Arrrggh! Let's help Time with Pachy's "voodoo science"

UPDATE: WUWT Gets results – Time fixes the error! See below.

Reader HowardW sends this tip. Almost two years after the discovery of this ridiculous error, once labeled “voodoo science” by IPCC Rajenda Pachauri when told of skeptics pointing out this error, only to have to admit it is a real mistake later, the “Himilayan Glaciers will melt by 2035” is back. Here’s the screencap of the article:

It is amazing that this false date of 2035 is still in circulation at a major media outlet, isn’t it?

I ask that WUWT readers make sure the editors of Time are aware of the error. Here’s where you can fill their Inbox:

As for author Julien Bouissou, you’d think that somebody who has immersed himself in India and is a member of the Institute for the Practice of Journalism would hear about the IPCC fiasco over glaciers. But, no.

Maybe one of our French speaking readers can locate the original article in Lemonde and notify them too.

UPDATE: 3:00PM PST 11/16/2011 – Responding to the attention brought to bear by WUWT, Time has retracted the statement about glaciers disappearing in 2035 and added this statement:

It only took about 6 hours – good job folks!


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A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Mark Twain

Greg Holmes

Diaboloical article, Time was but is No longer. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


that’s the problem with the internet, in years to come, people will still believe the 2035 garbage because the internet said it was true and the offending article was never withdrawn


BS always gets the most attention. Ask any politician.

Here’s a couple of people the reporter could have talked to (from the UK Times article)
“…Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: “If [Syed]
Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, than I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments…”
Facts about a story that could have been verified by at least two sources.
Journalism 101…

jack morrow

I hate conspiracy theories ,but I’m beginning to wonder about the AGW crowd . Someone one said once,” to control the world, one thing to use is an environmental scare to confuse people”. I’m also thinking maybe there is a little something to this “new world order” thing. But, I’m also thinking about all those leaves in my yard.

Ian W

While I understand the point of your publication is to reprint stories of note in English that were originally in other languages, one would expect some level of Editorial checking of those stories. If Le Monde were to publish a story about ‘Havard State’ sacking its long time football coach due to a scandal; you would not print it without comment. Therefore, I am surprised that you reprint a glaring error that the glaciers are melting in the Himalayas and will be gone by 2035 when this has been accepted as totally false by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who originally published the claim.
As this false claim is the basis for the ‘importance’ of the story, I am puzzled that you thought it fit to print. It is very easy to descend to the level of a checkout magazine with garish claims; it is far less easy to gain respect as an authoritative source. Regaining that respect once lost can be impossible.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Some Himalayan glaciers are advancing rather than melting, study finds
Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.
By Dean Nelson, New Delhi and Richard Alleyne
6:00AM GMT 27 Jan 2011
It challenges claims made in a 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the glaciers would be gone by 2035.
Although the head of the panel Dr Rajendra Pachauri later admitted the claim was an error gleaned from unchecked research, he maintained that global warming was melting the glaciers at “a rapid rate”, threatening floods throughout north India.
The new study by scientists at the Universities of California and Potsdam has found that half of the glaciers in the Karakoram range, in the northwestern Himlaya, are in fact advancing and that global warming is not the deciding factor in whether a glacier survives or melts.

A similar version of this story, also from The Telegraph and about the study, was covered here on WUWT, includes the university press release about the study:
Also on WUWT besides what’s linked in the post above:
and this gem:

From the Daily Mail
The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.
Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.
The claim that Himalayan glaciers are set to disappear by 2035 rests on two 1999 magazine interviews with glaciologist Syed Hasnain, which were then recycled without any further investigation in a 2005 report by the environmental campaign group WWF.
It was this report that Dr Lal and his team cited as their source.

Somebody grab a plunger. I’m tired of seeing this IPCC/WWF chunk floating around in media circles instead of going down the hole to where it belongs.


Journalists by and large, long ago gave up being reporters of events and became instead cheerleaders for various ideologies (mainly various shades of socialism). They commit lies by omission and commission. They ignore any fact that contradicts the tenets of faith of whichever flavor ideology they believe. Occasionally, like a blind squirrel finding a nut, they stumble upon and report something inconvenient to their ideology, but those incidents are rare and usually result in the offending reporter being ostracized and excommunicated from the society of journalists (I believe “hack” is the term then used for them).
We used to have an old saying in the intelligence community that you could learn everything you needed to know about the USSR by reading Pravda: you looked at what they praised and knew that sector of society was failing. All press now is Pravda of the old USSR days (I understand that in many ways, today, the Russian press is more even-handed and transparent then their western counterparts.) You have to read western press with a twist and look for what is hidden in plain sight, but you know the stated conclusion of the report will be that government needs to encroach further into the daily lives of individuals in some new way.


Aside from the obvious 2035 nonsense the article basically states:
“The climate is changing. Experts blame climate change”
Anyone else spotted a slight circularity in their point?


Looks like the French media people are braindead zombies much like their German colleagues.

The original article in Le Monde is behind a paywall, but an excerpt can be read, where the reference to 2035 can be read.

Honest ABE

Perhaps Pachauri was right all along! After all, he is still described (even some places on wikipedia) as the “UN’s top climate scientist.”

Ex-Wx Forecaster

Okay. I, too, am tired of the crap that passes for “news”. As such, I decided to send a brief Letter to the Editor. As I was writing, I noticed my irritation was growing. I think I might have been a bit antagonistic, but it comes after reading far too many propaganda pieces masquerading as news. Since I’m fairly sure it won’t be posted, I’ve decided to post it here. See below:
It is one thing for an allegedly unbiased news medium to choose one side of a controversy and relentlessly pursue that agenda. It’s quite another to promote discredited information as fact.
As has been proven, the IPCC relied on a couple of non-peer-reviewed, anecdotal stories on which to reach their conclusion that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035. It has since been shown to be a completely incorrect hypothesis. Yet, your story is entirely based on this disproved idea. Your staff failed to fact check. If accidentally, then incompetence was reinforced by editors who didn’t check on their staff. However, “Time” continues to proclaim that there is no ‘real’ controversy over anthropogenic global warming and that nearly all scientists are in agreement. Both are woefully incorrect, which easily can be found by the slightest research into the subject. As such, it appears quite likely there was no attempt to check facts, because that would have rendered the story worthless.
While reporting only one side of a controversy as ‘true’ reduces “Time Magazine” to that of an unreliably biased information source, promoting that agenda with falsified information degrades you to a promoter of propaganda.

No point messing about with french media, they really are zombified. Most of france is still. Go figure they have 80% nuke energy at 8 cents tax included but have just decided to build a huge windfarm. They still go on about CO2 reduction at every avenue they can, from agriculture to ads for cars.
In france the IPCC from the 90’s rules, mostly because hardly any frenchperson speaks anything but french.

Colin in BC

Unreal. I had to double check the date of the article, thinking it must be aged. I can’t believe this false claim, long ago shown to be incorrect, is still touted in a story by a major news weekly.
Kind of like the ‘97% of scientists believe in AGW,’ meme continuously touted by the alarmists, despite the study that claim is based on was shown to be of highly questionable methodology — a charitable description.

It is amazing predictable that this false date of 2035 is still in circulation at a major media outlet, isn’t it?


Time Magazine, like most MSM outlets, has descended to the level of the ignoramuses they imagine they are propagandizing.

To answer your question, No. The big lie is alive and well, always has been, probably always will be. The true problem is no one takes responsibility any more, if they ever really did. The consequences to the publisher of printing something as discredited as this are zero, the consequences to the author are even less.


I have been unsuccessful in my search of LeMonde’s arcane archive system. While I found articles mentioning 2035, I could find nothing on Bhutan. Here’s an article referring to the date, while showing the usual cooling towers belching out vast clouds of water vapor.

jim hogg

Bad enough that it recycles the 2035 thing, but the elementary arithmetic of the claim that the rate of melt is 20-30m (metres presumably) per year and that in 24 years the glaciers will have gone doesn’t quite add up – unless the total width is already less than half a mile! . . . Do they really think their readers are stupid enough to miss that?


What difference does it make if it is 2035 or 2100? If its a problem its a problem no matter when the consequence will be fully realized.

For those who read french (sorry for the others), I wrote to Le Monde the following e-mail :
Je suppose que la rédaction du “Monde” s’est félicitée d’avoir vendu au “Time” l’article de Julien Bouissou sobrement intitulé “Des “tsunamis de montagne” menacent le Bhoutan” et paru dans votre édition datée du 4 novembre. Dès son introduction, cet article annonce la couleur en évoquant la fonte annoncée des glaciers himalayens pour 2035, une grossière erreur du GIEC qui a été corrigée piteusement par celui-ci il y a près de deux ans. Je suppose aussi que Stéphane Foucart, qui s’occupe en général de la question du climat pour votre journal, n’a pas eu l’opportunité de faire le travail de relecture le plus élémentaire, trop occupé qu’il était sans doute par son propre article dans lequel il dit tout le mal qu’il pense des climatosceptiques comme moi (sans bien entendu leur donner la parole). Il me reproche notamment de ne faire que recopier des sites internet anglo-saxons : je vous suggère néanmoins d’aller voir par vous-même sur internet le bel effet de la traduction du Time de l’article de Julien Bouisseau sur la réputation internationale de la presse française.
Benoît Rittaud.

David in Georiga

As a wise man once said, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. The more they claim catastrophe, the deeper hole they dig. I, for one, am more than happy to hand them the shovel. Let’s let them continue to claim the glaciers will all be gone by 2035. Let’s help them proclaim that Tuvalu and other island nations will be underwater in 50 years. Let’s cheer with them the demise of coastal areas as the seas rise up to claim the land, or the deserts grow to wipe out the arable parts of the world.
When each year they grow more shrill, and each year they have to put off the date of the inevitable doom that Catastrophic Global Anthropogenic Climate Change has wrought, the sweeter the victory will be for those of us who said, “I don’t think so.”
I’m no shill for the Oil Companies. I’d love to see a clean energy source for mankind, something that does not have to be pumped from the ground and filtered to remove noxious gases and hazardous particulates. Until we find one, however, hydrocarbon based fuels are what we have.
I am, however, happy to watch the train wreck that is the Carbon Dioxide is Killing Us scare. It is costing a lot of money that could be used for other purposes, that’s true, but on the other hand, at least studying the climate is less damaging that other things the Governments could be using the money to do.

‘Mountain Tsunamis’? I guess it’s possible for the entire glacier to change state instantly and pour off the mountain… that is, If thermodynamics is completely false. Or, maybe if the sun comes in direct contact with the glacier- hmmm.

John in L du B

Why are you all so surprised?
In fact this is SOP for every green organization. I watched this happen for almost 40 years in the nuclear industry. Get one paper with some dubious science past peer review or in some authoritative publication and, if it suits the green agenda purpose, it will be referred to forever as fact, no matter how many papers in how many respected journals are published to refute the claim. The green shirts use this standard technique in nuclear waste management programs, food irradiation, genetically modified foods or anything they oppose. They call it “truthiness” but it’s really just lying. Don’t ever expect to see green shirts or any of their friends in the MSM stop misrepresenting the 2035 date as fact. …maybe in 2036.


I suppose that in the end all the arguments that we are having will be moot. AGW alarmism will hit the buffers eventually due to reality not going along with the agenda. This particular error may keep popping up from time to time but as 2035 approaches it will begin to look ridiculous. I am looking forward to the summer of 2015 when some guy who says that the North Pole will be ice free is going to fall on his face.
Am I correct in saying that the 2035 figure came from typo of 2350?

Berényi Péter

My advanced computer model projects a complete meltdown of Times’ authority by 2035 AD due to anthropogenic nitty-gritty disruption.

Ian W

Brandon says:
November 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
What difference does it make if it is 2035 or 2100? If its a problem its a problem no matter when the consequence will be fully realized.

As you say: *if* it is a problem.
Read some of the references above that show that far from shrinking some of the glaciers are actually advancing. So in answer to your premise – It does not seem to be a problem.


Amazing? Not really. Journalists by and large are undereducated, the media fact-checkers are either absent or overwhelmed, and editors conflate and confuse when they get their hands into the mess. Much of “journalism” today seems to be cut and paste so the persistence of false memory should be expected. Then there are the headline writers looking to inject as much sizzle as possible to garbled press releases.
Tell me why anybody pays for this stuff…

I am amazed that a reputable publication such as yours can print this Bhutan story, based on the ‘Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035’ IPCC statement. It has been well known for a long time that this statement was false. All of the world’s major media outlets covered the story, and it was headline news in many of them. For example, here is the error being reported in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which has been staunchly supportive of the IPCC for many years.
“The mistake, a false assertion that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, exacted severe damage to the reputation of the IPCC and its head, Rajendra Pachauri.”
I fear that if you do not print a prompt retraction, your reputation will also be badly damaged. A lot of people care a lot about this subject, given its importance to national economies and hence to everyone’s economic wellbeing.

Gail Combs

jack morrow says:
November 16, 2011 at 7:51 am
I hate conspiracy theories ,but I’m beginning to wonder about the AGW crowd ….. I’m also thinking maybe there is a little something to this “new world order” thing…..
Jack, the “new world order” thingy is now called “Global Governance” Unfortunately it is very much alive and well and a big factor in what we hear as news. The push is towards “Global Governance” and the buss words are “Sustainability” “renewable energy” and “Climate Change” The truth has very little to do withthis agenda.
The World Trade Organization Director, Pascal Lamy, a year ago in The Global Journal published an article “Of What Use is Global Governance?” among others. The article shows exactly where he wants us to head.
The US & EU Intelligence Agencies released “Global Governance 2025” Courtesy of a Freedom of Information Act request. It can be found at –
You will get lots of hit if you search. “Global Governance”.
Given what we see in the news today this gives another glimpse into the minds of those generating the propaganda and spin to push us in the direction of a predetermined goal.
From the EUROPEAN COMMISSION’s “WORLD IN 2025” report:
I found this prhase “Progress in the adoption of a world governance system, due to the extent of the problems to be dealt with and to the pressure of public opinion.”
It is the last in a listing of “Wild Cards” like
“A major war…,
A technological disaster which could influence the choices of priorities of governments (e.g. a nuclear accident like Chernobyl blocking the nuclear option for many years);
collapse of a major urban area…,
Pandemics with devastating effects….”
A breakthrough in the field of renewable energy production…”

and of course“Sudden or even brutal acceleration of the (nonlinear) impacts of climate change”
This list of possible “Wild Cards” is followed by a section titled: “Stabilising the world, recognising the new key-actors: The transition towards a multi-polar world and world governance.
….. The new geopolitical situation which takes shape with the rise to power of emerging countries will probably have as a counterpart a new organisation of international relations.
The EU aims at leading by example. A common governance system on a world level is likely to emerge (transition from the nation state to new legal-political entities) but one does not know how it will evolve……”
(pg 21 of 35)
Without the background knowledge of what the ultimate goal is, the news such as this Times piece does not make much sense.

Alan Bates

Steele said:
November 16, 2011 at 11:03 am
‘Mountain Tsunamis’? I guess it’s possible for the entire glacier to change state instantly and pour off the mountain …
Misunderstanding the issue does not help. The problem has nothing to do with instantaneous phase changes of huge volumes of solid glacial ice.
There are many lakes that contain glacier melt water which may have built up over a period of time. The lakes exist because of natural damming of the water. Unfortunately, some of these natural “dams” are none too strong and their collapse could release water equivalent to years of glacier melt “instantly” to cause death and destruction to villages below them (possibly built there because of the easy access to water). Forget manmade dams with great walls of solid rock. These are adventitious piles of boulders infilled with debris and silt.
The problem will continue to exist whether or not there is CAGW because the dams can be disrupted by earthquakes. The best that can be done is to release the water in a controlled way such that the rapid flow will not disrupt the dam by erosion.
Alan Bates

Gail Combs

Brandon says:
November 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
What difference does it make if it is 2035 or 2100? If its a problem its a problem no matter when the consequence will be fully realized.
The problem isn’t melting/shrinking glacires, they have shrunk before as the human artifacts being uncovered prove.
You want a REAL problem to worry about, then worry about when the Holecene INTERGLACIAL is going to end and my old hometown/state will be covered by a mile of ice.
Warm =>wet + CO2 => Lots of FOOD.

Barbara Skolaut

“It is amazing that this false date of 2035 is still in circulation at a major media outlet, isn’t it?”
Not really – it’s Time, after all.
Glad you said “media” outlet instead of news outlet. Accuracy is important.

Gail Combs

Gary says:
November 16, 2011 at 11:29 am
Amazing? Not really. Journalists by and large are undereducated, …..Then there are the headline writers looking to inject as much sizzle as possible to garbled press releases.
Tell me why anybody pays for this stuff…
I quit watching the boob tube in 1975, I quit getting the papers (Wall Street Journal, Barrons,,,) in 1995 and I quit my professional Associations in disgust a few years ago.
I just can not stomach all the propaganda and dreck any more and I refuse to pay someone else to brain wash me.
It is called voting with your feet.

I read TIME magazine from cover to cover for decades until about eight years ago when their cover depicted a cowering American soldier. I cancelled my subscription and have never gone back.
Letter to editor has been sent, along with an offer to replace the lazy SOB who wrote that garbage above.

George Standbrige

This article is from Time Magizine itself!:,8599,1955405,00.html
How lame can they be?


XKCD is particulary apt today !

Roger Knights

Am I correct in saying that the 2035 figure came from typo of 2350?

No. That was a coincidence, because the Canadian journalist who first exposed the error noted that there was a gray literature article (not cited by the IPCC) that mentioned 2350–and he guessed that that might be the source of the mistake. He changed his mind when the whole of the story emerged. I wrote a history of the main points of it here:

Brandon says:
November 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
What difference does it make if it is 2035 or 2100? If its a problem its a problem no matter when the consequence will be fully realized.

2100 means we can afford to wait to see if there really is a problem. I.e., if temperatures stay flat for five or ten more years, then the case that CO2 is a major driver becomes very suspect. Second, it gives us time for possible technological breakthroughs to happen, or to mature (like thorium, maybe). We’ve already had one, in the form of shale gas.

2035? Sure, why not? By the way did you know that Global Warming caused the JFK assassination? /sarc


can this be added to the climatefail files nice to have some more docs in there for the grand kids to laugh at.

How about Australias
Apparently we are to visit these sites quick because of the global warming and sea level rise…. *sigh* MSM really do have alot to answer for

Hu McCulloch

The IPCC “correction” at is very careful not to admit that anything in the report is actually wrong. It merely states its regret that “a paragraph … refers to poorly substantiated estimates … of the date of disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers.” The statement also emphasizes that the conclusions of AR4 in this respect are “robust”. There is no actual retraction of a specific paragraph. One could read this to mean that 2035 is about right according to other sources they neglected to cite, but that the specific source the IPCC did cite did not well substantiate this (in fact robust) estimate.
So I’m not surprised if the press still thinks 2035 is valid.

The latest XKCD cartoon explains this situation extremely well. Be sure to read the ‘hint text’ too, it is very funny!


I have a copy of a National Geographic entitled “Greenland – Ground Zero for Global Warming”.
It contains two seperate articles – one dealing with scientists studying meltwater during summer – it is alarmist. The second dealing with the Greenland peoples and where they live is much less alarmist and historically correct acknowledging the Norse history and the freezing end to the settlements there.
It seems the Greenlanders can’t get enough global warming – they may get a chance to produce enough food to live without Denmark supplying the vast majority of their needs.
I think they may be disappointed in the future though. What if the warming periods of the Holocene interglacial have already peaked and we are cycling down to less intense warming periods in the years ahead ?
Now that is worthy of subsidy and study – I would’ve thought a simple trace gas has already been studied to death.
John Daly urged the Australian Gov’t to study the ENSO phenomen instead of CO2 and was ignored.
There was little warning about the severe 2011 LaNina summer here. Now with an apparently modest LaNina our governments are lowering dam levels but clearly the signs of a repeat of 2011 are not there at the moment – we have had the driest November to date for a hundred years to date.
Will we get floods or drought and heat – no one knows especially the CO2 experts.
What a waste !


>> Brandon says:
November 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
What difference does it make if it is 2035 or 2100? If its a problem its a problem no matter when the consequence will be fully realized. <<
The sun is going to turn into a red giant, engulfing the Earth. We need to tax everyone now.

Jimmy Haigh

Brandon says:
November 16, 2011 at 10:24 am
“What difference does it make if it is 2035 or 2100? If its a problem its a problem no matter when the consequence will be fully realized.”
Looks like you’ve fallen for it hook, line and sinker. It’s not going to happen.

Keith says:
November 16, 2011 at 8:27 am
Aside from the obvious 2035 nonsense the article basically states:
“The climate is changing. Experts blame climate change”
Anyone else spotted a slight circularity in their point?

Yeah, but Keith –
Them’s some experts we can believe in!

Alpha Tango

Looks like theyve changed the article..and added this at the bottom;
“The original version of this article, first published in the French newspaper Le Monde, cited a 2007 report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which stated that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. In 2010 the IPCC retracted that report, calling it inaccurate; there is no known date by which Himalayan glaciers are expected to disappear.
Read more:,8599,2098960,00.html#ixzz1duWMrCFo