Pachauri claims Indian scientific position "arrogant"

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chairman

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India ‘arrogant’ to deny global warming link to melting glaciers

IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri accuses Indian environment ministry of ‘arrogance’ for its report claiming there is no evidence that climate change has shrunk Himalayan glaciers

Himalayas: Mount Kanchenjunga from Darjeeling
The Himalayas. The IPCC has warned that Himalayan glaciers are receding faster than in any other part of the world and could “disappear altogether by 2035 if not sooner”. Photograph: Frederic Soltan/© Frederic Soltan/Corbis

A leading climate scientist today accused the Indian environment ministry of “arrogance” after the release of a government report claiming that there is no evidence climate change has caused “abnormal” shrinking of Himalayan glaciers.

Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, released the controversial report in Delhi, saying it would “challenge the conventional wisdom” about melting ice in the mountains.

Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN agency which evaluates the risk from global warming, warned the glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world and could “disappear altogether by 2035 if not sooner”.

Today Ramesh denied any such risk existed: “There is no conclusive scientific evidence to link global warming with what is happening in the Himalayan glaciers.” The minister added although some glaciers are receding they were doing so at a rate that was not “historically alarming”.

However, Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, told the Guardian: “We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”

read the entire article at the Guardian here


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Arrogant…..but did he say wrong?

Listen to the Science! Unless the science does not agree with us then do not listen to it.
“We have a very clear idea of what is happening. I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”
Is that not in itself an arrogant statement?

Pieter F

Now that’s rich! Pachauri calling Ramesh “arrogant.”
Pachauri is characterized in the article as “a leading climate scientist.” He’s an economist who studied railroad management in college — no climate science there.


The pot calling the kettle black!
IPCC is the very height of arrogance.
Not since King Canute have we seen such preposterous pretentions


I am leaping to the conclusion that when they write “leading climate scientist” they mean Rajendra K. Pachauri. But he is an engineer with a Ph.D. in economics an administrator.

Wayne Richards

The article describes Mr. Pachauri as a ‘leading climate scientist’. He is in fact an industrial engineer and an economist.

Wayne Richards

Sorry for posting. I now see others have caught this.

Dave D

What about mentioning the Himalayan Glaciers that did not study the IPCC reports and thus, in their ignorance, have been growing the last few years? It is my understanding that nearly half the Glaciers are growing over there, can anyone shed more light on confirming or denying this? If it helps narrow the search for this information, could it be the western Himalayas vs. the eastern?

Jimmy Haigh

It doesn’t matter where the ice is but watching ice melt is more ‘exciting’ than watching water freeze.


Not only is Pachauri not a “climate scientist” but an engineer who worked in managing transport issues. And not only is he the Chairman of the IPCC circus, but as of a couple of weeks ago he has a day time job as well as climate “advisor” to the Chinese government no less! Conflict of interest anyone? The arrogance is beyond belief.


Interesting comment, “…faster than in any other part of the world ”
Why is it when a glacier melts, or there is some dramatic change (imagined or real) that the grant-hungry researchers (or ecogroup) claim that THIS specific spot on earth is WAY worse than anywhere else?
I’ve seen it here in Canada. “Banff has warmed 2° more than anywhere else.” (Or whatever … I forget the exact reference.)
Golly, if the world has warmed an average (say) 0.7C° in 100+ years and alarmist research locations have all warmed by (say) 2C°, then it follows that a lot of other places are much colder. It is all nonsense. I unable to believe climate alarmist “research” and statements.
The world is changing. Adapt and move forward.
Anthony and crew … keep up the great work.


When your doing a story about Rajendra Pachauri could you please not put his picture in the article.
It scares the children.


The ignorance of the Guardian is sublime. Just like the sublimation of the ice at many places where the temperature is below freezing but the ice is going away. Morons. Ice does not have to melt to go away. All that has to happen is that the partial pressure of the water vapor in the air has to be low enough. I wonder if this hack ever heard of the triple point of water?


Please, people, if we are going to make comments about King Canute, can we get the legend right?
Canute was demonstrating he was NOT all powerful/godlike, as believed by his courtiers, by commanding the tide to retreat.

Ed (a simple old carpenter)

I believe the Himalayans are suffering from deforestation which is causing a lack of moisture in the air which is causing some loss of ice. But the temp. have remained pretty much the same, ask Ann Curry of Today Show, she nearly froze to death trying to film the “warming” up there.

Leon Brozyna

I see that comment by Jeremy (07:51:48), but I just have to say this – when I saw that photo and the headline above, that line immediately popped into my head – talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
Presumptive arrogance is the IPCC’s stock in trade.


Karakorum glaciers have been nearly stationary in the 20th Century and many of them advanced in the 1990’s.
The Karakoram Anomaly? Glacier Expansion and the ‘Elevation Effect,’ Karakoram Himalaya. Mountain Research and Development 25(4):332-340. 2005.
Available online:


Can anyone provide a link to an impartial study of the retreat/advance of Himalayan glaciers?


Send my best regards to the outstanding climate scientist in India! We all know that India has a strong tradition for excellence in science in general and in physics and mathematics in particular – we all remember the brilliant mathematician Ramanujan.
The last couple of weeks I have had the please to read the book “Chaotic Climate Dynamics” by Dr. Selvam from Indian Institute of Tropical Metrology, and it’s quite obvious from this book that our climate is a highly non-trivial subject that cannot at all be understood by someone that is not educated in one of the classical science subjects like physics, mathematics or metrology.
I wonder if Rajendra Pachauri with a Ph.D. in economics is at all familiar with the terminology in the above mentioned book, like for example the inverse power law scale invariance in our climate that indicate long-range correlations? If you do not understand what such issues means for our ability to give accurate climate predictions, it’s no wonder why so many people trust the climate models! I think I know who is being arrogant here…

If arrogance mattered in science, JP II should never have apologized for Galileo. The world is the world and science does not care whether the discoverer of something is arrogant or humble, merely whether the paper is correct and replicable.

P Wilson

Alvin (07:47:42) :
The world is full of pots jeering at kettles.
some of the specialists in the IPCC could mount a scientific investigation into the climate surrounding the Himalayas, to verify whether the present state there is due to global warming or not

G. Karst

A day does not go by, that some warmer, accuses me of arrogance because of a statement which contradicts consensus. Every statement claiming consensus is a reflection of ignorance. Arrogance, is therefore, a required characteristic of any practicing scientist, and much preferable to ignorance. GK



Pretty much the same thing as cited in Real Climates most recent post “Is Pine Island Glacier the Weak Underbelly of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?”
It is way past time that the scientific community dump the politicking and concentrate on reality. Is that too much to ask? Yup, i expect it is.


I’m an engineer! I guess that makes me a climate scientist too….. 😛

Of course Pachauri is a leading climate scientist. Climate science is all about economics and taxation, is it not? So who better to represent climate science than an economist?
Climate science has nothing to do with empirical evidence, or truth, or honesty, or open and transparent sharing of raw data, or independent verification of tests or any number of other “old fashioned” and “out of date” so-called scientific methodologies.
It is about motivation for increases in taxation through producing the results required, regardless of the means undertaken to produce those results. Only the new real science of climatology can produce such reliable results time after time in the face of changing and contrary evidence. That is REAL science. Economists and failed politicians and paid advocates producing the same fear inducing results, year in-year out even when the planet is doing the opposite of what was predicted. you CANNOT get that kind of reliable delivery time after time from physisists, or chemists, or oceonographers, or paleogeologists or any of those other PHd qualified professors who insist on using the old methodologies of testing what actually happens! No, they just do NOT deliver enough certainty or consistency.
Railway engineers, economists, media guru’s, lifestyle guru’s, failed politicians etc.. These are the NEW REAL scientists who produce consensus, no matter HOW many times they have to back-track and alter and amend and re-analyse their results.
THAT is reliable delivery of scientific consensus for ya!!! Climatology*. The ONLY real science of the 21st century.
*Evidence not included!

Evert Jesse

Via the Guardian website you can download the original report. To me this seems objective, well researched and clear. The report does not deny global warming, it only says that they cannot find an effect of it on the retreat of the gletschers. This should be non-controversial. However, the reaction of mr Pachauri is very telling: the report detracts from the IPCC party line and should therefore be attacked.
This party line, which is so evident in all communications from official institutions, is for me proof that something is wrong. Normally scientist do not agree so completely with one another. There seems to be an agreement not to confuse the public with conflicting information concerning climate change. This implies that those institutions are giving out information of which they may well have a different opinion themselves. This puts them in a difficult position when -next year I think- those official institutions will be attacked by the media and politicians for misleading the public. After all, politicians are expert at shifting blame, and scientist are not.

Antonio San



“I don’t know why the minister is supporting this unsubstantiated research. It is an extremely arrogant statement.”
This from a man who compared Bjorn Lomborg to Hitler for daring to suggest that perhaps the best solution to the Maldives “problem” was to re-train and relocate the population!

Mike Bryant

Proud Chairman Pachauri’s a sight
But his visage is not the main fright
This train engineer
Just said with a sneer
That his arrogance proves he is right

George E. Smith

Well I think I’ll start a travel company for senior citizens; and get ready to drive busloads of them up to the top of Mt Everest to see where all those wonderful glaciers used to be. With all that ice and snow gone by 2035, we should be able to finally find what is left of Irvine’s body.
So just what is the average temperature up there on the South Col these days ?
Is there no end to the silliness of this IPCC bunch ? So Mt Kilimanjaro at 20,000 ft or so, wasn’t high enough to escape global warming; so now it has moved up another couple of km or so.
The standard atmosphere has a temperature drop of 6.5 deg C per km up to 11 km starting at 15 deg C at sea level. Those Himalayan Glaciers are at least 5 km above sea level at their terminus, which puts the atmospheric temperature at around -17.5 deg C. So Just how much melting are you going to get other than direct sunlight on the surface of the ice.
Now if ocean temperatures cooled limiting evaporation, thereby diminishing the monsoons, then yes you might get less precipitation and more sublimation up at those higher altitudes.
I think I’ll stick around till 2035 just to see what the ice free Himalayas look like.


A more honest headline for this would be “UN apparatchik attacks Indian climate scientist after publishing research showing the himalaya glaciers unaffected by global warming.”

Alan the Brit

Jeremy (07:51:48) :
“The pot calling the kettle black!
IPCC is the very height of arrogance”
Spot on, I say! The IPCC always refers to itself as THE WORLD’S leading authority on Climate Change. A prime example of making oneself out to be better than one is!
Wayne Richards (07:56:12) :
“The article describes Mr. Pachauri as a ‘leading climate scientist’. He is in fact an industrial engineer and an economist.”
He has PhD’s in Industrial Engineering & Economics. I have often wondered how that equates to being “a leading climate scientist”. Whilst I have every admiration & respect for such qualifications it is equally arrogant, & not a little fraudulaent, to let oneself be called what one is not, a climate scientist, I am just as qualified a climate scientist as he is in that case although I do not possess a PhD! Absolute piffle.

David Ball

Can you say “projecting”, ….

It is worth looking through Pachauri’s comments in the full article at the Guardian. Some of them are really offensive, like
“I cannot see what the minister’s motives are”.
Well, maybe the motives are to obtain some scientific data?


science fiktion?
glaciers in himalaya are between, lets say, 5000 and 8000m above see level.
let the temperature increase for 3°C, they will still be “alive” about 5.500m or so.
what the hell is with the brain of this hysteric ipcc chairman?

Bruce Cobb

He’s right, how DARE Ramesh go against AGW doctrine! What heresy! What blaspheme! He needs to be burned at the stake, to “wash” him clean of his Carbon sins, and as a lesson to any and all who dare go against the High Church of Global Warming. sarc/off


Jeremy (07:51:48) :
The pot calling the kettle black!
IPCC is the very height of arrogance.
Not since King Canute have we seen such preposterous pretentions
I believe that Canute was actually demonstrating to courtiers and sycophants that no matter how powerful a man is, nature is more powerful and connot be resisted.


George E Smith: “Those Himalayan Glaciers are at least 5 km above sea level at their terminus, which puts the atmospheric temperature at around -17.5 deg C.”
Not quite. I’ve been to the Gangotri Glacier, which is often quoted as melting, and the terminus was at about 4000 meters. That was in 1982. If it’s at 5000 now, it would really be alarming 😉 But of course it isn’t, it has retreated a lot, there’s still a lot to go.

Gary Plyler

There has been atmospheric cooling the last 8 years, and no new high global annual temperatures in the last 11 years. You may find it interesting what the head of the IPCC said 1-1/2 years ago concerning the lack of new annual high global temperatures:
Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N. Panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said (1-1/2 years ago) that he would look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century.
“One would really have to see on the basis of some analysis what this really represents,” he told Reuters 1-1/2 years ago, adding “are there natural factors compensating?” for increases in greenhouse gases from human activities.
Also in this article from 1-1/2 years ago, Amir Delju, senior scientific coordinator of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) climate program, said temperatures would have to be flat for several more years before a lack of new record years became significant.
Well, we are 3/4 of the way to being significant.

Bill P

The government report that’s gotten Pachauri’s pajamas in a twist is sited above and in the original Guardian Article. As Evert Jesse (09:01:31) says, it’s an objective, thorough, and scientific study.
Ramesh does not challenge glacier shrinkage, and in fact confirms the century-long warming trend shown in other records.
Using RSS data, “snout” recession measurements, snowfall records, mass balance measurements, stream flow emittance, etc, and decades-spanning “before” and “after” pictures, it’s clear that the glaciers are in the process of shrinking – or were, up until about 2001. Since then, the recession of most has slowed, in some cases stabilized, and in a very few cases, reversed.
But he “arrogantly” fails to attribute this to anthropogenic sources, and he has the temerity to contradict Pachauri’s dire claims that any glaciers are going to disappear by 2035.
From Ramesh’s conclusion:
Glacier Retreat in the Himalayas
The glacier ice cover, in the Himalayas, during the
last Ice Age, is believed to have been at least three
times than what it is today. It started dwindling, with
more and more area getting exposed from under the
ice cover, with each successive Interglacial warm
period. Evidences have come forth, which would
postulate that, at the end of the last glacial cycle of
the Quaternary Ice Age-15ky-17ky BP, glaciers in
general, in the Himalayas, may not have extended
beyond the limit of 20-30 odd kilometres from the
present snout position. And the current retreat of
the glaciers, in the Himalayas, barring the advance
during the Younger Dryas Period (9ky-10ky) and the
Little Ice Age (around 200-300 years, BP), is, more
or less, in consistent with and continuance of the
retreat that began at the end of the last glacial cycle.


Pachauri’s comment is like the pot calling the mirror black, i.e., it’s a case of psychological projection.
Espen (09:44:12) :
RE: Melting glaciers

“… according to Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, it’s a case of cognitive dissonance. He explains:
‘In other words the supply of melt water from the melting glaciers is threatened by the melting of the glaciers. This is correct in that if the glaciers melt completely there will be no more melt water from the glaciers.
‘What if the glaciers were not melting due to a colder climate? Then where would the irrigation water come from? How about if the glaciers were advancing 100 meters per year toward the villages that need the melt water for irrigation?
‘How does the logic of this situation escape these bright minds?
‘It snows every winter in the Himalayas. When the snow melts it fills the rivers. Where there is net melting of the glaciers this adds additional water to the rivers.
‘But they can’t have it both ways. If they want to have continued melt water from the glaciers then the glaciers must continue to melt’.”
Then there’s this.
<em"May 5, 2009 — 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. "
(NOTE – they also pay homage to the “water from glaciers threatened by melting” meme, but they do present some of the contrary evidence, even though they try to rationalize it away.
They want it to appear that their agenda is being driven by facts, when the fact is, it is there “facts” that are being driven by their agenda.

Bill P

Re: “sited above”
It’s also cited above.

David Hoyle

“Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN agency which evaluates the risk from global warming, warned the glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world and could “disappear altogether by 2035 if not sooner”.”
Once again, the prediction is 20 years plus , just out of range for the common man who cares about such things, they really need to polish up the crystal ball or is it tarot cards this time???


I think in this context “arrogant” simply means “blasphemous”.

Dr A Burns

It is clear that the IPCC is purely a political vehicle for political goals, when it appoints a railway engineer like Rajendra Pachauri as its head, rather than a climatologist.

Phillip Bratby

Why is it that whenever I see that picture it brings to mind the old Charlie Drake song “The Witch Doctor”?

Indiana Bones

The UN, and all it’s good works, would do well to consider the terrible price the IPCC Chairman’s comments and behavior are having on their public image. It looks terribly like the IPCC is dedicated to subjugating emerging nations to the whimsical vision of a handful of enviro-kooks.
This is why Copenhagen has little chance of doing anything more than setting the 2C temp goal. Human beings don’t accept being told they cannot better themselves. Especially when the reasoning is fallacious data and speculation based on faulty computer simulations. IF and when the GCM’s can hindcast properly – maybe there will be reason for a Copenhagen.
Demagoguery is the height of arrogance.

See the regional climate summary of India including information on temperatures, rainfall, sea level, glaciers and black carbon:

John Galt

And what degree in Climate Science or Climatology does Pachauri hold?
Oh wait, that only applies to skeptics. Anybody who repeats the IPCC line is in the club and does not have to have credentials. It’s not your qualifications that matter, only correct thinking matters.