponting Glacier” is that it’s a spelling error.- the name is actually Poting. Also note the observation periods in table 10.9 – the end dates range from 1957 to 2001.

    Those interested could do little better than read the report Pachauri dubbed “voodoo science” – http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/MoEDiscussionPaper.pdf
    – which has much up-to-date data (to 2009), and for which he clearly adopted the Gleick method of review.

    Of the Gangotri glacier, it says:

    “Gangotri glacier, it may be noted, had been showing a rather rapid retreat at an average of around 20m per year till up to 2000 AD, which had led to the imaginative prediction of the end of this glacier in [the] next 35 years or so. In actual fact, since 2001AD, rate of the retreat has come down considerably and between September 2007 and June 2009 this glacier is practically at stand still.”

    As far as meltwater contribution to river flow goes, there are a number of papers which refute the IPCC claims (which don’t actually distinguish between glacial melt and spring snow melt). Here’s one worth a read:

    “By measuring the isotopes in river water, scientists have determined that mountain glaciers contribute less than thought to downstream water supplies
    A growing number of studies based on satellite data and stream chemistry analyses have found that far less surface water comes from glacier melt than previously assumed. In Peru’s Rio Santa, which drains the Cordilleras Blanca mountain range, glacier contribution appears to be between 10 and 20 percent. In the eastern Himalayas, it is less than 5 percent”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=research-casts-doubt-doomsday-water-shortage-predictions

  52. When picking samples in an audit, as the population increases, the sample size increases. But there does come a point when no matter how big the population, a maximum sample size tapers off at around 270.

    On that basis, the glacier study should have used a sample size of 270 for a population of 54,000 glaciers. But to use 10… that is simply a joke!

  53. FrankK says:
    December 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Interesting read while I’m sitting here in Sydney Australia after the coldest first week of summer for 44 years!! Bring on global warming.!
    =====================
    glad I am not the only cold one down under,, I am using wheat bags to keep warm, and wearing a woolen jumper as I write, and this? is summer?
    see the climate institute says 2010 was another hot one?
    I,d love to know how they spun those figures, we had less than a week of real warm days last year, and even the bushfire days were about the only hot ones, we got rain the day after.

  54. I should have added that I can’t find a length for the Poting glacier, but it’s prominence in references I’ve found suggest it’s significant and of substantial size.

  55. Anyone else suspect the IPCC is cherry picking?

    Is it not the least bit suspicious that only one of the glaciers has had its snout position measured in the last 10 years? In the case of the Pindari Glacier (apparently a tourist attraction – see AnthonyIndia’s post above) the snout position hasn’t been measured since 1966. Why?

    If there was serious interest in the advance/retreat of these glaciers someone would have been out there with a GPS marking the snout on all the glaciers of interest. How hard are they to access?

    When I see measurements of the snouts of these glaciers all taken this century I will be less skeptical. At the moment my BS meter is off the scale.

  56. This from Richard Black swanning around in Durban:

    “However, stabilising at 350ppm CO2e is a very demanding target, given that the current concentration is more than 450ppm.”

    Erm, what?

  57. mods – looks like there is an issue with the italics flag? (Or have the last 10 posters italicized their whole posts?)

    [Thanks, fixed. WordPress glitch. ~dbs, mod.]

  58. Mostly Harmless:
    Thanks for the link. It is an interesting if badly written article. It does make the point though: The sky is not actually falling! The comments are a hoot. The persistence of Chicken Littles is amazing, if not their ability to think critically.

  59. [snip]
    joshua Corning says:
    December 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    “In any other discipline, a sample size this small would be laughed off as ridiculous”

    Opinion and political polls question about 1000 people.

    With 300 million people in the US that comes out to be about .00033%.

    Yes, but in a fair poll (and some pollsters work very hard to come up with a fair poll) the sample is a random selection and perfectly adequate.

    In a cherry picked poll, I could show that Ron Paul will win the New Hampshire Primary in a landslide.

  60. Al Gored says:
    December 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Those are valid points for objective scientific research. But this is IPCC work. Amazing what they can do with a tree, ten glaciers, and four drowned polar bears.
    =====================================================
    That almost sounds like the start of an AGW version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”!!

    Mods, as a side note, is anyone else having trouble signing in on WordPress? Haven’t been able to at WUWT for at least a few days now

  61. The last sentence in the text that I was reading is: “…it looks rather “dirty” with a lot of albedo reducing components in it. That might explain why it is melting at a much faster rate than all the others. Compare it to”

    And there it ends. Did anyone else have the same problem. I am curious to know what I missed. (I have not read most of the comments, so someone else may have mentioned this.)

    IanM

  62. Mervyn says:
    December 5, 2011 at 4:25 am

    When picking samples in an audit, as the population increases, the sample size increases. But there does come a point when no matter how big the population, a maximum sample size tapers off at around 270.
    am a pygmy
    On that basis, the glacier study should have used a sample size of 270 for a population of 54,000 glaciers. But to use 10… that is simply a joke!
    —————————————————————————-
    Mervyn, I understand what you are getting at, but it does highlight that ‘sampling’ is widely misunderstood. The lack of basic statistical literacy that has bedevilled so-called climate science is not confined to any part of the wide spectrum of views on the subject.

    There is no Golden Rule of sampling. It is never perfect and always (or always should be) shaped by what is being sampled. In areas like political polling, and consumer market research, for reasons of profit and power, a lot of work has been done on refining the techniques. They are not perfect, but they are certainly more accurate than any of the alternatives. In the case of political polling, high quality research is well within accepted ‘scientific’ confidence intervals, even if it doesn’t predict the result of a two horse race 100% of the time.

    I am not going into the theory of statistics here, as I am a pygmy among other readers. Suffice it to say that there is not a lot of doubt that dealing with small numbers (whether in toto or within a larger number) is highly problematic.

    Of course 10 glaciers out of 54,000 proves nothing. But, it is not about statistics in that sense when you are discussing geographical features. It is like comparing the Murray-Darling to the Coorparoo Creek, the Mississippi to the Hudson, or any of them to each other.

    If there was a trend for glaciers in a (small) area to recede or grow, the crude measurement techniques that have been cited could be a starting point. But, it has nothing to do with statistics.

  63. It is impressive to see how citizen scientists do detailed research and present their findings, a job that the “realclimate” scientists are being paid for but are not interested to do, for a “cause”.

    It shows once more how unbelievable Pachauri’s woodoo science statement was. Every honest person would have stepped back afterwards.

    Keep going. We’re getting closer in uncovering the “cause”.
    Many thanks to FOIA2011, for a wonderful christmas gift.
    May I suggest to distribute that introduction statement as much as possible?

  64. I have spent a year in Thailand and know something about their water situation.

    They have hundreds of times more water than they need. If you haven’t experienced a monsoon you have no idea what rain is.

    I remember the Mekong river as a little stream 200 ft down in the gorge and a week later it was over the top and all the fields were flooded. The children were floating over what had been dry land.

    The point is that these people are not dependent upon glaciers for water. A dam is a human built glacier which stores water over the dry season. Don’t these people think Asians are smart enough to build dams ?

  65. More disinformation and lies are being streamed to Durban. A Swiss team is also reporting to Durban that “three-quarters of the warming seen since 1950 is down to human influences.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16022585

    “Observations and the physical law of energy conservation have been used to show greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming and that alternative scenarios violate this law of nature.

    They also complain: “”We now face the triple whammy of distracted world leaders, a scarcity of carbon finance, and a fast-closing window of opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change.”

    It amazes me how their song never changes, no matter what is happening in the world. GK

  66. “They were likely knaves, not fools, in other words.”

    Climate Science is nothing but an “anything goes” Propaganda Op. directed at thought control. The “cause” = Thought control. TC = TC.

  67. The Gandotri glacier is counted twice for the period 1985 to 1990, Why couldn’t they have just one assesment that covered the whole 1977-2001?

    Still, it looks like the 2035 claim is based on Pindari and extrapolated to the whole Himalayas, so at least one mystery is cleared up..

  68. ” A dam is a human built glacier which stores water over the dry season.”

    If a beaver builds a dam to benefit its’ community then it is Natural.
    If a human builds a dam to benefit its’ community then it is Not-Natural.

    See also: Beavers and trees, elephants and watering holes, moss and wetlands, …

  69. “…if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035…”

    To me, the term “disappearing”, means totally gone.

    To them, shrinking to one-fifth in the next 24 years is “disappearing”.

    Sounds like a bad magician – “I’ll make this elephant disappear”, yet only four-fifths of that elephant goes away.

    And it took him 24 years to get that far…

  70. Richard Black (BBC) is already quoting this paper, dire report in tune with the gravy train. he can say what he wants but not on my licence fee, it should be accurate.

  71. Dr Voodoo got $3 million in grants from the Indian government as a result of the IPCC prediction of 2035. When the facts came out, the Indian government decided they had had enough of the IPCC and Dr Voodoo and would do their own research via INCCA.

    The comments in the WSJ over Mann’s latest letter are worth reading. Mann is sawing off the limb on which he sits.

  72. “She [DL] wrote, at Location 763 in Chapter 14: ‘When the IPCC declared that three-quarters of a billion people in India and China depend on glaciers for their water supply, is it not strange that its only source for this claim was the Stern review?’

    Another strange thing is the Climate Propagandists’ attempt to create the whole perception that if glaciers have receded, it has stopped raining and snowing. And that people can’t adapt without becoming sudden hordes of wilding “climate refugees”.

    Right, “So let’s create the same allegedly imminent worldwide problem we’re allegedly seeking to avoid, before it’s too late!” “Hey, you can believe me, because …drum roll…I am a Climate Scientist!”

  73. The square root of a normally distributed population is a good rule of thumb for sample size. 232 out of 54000.

  74. …it looks rather “dirty” with a lot of albedo reducing components in it. That might explain why it is melting at a much faster rate than all the others. Compare it to…?

    Please put in the rest. Waiting with bated breath!!!

    Max

  75. “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”- Prince Phillip, Head of the World Wildlife Fund “Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”- David Foreman, founder Earth First “To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem”- Lamont Cole, environmentalist and author. “We have wished…for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us back into the stone age…”- Stewart Brand, editor Whole Earth Catalogue. “I suspect that eradicating smallpox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.””- John Davis, Environmental Author and Leader “My own doubts came when DDT was introduced. In Guyana, within two years, it had almost eliminated malaria. So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.”- Alexander King, speaking for the Club of Rome “Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planet…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. “- David Graber, biologist, National Park Service “You think Hiroshima was bad, let me tell you, mister, Hiroshima wasn’t bad enough!”- Faye Dunaway, speaking as ‘The Voice of the Planet’, WTBS series. “Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society.”- David Brower, founder Friends of the Earth.

  76. The most egregious error is not even in whether the glaciers are retreating: The dry season in India is winter, when the snow pack is not melting. When the snow is melting, they have monsoons and no shortage of water (frequent flooding in fact). The people claiming decreased glaciers mean less water for people are taking a European (even Mediterranean) POV for granted.

  77. I grew up in SE Wisconsin on the boarder of Racine and Kenosha counties. That is PRECISELY where the Wisconsionian glacier (Wuerm in Europe) terminated around 10-12 thousand years ago. We have rolling hills, drumlins and kettles and morrains all around the area. The feeder creeks all drain toward Lake Michigan. We still find mastedon elephants buried in Kenosha county from back then. What is the point of all of this?

    The glacier spanned from SE Wisconsin to well above tha artic circle back then. The question then is, Why did the glacier get that far south, why did it stay there that long (30-40 thousand years) and what melted it to where it is today? It was not CO2 I’ll bet. Like the commercial says, it’s the sun stupid.

  78. Its should be noted that the “effected” comment only notes that there is some form of affect of unquantified scale, it could be as little as a 2% decrease in summer flows – its not quantified – but I doubt its start scary, there will still be snow build up over winter and a melt season, so it would only be the end of summer when you would notice any change

  79. Glaciers have been retreating since the “Little Ice Age”!
    Tree-ring evidence of ‘Little Ice Age’ glacier advances in southern Tibet, Achim Bräuning, The Holocene April 2006 vol. 16 no. 3 369-380

    Maximum tree ages yield minimum ages of AD 1760 and 1780 for moraine formation at the maximum extent of the ‘Little Ice Age’ glacier advances in two glacier forefields. Subsequent moraines could be dated to the beginning of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. Larch trees from a third glacier forefield in southeastern Tibet show evidence of glacier activity from 1580 to 1590, from the end of the eighteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century and from 1860 to 1880. One glacier at Mt Gyalaperi recently advanced in both 1951 and 1987. Periods of glacier advances can partly be correlated with periods of growth reductions in chronologies of total ring width and maximum latewood density derived from trees growing on slopes above the glacier valleys.

    During some years western Himalayan glacier grow while in others they retreat. Those above a certain “equilibrium-line altitude” (ELA) expand while those below retreat. e.g.
    Anil V. Kulkarni, Mass Balance of Himalayan glaciers using AAR and ELA methods.

    A higher correlation was observed between equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) and mass balance. . . . ELA values obtained from the Landsat satellite images combined with topographic maps suggest positive mass balance for the year 1986-87 and negative for 1987-88. . . .
    The equilibrium line is usually considered as the snow line at the end of the glacier melt season. A clear relationship exists between its position and the annual mass balance (Ostrem, 1975; Meier and Post, 1962)

    See Long-Term Climate variability and change over monsoon Asia. GB Pant, J. Ind. Geophys, Union (2003)

    in Nepal, .. the rate of recession has increased during the 1980s. South facing glaciers in the Langtang region of Nepal were stationary over the past 10 years, while north facing glaciers advanced.

    Monsoon rainfall varies. e.g. see Fig/ 4 from 88.5 in 1883 to 83 cm in 1909 to 86 in 1935 to 84 in 1960. Glaciers will advance/retreat accordingly.
    Glaciers vary with location. e.g.:
    Quaternary glaciation of the Himalayan–Tibetan orogen

    glaciers throughout monsoon-influenced Tibet and the Himalaya and the Transhimalaya appear to respond in a similar fashion to changes in monsoon-driven and Northern Hemisphere cooling cycles alone. In contrast, glaciers in the far western regions of the Himalayan–Tibetan orogen are asynchronous with the other regions and appear to be dominantly controlled by the Northern Hemisphere cooling cycles.

    Another reason for glacial retreat:
    Structure, Formation, and Darkening Process of Albedo-reducing Material (Cyroconite) on a Himalayan Glacier: A granular Algal Mat Growing on the Glacier. Takeuchi et al. Artic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2001, pp 115-122

    There is a lot more complexity than alarmist headlines acknowledge.

  80. I haven’t checked all the posts in this thread, so apologies if it has already been mentioned, but as the first post asks about WWF funding an article in the Daily Telegraph’s finance section gives part of the answer. The RSA insurance group is linked in with them to “sponsor a series of environmental projects across the world”.

    WWF creates the scare and RSA sells the insurance you need to protect yourself from it.

    One of their directors came up with a classic quote “Arctic ice is melting – what does that mean in reality? It could mean that the house I own, that is currently outside a flood plain, finds itself in one if the tide goes up another metre.”

  81. Re : misterjohnqpublic says:
    December 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm
    Who is really funding the WWF and Green Peace?
    We need FOIA to “liberate” the books.
    ————————————————————————

    The EU provides much of the funding for these green lobby groups.

    Neat eh – it’s ‘Propaganda by Proxy’

    “According to a report published today by International Policy Network, the Directorate-General for the Environment – the European Commission unit that deals with environment affairs – has handed out over €66 million in core funding to green NGOs. The IPN report focuses on the Green 10 – a coalition of NGOs that pushes environmental issues at the EU-level. All the usual suspects are here – Friends of the Earth Europe, WWF-Europe, and other more EU-focused groups like the European Environmental Bureau and Climate Action Network Europe.”

    It provides the money for the NGOs to lobby on EU preferred policies, this money has escalated significantly “from just over €2 million in 1998 to nearly €9 million in 2009. Friends of the Earth Europe saw its funding increase by 325%, while Birdlife Europe’s funding increased by an astounding 900% over the same period.”

    http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/environment/propaganda-by-proxy-how-the-eu-funds-green-lobby-groups

    It is also the EU that has skewed the research such that funds are readily available only if it follows the ‘consensus’ meme.

    “The real culprit in the corruption of the scientific process and the promotion of climate alarmism is named again and again in the East Anglia e-mails and documents. But the culprit is named with many different names, mysterious combinations of letters and numbers and lyrical code words, names like “dgxii, dgxi fp5 fp6 fp7 life enrich.” What do they mean? In the final analysis, it is but one and the same multinational organization that lurks behind all these designations: the European Union.”

    “It is no accident that EU funding leads to politicized science. “Promoting research that supports eu policies” is, after all, one of the stated “main strategic objectives” of the Research dg’s framework programmes.5 Indeed, the joint European Council/European Parliament decision adopting Framework Programme 7 promises “a new approach . . . which should allow the political objectives of Community research policy to be reached more easily.”6 …According to publicly available European Commission data, wwf was awarded nearly €9 million in eu support in 2008 alone. In 2007, the figure was over €7.5 million. The money came from several different eu budget lines, including development aid, “communication,” and the environment dg’s life+ program. Most of the support took the form of ostensibly project-linked grants to wwf-International or its national affiliates. The largest single grant — for €3,499,999 — went to wwf-International in 2007.”

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/43291

  82. So…a combination of the interests of Big Finance, Big Green, Big Corporates and Big Govt. and it’s us hard-pressed tax-payers who are milked to pay for it all!!!

  83. ferd berple says:
    December 5, 2011 at 8:32 am

    The square root of a normally distributed population is a good rule of thumb for sample size. 232 out of 54000.
    —————————————————————-
    At the risk of being repetitiously boring, the words ‘normally distributed population’ are the key here. Glaciers in the Himalayas are not a ‘normally distributed population’. Indeed, they are not a population at all.

    It is possible to apply robust sampling techniques to Himalayan glaciers, but the cost and difficulty of doing it are immense. The first hurdle is the assumption that all glaciers were created on Day X, and last forever, which seems to be underlying the statements of morons like Pachauri. As David Hagen notes above, the lifecycle of glaciers is complex.

    This stuff is so cringeworthy, it is hard to understand why scientists with any self respect can silently go along with it.

  84. Yet another issue is the science says that black carbon (soot, often referred to as aerosols) is causing up to 90% of the glacier melt.

    http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/90-of-himalayan-glacier-melting-caused-by-aerosols-black-carbon.html

    Black carbon is a huge problem in India where many millions rely on burning coal, wood and biomass for cooking and heating.

    The solution is to bring cheap mains electricity to these people And the cheapest way to generate electricity in India is from coal.

  85. Glaciers lengths, like most climate features, must have cycles when they retreat and when the expand. It is not right to assume that if they are retreating they will continue to do so till they vanish forever.

  86. WillieB says:
    December 4, 2011 at 9:23 pm
    There appears to be an error with the IPCC’s math regarding the Pindari Glacier.

    1966-1845=121 years
    2840m/121yrs=23.47m/yr not 135.2m/yr

    3.000m/23.47m/yr=127.8 years

    The IPCC table is wrongly based on mistakenly using 1945 instead of 1845.

    1966-1945=21yrs
    2840m/21years=135.2m/yr
    —————————————
    Ronaldo says:
    December 5, 2011 at 2:07 am
    Anthony
    Please note apparent error in table 10.9
    John says:
    December 4, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    Regarding the rate of the Pindari glacier…if you divide 2840 m of retreat by 21 (i.e. 1945 to 1966 and NOT 1845 to 1966!!) you get 135.2 m/yr. Either the date is wrong or the rate is wrong.

    Also noted by Willie B at 9.23

    ———————————————

    Anthony,
    Has anyone checked this out. If it does date from 1845 then this would seem to be more realistic. A retreat of 23.5 m/yr would fit far better with the other figures.
    This is also quite an interesting analysis – the suggestions from reviewers that were ignored or incorporated.

    For example

    “The receding and thinning of Himalayan glaciers”

    “Hayley Fowler writes: “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 preciptiation and temperature
    trends seen in the Karakoram region (Fowler and Archer, J Climate in press; Archer and
    Fowler, 2004) You need to quote Barnett et al.’s 2005 Nature paper here – this seems very
    similar to what they said.” The team responds: “Was unable to get hold of the suggested
    references will consider in the final version.” None of the references are used in the final
    version, and the challenged statement stands.”

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/dl/Expert_And_Government_Comments.pdf

  87. joshua Corning says:
    December 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm
    “In any other discipline, a sample size this small would be laughed off as ridiculous”

    Opinion and political polls question about 1000 people.”

    Correct but you are selecting from a much more homogeneous medium (people) in a random way. Selecting ten melting glaciers from tens of thousands is not the same thing. Its like selecting 10 apples from tens of thousands of apples, oranges and pears.

    Regarding Anthony’s table, I would add another column with a realistic meltback based on the elevation profile of the glacier. As you go up the glacier, you rise in elevation and the temperature is cooler. The time to melt would be the “n” from the sum of a geometric series that adds up to the length of the glacier. For the loss of, say, 5m/yr in the present year from a 5,000m glacier, the following years losses would decline: Sum k^0 to n = ar^0 + ar^1 + ar^2 +……ar^n, where a=5 and (for a mere 5m, lets choose r=0.995 or so, which means that in the next year we lose 5 x 0.995= 4.98m. Reasonable?). However in the 50th year we lose 5(0.995^49)= 3.91m. In the linear reduction of IPCC, 5m/year for a 5,000m glacier would take 1000yrs, but lets see how much we lose in the 200th year = 5(0.995^199) = 1.84m – you can see that it will take a lot longer than these guys think.

  88. Nicholas Stern is an economist who makes predictions about the future climate.
    He is so good at predictions, that before it happened, he remained silent on the world financial crash.
    I would have thought that such an expert predictor would have noticed this coming?

  89. It’s interesting that the sentence which DL castigates –

    “Climate change-related melting of glaciers could seriously affect half a billion people in the Himalaya-Hindu-Kush region and a quarter of a billion people in China who depend on glacial melt for their water supplies (Stern, 2007).”

    did not exist in the second order draft. If I understand their procedures correctly, the SOD is the last commented/reviewed version – there actually is no review of the “final” draft by either the experts or the governments (and the IPCC processes are still unclear to me, so this assumption may be incorrect). It appears to me that this sentence was inserted and NOT reviewed by the external reviewers. In the comments on the SOD, no one suggested that this paragraph needed additional information or further detail or support.

    One is then left wondering who reviewed and amended the document AFTER the SOD, to insert this claim? Presumably, the Lead Authors, but who else had input into that decision?

    For the SOD, see http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR4/SOD/Ch03.pdf at p. 20 of 65, lines 32 – 40.

    Cheers.

  90. Re: UK John says:
    December 6, 2011 at 9:48 am
    Nicholas Stern is an economist who makes predictions about the future climate.

    =====================================================================

    No, it’s worse than that – he takes his future climate advice from Julia Slingo of the Met. Office and we all know how ‘successful’ her climate models are –

    It was Julia Slingo who last year was telling us here in the UK that the severely cold winter was simply a localised event when the reality was that much of the world experienced record low temperatures.
    It was also Met Office computer simulations that cost our aeronautical industry billions when airspace was closed due to predictions of volcanic ash dangers from an icelandic volcano, unnecessarily as it turned out.

    But then of course the Reality is usually very different from the Met Office predictions – it is considered something of a joke here in the UK except it can have very tragic consequences.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our FOIA friend has identified a number of his Readme quotes (including the first) as from the MetOffice.

    The ‘science’ is utterly politicised – it is not science driving the politics but politics driving the ‘science’.

    The political message is paramount – that is after all what they’ve paid for and of course their ‘propaganda by proxy’ with NGO funding.

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/43291

  91. “Hayley Fowler writes: “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 preciptiation and temperature
    trends seen in the Karakoram region (Fowler and Archer, J Climate in press; Archer and
    Fowler, 2004)

    Precipitation is the other (than temperature) main determinant of glacier advance/retreat.

    One of the few things we can be confident in about in a warmer world, is the Indian monsoon will be more intense with higher Himalayan precipitation.

    Therefore, it is far from clear how much glaciers will retreat and even whether they will retreat at all. In recent years some New Zealand glaciers have advanced due to increased precipitation.

    Interestingly, there is no increasing trend in Indian Monsoon rainfall.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/314/5804/1442.abstract

  92. Silly Ban Must Ban Debate

    Ban Ki-moon screams: “it’s
    difficult to overstate
    the great gravity

    of global warming!
    We cannot exaggerate
    how dangerously

    our future’s threatened!
    But don’t mention Climategate—
    that’s nothing to me.”

    One Cause of Alarm

    Himalayan ice
    melts at an alarming rate:
    Indians must flee!

    Of fifty thousand
    glaciers, say, ten abate—
    vast calamity!

    Such small samples will
    suffice to extrapolate
    a catastrophe.

  93. John Marshall said:
    December 5, 2011 at 2:05 am

    WWF and Greenpeace get the bulk of their monies from frightened little old ladies who believe their hyped up lies. When the coffers run low the lies get bigger

    WWF also likes to use cute animal pictures, and makes claims that donors can save the animals by making a monthly donation to WWF.

    I think this is a fraud though. The animals that the donations are saving are the animals who run the WWF, and they aren’t nearly as cute as the tigers and bears shown in the pictures..

  94. Ian says:
    December 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

    It’s interesting that the sentence which DL [Donna Laframboise] castigates –

    “Climate change-related melting of glaciers could seriously affect half a billion people in the Himalaya-Hindu-Kush region and a quarter of a billion people in China who depend on glacial melt for their water supplies (Stern, 2007).”

    did not exist in the second order draft. If I understand their procedures correctly, the SOD is the last commented/reviewed version – there actually is no review of the “final” draft by either the experts or the governments (and the IPCC processes are still unclear to me, so this assumption may be incorrect). It appears to me that this sentence was inserted and NOT reviewed by the external reviewers.

    @Ian. Thanks for your link. First, you’re correct that the SOD is the last commented version. There is a final review of the by governments, but only of the “Summary for Policymakers.” Donna Laframboise discusses it in Chaper 21, “What’s a nice scientist like you doing in a place like this?”

    I hadn’t realized that the SOD (“Second Order Draft,” presumably) was available online. However, the specific link you gave was to the chapter from the Fresh Water Group, which didn’t include the Stern-citing passage in its final version. It was the Asia Group that did that.

    I checked what the Asia Group had said in the same document, at http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR4/SOD/Ch10.pdf . The relevant section is 10.4.2.1, pp. 27–28, starting at line 34. The passage that DL and I criticized for citing only Stern does not exist in that document, nor does anything like it. I.e., there was no mention of the number of people affected by water shortages. There were no mentions of the Stern Review anywhere in its chapter (10).

    This is in line with the accusations of Donna Laframboise. (I don’t remember her giving a link to any IPCC draft documents to cinch her case, though.) In Chapter 14, “The Stern Review Scandal,” at Kindle location 771, she wrote:

    None of those [26] references the the Stern Review were part of any draft the IPCC showed the 2500 expert reviewers about whom Pachauri frequently boasts. They were quietly inserted into the Climate Bible afterward. This raises some troubling questions:

    • Why bother with expert reviewers if, after they’re out of the picture, you’re going to add new material to 12 different chapters?
    • If IPCC procedures are so airtight, if the people in charge of the IPCC have such integrity, how could this possibly have happened?
    • How do we know that similar insertions of other new material didn’t also take place?

    So the point you’ve raised stands, namely:

    “who reviewed and amended the document AFTER the SOD, to insert this claim? Presumably, the Lead Authors, but who else had input into that decision?”

    Presumably one or more of the Coordinating Lead Authors, such as Lal, would have been informed of any such last-minute changes. In addition, Lal was the front man for the IPCC during the controversies over the 2035 claim and over the Stern Review citation, so he’s the likeliest suspect.

    If he did, it would blacken the mark against the IPCC, because it would indicate that higher-ups were involved. A further blackening would occur if it turned out that he was in fact the instigator, as I now suspect. I think that he would have had a Motive to do so because the Stern Review was published at the end of October 2006, shortly after the September 15 deadline for Second Review comments, and therefore well before final publication of AR4. It would have been tempting to use it to spice up the AR. He had the other ingredients needed: Means and Opportunity.

    What we’ve found supports Donna’s speculations. So Lal should be asked these questions by a journalist (Donna?), by e-mail:

    • Did you yourself suggest the insertion of the sentence that cited only Stern?
    • If not, who did?
    • Were you informed of its insertion?
    • If so, why did you approve it, or insert it yourself, contrary to IPCC policies prohibiting the citation of gray literature as the sole source for major claims and the use of after-the-deadline material? Was it because the Stern Review had been published after the completion of the Second Review period and you wanted to use it “spice up” the final report?
    • If you were not informed of its insertion, who was—and why did he approve it?

    And then he should be asked these worm-can openers:

    • Do you think the last-minute, unreviewed insertion of major claims is OK as a general rule?
    • Do other Coordinating Lead Authors agree in principle?
    • To your knowledge as a long-time IPCC participant, how common are such last-minute insertions in other chapters of Assessment Reports?

    If he admits that last-minute changes were common, or makes other embarrassing admissions, that would open the door to further investigation of IPCC procedures and would further blacken the IPCC’s reputation. If he denies it, that might make things even blacker, in the long run. Let’s get him on the record.

    A computerized document comparison between the SOD and the final Report might yield interesting findings that would require some wiggling to explain.

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