Himalayan glaciers "melting ten times more slowly than feared"


UDPATE: Cartoon by Josh, right.

Remember the IPCC melting glacier scare? Gone by 2035? Glaciergate? It made great publicity for the alarmists. Sadly it was total rubbish. And now further studies reveal that the melting is fully ten times slower than previously thought.

But it’s still bad news, naturally. They’re still melting. Just an order of magnitude more slowly than we had previously been led to believe, as the ABC reports:

Himalayan glaciers and ice caps that supply water to more than a billion people in Asia are losing mass up to 10 times less quickly than once feared, according to a new study.

Based on an improved analysis of satellite data from 2003 to 2010, the findings offer a reprieve for a region already feeling the impacts of global warming.

But they do not mean that the threat of disruptive change has disappeared, the researchers warn. [Of course, any good news has to be tempered with a reminder that the planet is going to hell in a handcart – Ed]

“The good news is that the glaciers are not losing mass as fast as we thought,” says Professor Tad Pfeffer of theUniversity of Colorado‘s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and a co-author of the study.

“The bad news is that they are still losing a lot of water. There is still definitely a serious problem for the Himalayas.”

Much of that loss, it turns out, is taking place in the huge plains immediately south of the towering mountain range, where pumping from wells is draining ancient aquifers far faster than precipitation can replenish them.

Earlier estimates, also based on satellite data, mistakenly attributed much of the draining of these water tables to glacier melt-off, says Pfeffer.

So the attribution of the cause was wrong too.

Other calculations now thought to be off the mark were based on scaled-up extrapolations from lower-elevation glaciers that were more accessible to observation, but also more subject to warming trends.

“Many of the high glaciers would still be too cold to lose mass even in the presence of atmospheric warming,” says co-author John Wahr, a physicist at the University of Colorado. (source)

And of course, none of this says anything about the cause of the warming. Amazing that the ABC reported this, but at least the spin cycle made sure that any good news was diluted by more hectoring warnings of disaster.

Even more dire warnings at the press release here.

More at the UK Guardian here, where it is claimed that “the worlds greatest snow-capped peaks have lost no ice in the last ten years”.

Himalayan glaciers "advancing"

Glaciers not retreating…

Inconvenient Fact of the Day. The ABC has to grit its teeth to report that a significant proportion of Himalayan glaciers are actually advancing, contrary to the expectations of the global warmenistas. But of course, nothing changes the IPCC predictions, and how long will it be before someone chimes in with the inevitable: “advancing glaciers are consistent with global warming”?

The researchers believe a blanket of dust and rock debris was apparently shielding some glaciers in the world’s highest mountain range from a thaw, a factor omitted from past global warming reports. And varying wind patterns might explain why some were defying a melt.

“Our study shows there is no uniform response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change and highlights the importance of debris cover,” scientists at universities in Germany and the United States wrote in the study of 286 glaciers.

The findings underscore that experts in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were wrong to say in a 2007 report that Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035 in a headlong thaw. The panel corrected the error in 2010.

The report says 58 per cent of glaciers examined in the westerly Karakoram range of the Himalayas were stable or advancing, perhaps because they were influenced by cool westerly winds than the monsoon from the Indian Ocean.

But just in case you think this is all too good to be true, the ABC brings us back to earth with a bump:

Elsewhere in the Himalayas “more than 65 per cent of the monsoon-influenced glaciers … are retreating,” they write in the journal Nature Geoscience of the satellite study from 2000 to 2008. Some glaciers that were stable in length were covered by a thick layer of rocky debris. (source)

Another “science is settled” moment, I think…

Fairfax Fantasy: Kilimanjaro glaciers shrinking due to global warming

Like a bad penny, this story just keeps cropping up. It started in Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and has been repeated thousands of time since. Trouble is, it’s just not true:

The snows capping Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, are shrinking rapidly and could vanish altogether in 20 years, most likely due to global warming, a US study says. [“Most likely”? Or should that be “most conveniently”? – Ed]

The ice sheet that capped Kilimanjaro in 1912 was 85 per cent smaller by 2007, and since 2000 the existing ice sheet has shrunk by 26 per cent, the paleoclimatologists said.

The findings point to the rise in global temperatures as the most likely cause of the ice loss. Changes in cloudiness and precipitation may have also played a smaller, less important role, especially in recent decades, they added. [Yeah, of course, it would be less important now, especially since we have an AGW agenda to plug – Ed]

The reality is that the peak of Kilimanjaro has remained below freezing, and that temperatures have not risen in 30 years. Whatever is causing the retreat of glaciers on Kilimanjaro, it ain’t “global warming”. But as usual, don’t let that get in the way of a good story.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Anthony Watts sets the record straight: It’s evapotranspiration, stupid

Nepali cabinet to "meet on Everest"

Only a few days ago we had the Maldives cabinet all pissing in the sea to highlight the “dangers of climate change”, and now we have the Nepali government, heading up Everest to do the same (the air’s pretty thin up there, maybe they’ll all pass out…). And, as always, uncritically reported by our own moonbat media, The Sydney Morning Herald:

The Cabinet will meet at the Everest base camp later this month, just ahead of an international climate change conference next month in Copenhagen, Denmark, Forest and Soil Conservation Minister Deepak Bohara said.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and other Cabinet members will fly by plane to the 5,300 metre camp [and the carbon footprint of that is, exactly? – Ed], the starting point for mountaineers attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain.

Bohara said the meeting is an attempt to highlight the problem of melting glaciers in the Himalayas.

Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate, creating lakes whose walls could burst and flood villages below. Melting ice and snow also make the routes for mountaineers less stable and more difficult to follow. [And that’s caused by climate change, of course. Couldn’t be anything else, oh no – Ed].

Barking climate madness.

Read it here.

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