WASHINGTON — Five errors were found in one paragraph of the world's most authoritative report on global warming, prompting an apology from the panel of scientists who wrote it.
The errors are in a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A subsection suggests that glaciers in the Himalayas could melt away by 2035 — apparently a transposition of 2350, which was the intended year.
The panel and the scientist who publicized the errors said they are not significant and were not intentional. And they do not negate the fact that worldwide, glaciers are melting faster than ever.
A climate-change skeptic criticized the errors.
"The credibility of the IPCC depends on the thoroughness with which its procedures are adhered to," Yvo de Boer, head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, wrote in an e-mail. "The procedures have been violated in this case."
In a written statement, the climate change panel expressed regret over what it called "poorly substantiated estimates" about the Himalayan glaciers.
"The IPCC has established a reputation as a real gold standard in assessment; this is an unfortunate black mark," said Chris Field, a Stanford University professor who in 2008 took over as head of this part of the IPCC research. "None of the experts picked up on the fact that these were poorly substantiated numbers. From my perspective, that's an area where we have an opportunity to do much better."