LBNL on Himalayas: “greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt”

From Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and announcement that comes at a very inconvenient time for IPCC and Pachauri while their “Glaciergate” issue rages. Aerosols and black carbon are tagged as the major drivers. And no mention of disappearance by 2035.

Black Carbon a Significant Factor in Melting of Himalayan Glaciers

The fact that glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are thinning is not disputed. However, few researchers have attempted to rigorously examine and quantify the causes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Surabi Menon set out to isolate the impacts of the most commonly blamed culprit—greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide—from other particles in the air that may be causing the melting. Menon and her collaborators found that airborne black carbon aerosols, or soot, from India is a major contributor to the decline in snow and ice cover on the glaciers.

“Our simulations showed greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt,” says Menon, a physicist and staff scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. “Most of the change in snow and ice cover—about 90 percent—is from aerosols. Black carbon alone contributes at least 30 percent of this sum.”

Menon and her collaborators used two sets of aerosol inventories by Indian researchers to run their simulations; their results were published online in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

The actual contribution of black carbon, emitted largely as a result of burning fossil fuels and biomass, may be even higher than 30 percent because the inventories report less black carbon than what has been measured by observations at several stations in India. (However, these observations are too incomplete to be used in climate models.) “We may be underestimating the amount of black carbon by as much as a factor of four,” she says.

The findings are significant because they point to a simple way to make a swift impact on the snow melt. “Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years, but black carbon doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for more than a few weeks, so the effects of controlling black carbon are much faster,” Menon says. “If you control black carbon now, you’re going to see an immediate effect.”

The Himalayan glaciers are often referred to as the third polar ice cap because of the large amount of ice mass they hold. The glacial melt feeds rivers in China and throughout the Indian subcontinent and provide fresh water to more than one billion people.

Atmospheric aerosols are tiny particles containing nitrates, sulfates, carbon and other matter, and can influence the climate. Unlike other aerosols, black carbon absorbs sunlight, similar to greenhouse gases. But unlike greenhouse gases, black carbon does not heat up the surface; it warms only the atmosphere.

This warming is one of two ways in which black carbon melts snow and ice. The second effect results from the deposition of the black carbon on a white surface, which produces an albedo effect that accelerates melting. Put another way, dirty snow absorbs far more sunlight—and gets warmer faster—than pure white snow.

Previous studies have shown that black carbon can have a powerful effect on local atmospheric temperature. “Black carbon can be very strong,” Menon says. “A small amount of black carbon tends to be more potent than the same mass of sulfate or other aerosols.”

Black carbon, which is caused by incomplete combustion, is especially prevalent in India and China; satellite images clearly show that its levels there have climbed dramatically in the last few decades. The main reason for the increase is the accelerated economic activity in India and China over the last 20 years; top sources of black carbon include shipping, vehicle emissions, coal burning and inefficient stoves. According to Menon’s data, black carbon emitted in India increased by 46 percent from 1990 to 2000 and by another 51 percent from 2000 to 2010.

This map of the change in annual linear snow cover from 1990 to 2001 shows a thick band (blue) across the Himalayas with decreases of at least 16 percent while a few smaller patches (red) saw increases. The data was collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Click for larger image
This map of the change in annual linear snow cover from 1990 to 2001 shows a thick band (blue) across the Himalayas with decreases of at least 16 percent while a few smaller patches (red) saw increases. The data was collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

However, black carbon’s effect on snow is not linear. Menon’s simulations show that snow and ice cover over the Himalayas declined an average of about one percent from 1990 to 2000 due to aerosols that originated from India. Her study did not include particles that may have originated from China, also known to be a large source of black carbon. (See “Black soot and the survival of the Tibetan glaciers,” by James Hansen, et al., published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.) Also the figure is an average for the entire region, which saw increases and decreases in snow cover. As seen in the figure, while a large swath of the Himalayas saw snow cover decrease by at least 16 percent over this period, as reported by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, a few smaller patches saw increases.

Menon’s study also found that black carbon affects precipitation and is a major factor in triggering extreme weather in eastern India and Bangladesh, where cyclones, hurricanes and flooding are common. It also contributes to the decrease in rainfall over central India. Because black carbon heats the atmosphere, it changes the local heating profile, which increases convection, one of the primary causes of precipitation. While this results in more intense rainfall in some regions, it leads to less in other regions. The pattern is very similar to a study Menon led in 2002, which found that black carbon led to droughts in northern China and extreme floods in southern China.

“The black carbon from India is contributing to the melting of the glaciers, it’s contributing to extreme precipitation, and if black carbon can be controlled more easily than greenhouse gases like CO2, then it makes sense for India to regulate black carbon emissions,” says Menon.

Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research for DOE’s Office of Science and is managed by the University of California. Visit our Website at www.lbl.gov/

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159 Responses to LBNL on Himalayas: “greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt”

  1. vibenna says:

    So let’s be clear – the Himalayan glaciers are thinning, with potentially dangerous consequences. Yes we must be clear about the causes, and the science, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that they are thinning.

    REPLY: And let’s not lose sight of the fact that:

    1) Something can be done about black soot and aersols from India, with positive benefits all around
    2) CO2 is not the main driver
    3) The threat of melt has been wildly and irresponsibly exaggerated by the IPCC for the purposes of getting grants
    4) The projection for melt that is realistic is the year 2350…or beyond, Plenty of time to do something about #1

  2. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    “We may be underestimating the amount of black carbon by as much as a factor of four,” she says.

    And, of course, her findings also could be wrong.

    Is it wrong of me to be automatically skeptical of anything coming from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs since it is part of U.S. Government (the Dept. of Energy) and receives $500 million in funding from the U.S. Government?

  3. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    vibenna (22:54:32) :

    So let’s be clear – the Himalayan glaciers are thinning, with potentially dangerous consequences.

    So the sky is falling?

    Until you know one way or the other what the consequences are it may be wise to not assume the worst.

    BTW, what’s your angle in running around like your hair is on fire?

  4. Jan says:

    For me this is the same way believable like the CO2 AGW theory.

  5. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    vibenna (22:54:32) :

    So let’s be clear – the Himalayan glaciers are thinning,

    Ice all over the world has been receding since the end of the Little Ice Age. Can you prove to me this thinning is due mainly to anything else other than the earth emerging from the Little Ice Age?

  6. Ricardo says:

    It’s about time that we are starting to see some real science, rather that the CO2 boogy-man being trotted out; methinks it’s looking a bit tired and tatty.

    I think that anyone, who has been to China and/or India, would be aware of the problem of black soot (or more broadly, smog).

    As I understand it (and let me disclose, I am no scientist) the technology that is used in the ‘west’ to reduce smog particles has not been widely used in the two most populous nations on earth. This is simply due to economics – they can’t afford it. Adding $1,000 the the price of a diesel truck in the west is almost an irrelevancy, but would be an usurious impost on a developing country’s industries.

    I remember reading a report a decade (or so) ago about the high cost of replacing India’s and China’s old diesel trucks and filtering the emissions of their coal fired generators to match the standards of the west. I suspect that the “high cost” would probably have already seen some change out the amount that has been frittered away on the alter of the AGW religion.

    Pity … we could have been there by now.

  7. ADE says:

    The real answer to climate change lies in BIG MONEY AND POWER.
    follow the trails http://euro-med.dk/?p=11956

  8. Gilbert says:

    Horsepuckey

    http://moef.nic.in/downloads/public-information/MoEF%20Discussion%20Paper%20_him.pdf

    Himalayan Glaciers
    A State-of-Art Review of Glacial Studies,
    Glacial Retreat and Climate Change
    – V.K.Raina, Ex. Deputy Director General, Geological Survey of India

  9. tokyoboy says:

    At first sight I failed to recognize the “not” in the headline……

  10. Andy Scrase says:

    This makes a lot of sense to me, as someone who spends a lot of time in the mountains.
    However, we could never tax “black” carbon, obvious innit??

  11. Indiana Bones says:

    Ricardo’s points well taken. The scrubbing technology we use in the West is not installed in India or China – and it should be. China, given the money we send them in trade can afford it. India should receive assistance from World bank or G20 loans to install it.

    There are effective off-shelf technologies to address these types of pollutants. World government and carbon trading need not apply.

  12. Nigel says:

    vibenna (22:54:32) :

    “So let’s be clear – the Himalayan glaciers are thinning, with potentially dangerous consequences. Yes we must be clear about the causes, and the science, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that they are thinning.”

    Lawrence Berkeley National Labs: “The glacial melt feeds rivers in China and throughout the Indian subcontinent and provide fresh water to more than one billion people.”

    So let’s be clear (1) if the glaciers were not melting (‘thinning’) there would be no fresh water for one billion people (2) Glaciers melting as the planet comes out of a mini ice age is an entirely expected natural phenomenon (3) The scientific investigation in this case should be directed towards the question of whether the melt is dangerously exacerbated by anthropogenic causes and, if so, how those anthropogenic causes can be curtailed.

  13. Luboš Motl says:

    There is one trivial physical point that seems to be completely unappreciated in the Himalayan discussion: the greenhouse effect happens in the troposphere, and there’s only a small portion of the troposphere above the Himalayas.

    In other words, the mountains are damn high and the greenhouse warming decreases with the altitude. In fact, the greenhouse warming switches to greenhouse cooling at a certain altitude – roughly speaking in most of the stratosphere.

    Now, of course, there exists the huge discrepancy between the models and the reality concerning the altitude- and latitude- dependence of the warming trend, see e.g.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/08/greenhouse-warming-wrong-altitude-and.html

    But at any rate, you can that the warming in the several-km elevation and 28 degrees North is nowhere close to the warming expected or seen in the Arctic.

  14. vibenna says:

    Anthony – no argument with your Reply comments, except that a single study must be just a tentative finding
    Amino acids .. some evidence is in the study Anthony is citing

    But what I find richly ironic is that China and India are derailing Copenhagen because they want to industrialize. However, this study suggest that the people who will suffer most from their industrial emissions are … Themselves. They could seriously alter their watersheds, with unknown consequences. The soot from burning coal and oil may affect their water supplies, agriculture, and could lead to serious peasant unrest. I wonder if we’ll see a change in policy from China now?

  15. DirkH says:

    “Potentially dangerous consequences” means in post-normal speak: This is our last chance to save the planet! It could be CO2 so let’s abolish it worldwide immediately! In the post-normal world, this kind of behaviour is called “precautionary”.

    You see, it’s all really simple. Post-normal science doesn’t need to find real causes.

  16. wayne says:

    Finally.

    Some reality from proper physics!

    Thank you, Lawrence Berkeley physicists!
    (And thank you for your integrity.)

  17. D. King says:

    vibenna (23:51:35) :

    “…and could lead to serious peasant unrest.”

    I’m speechless.

  18. magicjava says:

    It nice to see that scientists who look at some of these alternatives are getting decent press, but in the end, this is just another computer model that has made up numbers with the scientists adding non-peer reviewed speculation to the press release.

    In other words, par for the course. This particular example of pseudoscience just happens to agree with the skeptics position rather than the believers.

  19. TonyB says:

    This comes into the category of ‘I thought we knew this already but apparently don’t.’ (The older you get the more studies fall into this category!)

    In researching the history of arctic ice variations through the ages I came across various contemporary references from around 1850 made by Arctic scientists-including Scoresby-who had observed the effects of soot on the melting of ice and recorded it over a number of expeditions. The source was not from Tambora but thought to be from US industry (there is a graph of US emissions in the referenced paper below.)

    This partly coincided with one of the considerable periodic melts of the Arctic sea ice cap and of Greenland glaciers.

    There have been studies since, including this one where Hansen fingered Black carbon as the easiest cause of ice melt to eliminate.

    Nature 2009

    http://www.projectsurya.org/storage/nature-blackcarbon-7-2009.pdf

    Now of course there must be more to it than that, as the greatest recorded melt of all in Viking times wouldn’t have had significant in put from Man.

    So as a secondary cause of ice melt Black carbon sounds plausble-whether it is a primary cause is another matter.

    Tonyb

  20. John Wright says:

    In the late Fifties as a teenager I lived in what was called the Black Country to the NW of Birmingham in the British Midlands and remember the smogs and the crazy sepia sunsets. When I got to school on my bike, my eyes were often sore with grit, so I can well envisage the soot particle thing having experienced it first-hand. But I see that problem not as “global”, but localised – which can still mean very wide areas and areas affected downwind with large populations and ecologies affected. I know for instance that in Quebec, pollution from heavy industry around Chicago and Detroit is blamed for the heavy river fogs on the lower St. Lawrence. Don’t know how true this is, but I can buy into the idea of the effect of black carbon needing further research and eventual action, whereas I have never been convinced by the CO2-pollution claim (that’s why I follow this blog). But I speak as a concerned non-scientist.

  21. Andy Scrase says:

    OT: From the Beeb

    Phishing attack nets 3 million euros of carbon permits

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8497129.stm

    So finally a scam gets hit by a scam?

  22. wayne says:

    Keep in mind, this black carbon falls, rains, or snows out of the atmosphere rather quickly after winds disperse it, but when it falls on snow or ice, it doesn’t just go away. Not until enough of melt water can physically wash it off, it keeps absorbing the sun’s radiation day after day.

    I use that principle yearly on my sidewalks and driveway. I rarely shovel. A small amount of saved ash from my fireplace is dusted on the surfaces the next day and I let the sun do the back-breaking work. It is not instant but the snow or ice melts days earlier than if the particles are not there, and what runs off is harmless fertilizer.

    Does this get on the glaciers? You bet. Look at the map. I’ve been wondering when some honest physicist would raise this simple, logical reality to the public. How much of the arctic is affected also? However, the new pristine ice is clean now after the 2007 melt.

  23. Aerosols are the least understood aspect of the climate. The Himalayas are one example. The question about whether black carbon is responsible for much of the Arctic melt is another.

    And the more important one, raised by that skeptical bunch known as the “IPCC”, is whether aerosols actually cancel out the warming effect of CO2.

    Those Hazy Skeptics at the IPCC
    And find out more about the basic science behind CO2 – An Insignificant Trace Gas?

  24. Sam Lau says:

    vibenna (23:51:35) :

    Anthony – no argument with your Reply comments, except that a single study must be just a tentative finding
    Amino acids .. some evidence is in the study Anthony is citing

    But what I find richly ironic is that China and India are derailing Copenhagen because they want to industrialize. However, this study suggest that the people who will suffer most from their industrial emissions are … Themselves. They could seriously alter their watersheds, with unknown consequences. The soot from burning coal and oil may affect their water supplies, agriculture, and could lead to serious peasant unrest. I wonder if we’ll see a change in policy from China now?

    I have to say that China is already seeing a rapid rise of unsettled peasent, last couple of years sees China having roughly 100,000 incidents that involve the conclict between peasents and the government, almost 10 times it was 10 years ago, due to all the developments in China. ( Chinese government is well known for grabbing land from the peasents for building stuff )

    I do not feel that the government will do much to the issue, the central government may want to but the local government that enforce the law will be business-as-usual anyway. ( Failed to remind you that the Chinese government is the rightest government in the world as far as I can understand – nationalism, ruthless capitalism not catering the lower class, rapidly increasing armament, etc. )

  25. David says:

    Re…vibenna (23:51:35)
    ” But what I find richly ironic is that China and India are derailing Copenhagen because they want to industrialize.”
    Yes, they want electrcity in homes for lights, heat and cooking, instead of burning wood and dung. What is Ironic? Life is full of choices, India and China are choosing modernization, which leads to less pollution, more efficient energy, lower population etc. Go summer camping in Yosemite to see what a city of small fires does.

    However, this study suggest that the people who will suffer most from their industrial emissions are … Themselves.”
    As mentioned, life is a trade off, you seam to only see the 1/2 empty side. Particulate pollution is a serious problem, so is not having basic energy and the health and benefits it can provide.

    “They could seriously alter their watersheds, with unknown consequences.” The soot from burning coal and oil may affect their water supplies, agriculture, and could lead to serious peasant unrest. I wonder if we’ll see a change in policy from China now?”
    They may be getting slighhtly more run off from the glaciers, and slightly less rain in the other areas, I to have no comment for the “peasent unrest”. I think and hope both China and India will move towards controlling particulate pollution, with “known” problems, and learn from “known” environmental mistakes the more developed world has made, and are still making.

  26. David says:

    Sam Lau (01:01:28) :

    I agree with your comments about the evils of China, I see the evil as communism, just saying CO2 is the least of their problems, and actually is probably feeding millions in China.

  27. David says:

    It is somewhat remarkable to hear the actions of communist China, doing what communist governments have always done, described as “ruthless capitalism.”

  28. JMANON says:

    Let’s not forget that this is the result of running “simulations” based on the carbon inventory. When ever i see that now I start to get twitchy.

    Er, simulations – would they be compute models now?
    Then they could probably feed in a shopping list and get a significant result, we would then be told it is all Tesco’s or WallMart’s fault.

    Is all science reduced to sitting in a nice warm comfy office and grabbing data from here there and everywhere and then stuffing it into a computer?
    Does no one actually get out on the ground and actually see if there is any real soot on the glaciers and do that year on year to see what happens?
    Of course, its a bit of a bugger if it snows and covers up the soot (unless glaciers are formed by sublimation or something, I imagine it must snow occasionally at these altitudes, so I imagine they also have to feed in snow fall data and sun/cloud days data (just like the HadCru data).
    Maybe they also have to actually get out there and measure the albedo or is that produced by yet another computer program from who knows who? (the WWF? Climbers Weekly?)
    Plus if the stuff is particulate then they have to perform plume analysis to see just how much really is from India and not China……..
    Now that’s just off the top of my head.
    On the other hand the disappearing snows of Kilimanjaro were not due to any of the above, they say, but due to deforestation affecting humidity affecting “melt” so I guess they also need humidty data going back over the years, and so on.
    Now glacier size etc must also be based on original ice plus added ice due to snow/rain/humidity minus ice that melts due to all of the above including temperature.
    So I assume this “simulation” also accounts for all these factors and all the ones a true scientist can come up with based on years of experience and not just a few that joe public can think of in two minutes.
    Some of these stories are just a tad to convenient and a bit too vague for a lay person to get to grips with but given everything else that is going on is someone feeding out just enough rope to see who will hang themselves?
    And who peer reviews this stuff? does a peer reviewer actually check the computer models these days? the data? the factors included? is there some kind of gold standard for reveiwers? or do they just ask themselves if they trust the author/author’s institution?

  29. Alan the Brit says:

    As already pointed out, this “study” with yet another “model” may be right, or it may be wrong. All I know is that this carbon crap, the stuff that all life is based upon, that is terribly polluting & toxic apparently, is used by water companies in sewage treatment works as a filter bed to remove pollutants from the treated & filtered waste water, often recyced many times over.

    Also, that water filter jug you may keep in the fridge has a filter containing……….carbon, or as they like to call it, charcoal, as most people won’t get the connection for ages. Also, those of you who have a water filter by your sink, have one that most likely (95% probability based on strict IPCC peer-reviewed data requirements), contains activated charcoal (carbon) to remove the bad tases & odours. Also, those of you who have an air filtration product(s) in your home, they contain activated charcoal (carbon) to remove the bad air to give you good air. Well, if that hasn’t scared the crap out of most nsa & Amway reps then I don’t know what will. If they want to object I will be only too happy to remove these comments for a small (not) fee!!!! BTW, do they still use carbon brushes on electric motors? Oh & in those carbon writing implements, you know, carbon surrounded by a material containing mostly sugars & carbon, oh what are they called now my memory gets bad these days, oh that’s right, pencils, will we be banned from using them to kick around ideas about nano-carbon technology, nano-tubes, buckie-balls, etc., on a piece of carbon based writing material, called paper? What on earth will we wipe our ar……..?

    I remember 15 years ago, when working on civil engineering projects, talking with some environmental engineers who were worried about not being able to clean up the leachate sufficiently from landfill sites, I recommended to them buying all the BBQ charcoal from B & Q (UK DIY store) & compacting it at the outflow end & see what happens! One commented, it’s “really amazing stuff you know what it can remove”, to the senior engineer!

    Oh & finally, spreading the fireplace ash on the snow & ice – nice one!!! I do the same.

    AtB

  30. J.Peden says:

    vibenna (23:51:35) :

    “…and could lead to serious peasant unrest.”

    Is that worse than when “the natives get restless”, always a sure sign of danger in Hollywood movies? I’m spoofing it because it’s so vague.

    Not that you’ll need to tell me/us, but why not try to think up some good things that “could” happen? Or maybe some good things even stemming from “serious peasant unrest”, whatever that means. Because many “climate change” people seem to have fallen prey to some kind of extreme and automatic fear of change neurosis, “and we’re all gonna die” from almost anything that might possibly happen. And by now it’s gotten pretty old, given the failure of AGWers to come up with much of anything valid from GW in the way of “disasters”.

  31. Stephan says:

    This is superb!
    IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks

  32. David says:

    Hmm. Major burner of coal in India: steel industry. Major steel industry player: TATA Steel….TERI….Pachauri….IPCC….CO2.
    Means, motive, opportunity.

  33. Geoff Sherrington says:

    No glaciers here in Oz, only questions. Q1. Would not the soot affect the albedo only until covered by the next snow fall or drift of driven snow? It needs only to be covered by a mm or so. Is this dynamic included in the math modelling? Q2. What happens to the soot after a short time? Does it not oxidise to CO2 and go into the air, statics versus dynamics again? Q3. Why not face the unpalatable and look at Indian cremation as a soot source? Q4. Is not the downstream water supply governed by precipitation in river basins, with glacial meting being a tiny (and mostly renewed annually) source of water? Q5. If one is worried about water loss, one builds a dam or several, no? Q6. Having several times been around the China India Tibet region where the Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong and Yangtse rivers pass within 100 miles of each other, I can attest to seeing very little smog and a very small populace to produce it by human activity. (Smog is not the same entity as soot?) This area shows as a big blob of red increase on the map above. I can understand it being neutral, but cannot explain why glacial ice is increasing here. Look up Lijiang Yunnan on Google Earth and go slowly west for 150 miles to see some very rugged country, even more rugged a bit further north.

  34. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Re Sam Lau (01:01:28) :

    The Chinese Government is perhaps the smartest of the large Governments these days. Here’s an extract from World Nuclear News, 21 August 2009-

    “New reactor construction start in China. First concrete has been poured for Yangjiang unit 2 in Guangdong province in China. This is a 1080 MWe largely indigenous design, the second of four being built as phase 1 on the site. This brings to 16 the number of reactors under construction in China, with 35 more planned to start building in the next three years.”

    Should make a dent in the soot and CO2, eh?

  35. AlanG says:

    Earth to Heaven: We are going to STOP CLIMATE CHANGE from now on.
    Heaven: That’s my department.
    Heaven to Sun: That monkey on planet 3 is getting above himself again. He wants to control the weather now.
    Sun: Ha ha! Shall I turn off for a while? I’m due for a rest.
    Heaven: No, just slow down a while and show them who’s boss.
    Sun: Will do; one minimum coming up. With added ice…

  36. AdderW says:

    “You are funded by Big Oil” the racist card of the CAGW crowd.

  37. Leigh says:

    OT, but you may be interested in this interview with Michael Oppenheimer on ABC TV (Australia). Click on the link below, then on the box titled “IPCC scientists on the defensive as sceptics step up assault”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/

    Who said the snow had stopped?

  38. Ron Broberg says:

    @ wayne (00:38:37) : I’ve been wondering when some honest physicist would raise this simple, logical reality to the public.

    Well, funny that you would mention that …

    Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers
    Xu, et. al, 2009
    Contributed by James Hansen, October 15, 2009

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/52/22114.full

    See also …

    Melting of major Glaciers in the western Himalayas: evidence of climatic changes from long term MSU derived tropospheric temperature trend (1979–2008)
    Prasad, et.al, 2009
    The unequal distribution of the warming trend over the year is discussed in this study and is partially attributed to a number of controlling factors such as sunlight duration, CO2 trends over the region (2003–2008), water vapor and aerosol distribution

    http://www.ann-geophys.net/27/4505/2009/angeo-27-4505-2009.pdf

    And …

    Cryospheric change in China
    Li, et. al, 2006
    Total glacier area has receded by about 5.5%. Snow mass has increased slightly. Permafrost is clearly degrading, as indicated by shrinking areas of permafrost, increasing depth of the active layer, rising of lower limit of permafrost, and thinning of the seasonal frost depth. Some models predict that glacier area shrinkage could be as high as 26.7% in 2050, with glacier runoff increasing until its maximum in about 2030.

    http://tinyurl.com/ylnxs2u

  39. Ron Broberg says:

    I mis-cited “Cryospheric change in China”
    It was published in 2008.

  40. George Tetley says:

    Ricardo (23:17:34):
    You Sir, like many others above don’t understand the real problem, the real problem is no easy fix like filters, diesel trucks, etc, the problem in India and China with Black carbon will take at least another hundred years to resolve.
    I first visited India in 1959 and China in 1964 the rural areas of both these countries have changed little in the last 50 years, hundreds yes hundreds of millions still without electricity, drinking water, sanitation , and cooking with charcoal, wood, coal, animal dung, in India alone there are millions of people dependent on charcoal as an employment, until there is eduction and services to rural areas in these countries ( 60% of the population live without services ) the best intentions in the world will do nothing.
    Example:
    In 2007 I was driving in Northern India and the Jeep we were in had a flat tire in the middle of a village (population 3-4,000 people ) these people to watch TV walked 12 km to another village that had 2 TV sets, and had to pay to watch, (no money, a chicken, a bag of charcoal, etc,) I spoke to the village letter writer ( a man in the market with a typewriter without many of the letters of the alphabet, he explained he wrote these letters in ink ) he asked how much the small diesel generator we had cost, I told him about $500 this he informed me was more money than the entire village possessed.

  41. Patrick Davis says:

    “vibenna (22:54:32) :

    REPLY: And let’s not lose sight of the fact that:

    1) Something can be done about black soot and aersols from India, with positive benefits all around
    2) CO2 is not the main driver
    3) The threat of melt has been wildly and irresponsibly exaggerated by the IPCC for the purposes of getting grants
    4) The projection for melt that is realistic is the year 2350…or beyond, Plenty of time to do something about #1″

    Bravo!! That man deserves a VB (Or a Becks, it’s better. Now I need to hide from the locals).

  42. supercritical says:

    Um.

    Could anyone answer this thought-experiment?

    Say a visiting Vogon spaceship scoops up all the glaciers in the Himalayas, and replaces them with special slippery mats so that any new snow falling on these areas automatically slides down instantly and is carried away by the rivers and streams.

    Now, will people living further down the vallies notice any difference as a result of the Vogon action ?

  43. TerryS says:

    Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years … Menon says

    Where does this 100 years come from? I’ve looked at the discussion paper and this claim isn’t made anywhere in the paper.

  44. joseph says:

    interesting piece in Guardian website today, dont know how relevant it ishttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/04/understanding-glacier-changes:

  45. Sandy says:


    wayne (23:59:45) :
    Finally.

    Some reality from proper physics!

    Thank you, Lawrence Berkeley physicists!
    (And thank you for your integrity.)


    They’re only ‘models’ based on buggrall data points.
    Let’s see what 10yrs of snow does to the actual glaciers.

  46. Chris Edwards says:

    What is not said is to save the glacier never ever buy anything from Indi or China! the gore carbon credit scam is the very worst thing for the glaciers that could be thought up, keep the industry in the regulated west and it will get better, dont even patronise a company with an overseas call centre (not that they are any use either).

  47. Gareth says:

    Dr. Syed Hasnain, the one who cooked up the 2035 deadline, gave a lecture at NASA in November discussing black carbon and aerosols.

    And yet the 2035 claim was robustly defended by Dr. Pachauri himself until as late as 20th January.(IIRC)

    Is it possible to distinguish between the effects of carbon particulates and bog standard dust? The kind that gets whipped up from arid areas and carried for miles, and gets worse when you chop down trees, graze goats and the like?

  48. “Our simulations showed greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt,” says Menon, of Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

    When Berkeley’s Environmental Energy Lab feels the heat, the CO2 propaganda iceberg is obviously melting!

    It is great that the story also identifies the purpose of the federal funds pouring into that division of the Berkeley lab: Environmental Energy.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  49. Leon Brozyna says:

    Thesis-gate

    It’s worse than we thought — again.

    From IPCC’s AR4, all three working groups had included the following citations, some unpublished:

    9 citations from Master’s theses;
    31 citations from PhD theses.

    Redefined peer review?

    Detailed listing can be found here:

    http://climatequotes.com/2010/02/03/ipcc-cited-multiple-masters-students-in-ar4-some-unpublished/

  50. rbateman says:

    Two things here:
    1.) It’s rather easy to control black carbon in an industrial setting. MSHA does it with it’s ‘permissible’ underground diesel regulation.
    2.) Aerosols effect on precipitation is a zero-sum game, and this has been known for a very long time. Cloud seeding ‘enhancement’ is nothing more than borrowing, and does not increase precipitation. It does not add to the total, it moves when & where it occurs.

  51. Alexander says:

    Climate change, the melting of glaciers, seas rising and falling, temps trending up and then trending down all seem to be inevitable parts of the natural train of events. Great Britain was once tropical, the rock that historic Edinburgh Castle sits on is a volcanic plug and much of the British topography, including the English Channel (dunno what the French call it!) was formed by retreating glaciers. Much of the American West was a shallow sea before the dinosaurs came to an end. Why do people get the idea that the process should be halted, and how incredibly arrogant to think that Man can do this. What we can do is take care of the environment with sensible measures, such as not discharging noxious waste into rivers, the sea or the air, etc. All the alarmist Chicken-Little stuff does is give the world’s snake oil salesmen a shot at organising another dishonest income stream.
    That black carbon does have an effect on glacier melt rates seems a sensible proposition, but the official Indian study states that some glaciers are retreating and some are not which suggests that there is ample time for careful study and data-gathering of a phenomenon which maybe a non-problem.

  52. Henry chance says:

    “cooking with charcoal, wood, coal, animal dung”

    exactly and heating from the same. Many do not even have chimneys.
    This 75% of the population of India and China. American communists have daily articles from Red China with modern pictures. It is far from true.

  53. MattN says:

    I’ve held the position for years that soot was a major factor being ignored by just about everyone. Hopefully now that some extremely smart scientists have said that, others will begin to listen.

    We don’t *NEED* to do anything about CO2. We *NEED* to get China and India to clean up their emissions like we have.

  54. Tom in Florida says:

    In 1991 Saddam torched the oil wells in Iraq. I seem to recall that at first there was fear of a “nuclear winter” scenario around the globe from this but it never happened due to the Himalayas. How much black carbon was deposited in the Himalayas at that time? How long did it take for the glaciers to recover from that?

  55. David Becker, Ph.D. says:

    This work appears (I haven’t read the original paper) to be the result of a computer model. This makes the conclusions very suspect without some very strong supporting empirical data, such as a dose-response effect. I would not take the work seriously until actual experiments show the effect is real.

  56. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Readers here may recall a few weeks back that the head of the Met Office here in England (John Hirst) said in an interview that they predicted the falling off of global temps after 1999. I made an enquiry to the Met Office for proof of that:
    “Hello. Five minutes into this interview http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_daily_politics/8443687.stm John Hirst says that you predicted the levelling off of temperatures in 1999. Can you kindly provide the link to prove this? Thank you.”

    Today I’ve had an extraordinary reply from the Met Office which has left me bewildered in its utter nonsense:

    “Thank you for your email about John Hirst’s interview on Newsnight 6th January 2010. Implicit in Mr Hirst’s response to a question about average temperatures today and in 1999, he would possibly have had in mind the following references regarding average temperatures. A paper was published in the journal “Science” in 2007 and was a prediction that between 2005 and 2014 global temperatures would level for a time before rising again. To see a Met Office news release about this please see: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2007/pr20070810.html.
    More details about decadal forecasting can be found at: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/science/creating/monthsahead/decadal/index.html where you will see a decadal graph. There are four projections for different 10 year periods, beginning in 1986, 1995, 2005 and 2008. The white line, or in the last forecast, the blue line, shows the most likely prediction with the red shading and thin blue lines showing the range of confidence in the prediction. The black line shows the observed trend. I hope this help to clarify matters for you.”

    They actually believe that somehow this explains Mr Hirst’s statement! It’s Alice In Wonderland stuff.

  57. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ George Tetley (03:09:44) :

    Indeed. Having spent a couple years in various 3rd world backwaters myself, I understand your comment and pov precisely. There are many parts of this planet that are absolutely medieval and some that are still stone age, with all that implies. For people who have never lived in anything close to those circumstances, it is impossible for them to understand it. And it is equally impossible to adequately describe it to them, even in pictures or video. Therefore, they will never understand that raising the cultural level of the entire world to that of the industrialized nations is also impossible. But it is quite possible for the modern world to regress.

  58. View from the Solent says:

    OT, but congratulations! The Spectator

  59. NicL says:

    “, will people living further down the vallies notice any difference as a result of the Vogon action ?”

    Only if they do not have to listen to the poetry.

  60. L Bowser says:

    @ Geoff Sherrington

    “New reactor construction start in China. First concrete has been poured for Yangjiang unit 2 in Guangdong province in China. This is a 1080 MWe largely indigenous design, the second of four being built as phase 1 on the site. This brings to 16 the number of reactors under construction in China, with 35 more planned to start building in the next three years.”

    Should make a dent in the soot and CO2, eh

    Not one bit, unless you mean making a dent in slowing CO2 emission growth. The number of new plants of this size required to meet the annual increase in electricity demand in China is ~30 per year. Assuming it takes 2 years to construct, they are building nuclear on a pace of ~10/year, only one third of what is needed. The balance is being met by coal.

    I would however say this is why it was a little disingenuous when they graciously offered a reduction in carbon intensity target at Copenhagen. It was already in the works. From the increase in nuke power alone they will reach they intensity target.

  61. wws says:

    There have been pictures available for years of the huge brown cloud that extends hundreds of miles from the Indian coast out into the ocean. What’s worth noting is the reason *why* this has been something no one in “the movement” wants to talk about.

    Smog, soot, and other particulates is directly caused by the people living in the area – and what one of the principles of the church of AGW is that *No* fault or blame can be layed on third world peoples or nations, and *all* blame and cost must be piled on the industrialized nations of the west.

    The rule is: If you can’t blame it on the west, don’t talk about it.

  62. john pattinson says:

    Soot deposits causing local warming and melting of galciers is an example of man made caused weather/climate change. Is this paper published on this site because it is an example of this and so supporting warming arguments? Or is it trying to divert attention from man made increases in CO2, because that is more difficult to deal with – which is implied in the first point of the initial Reply. Either way this paper shows how man is impacting significantly on the environment in a way that is harmful to future generations

    At least the head in the sand (or should it be soot) commentators remain consistent – I always hear echos of “No surrender” when I read through their ‘rebutals’.

  63. dave ward says:

    Soot is the by product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels. This is usually due to poor design/maintenance of boilers and engines. If you employ filters to remove it you haven’t solved the original problem. If, however, you improve the combustion process, you get more energy from the same amount of fuel, or use less of it to start with. The first option has the downside? of converting the soot to CO2. But as seems to be generally agreed (on here at least), this is less damaging than the soot. The best option is to use less fuel to start with, but it costs money to use the technology we are familiar with in the “developed” world.

    MattN (05:02:49) : puts it very succinctly with his comment:

    “We don’t *NEED* to do anything about CO2. We *NEED* to get China and India to clean up their emissions like we have.”

  64. Richard Wakefield says:

    We need to be very careful in our evaluation of reseasrch results like this. There is a tendency that all science is now tainted because of the Hockeystick Team. That because AGW is a hoax that any science related to climate must also be wrong. Fortunately science does not work that way. I’m not saying this research is correct, that’s what more research is for. I’m just saying be cautious in out right rejecting this because of the past history of climate science. Each item must be evaluated on it’s own.

    If this study is true, then it seems to me that a careful study elsewhere on the planet can be done to compare. Maybe wind patterns will show where the soot lands the most and correlate that with the melting rate.

    To proclaim without evidence that humans are not having an impact on the planet and climate in some way is niave. We do. The question is, to what effect, by how much, to what extent and is it bad? That has to be answered one item at a time.

    With recent cold records, seems to me any additional heating we can apply would be good.

  65. Veronica says:

    Alan the Brit. You are not proving anything with your little piece on the innocuousness of carbon. Things (like carbon) are only dangerous if they are in the wrong place. The fact that we use carbon in our water filters is irrelevant as to whether it causes problems when sprinkled on to ice.

    A bit like water. Nice in a glass, fine in your stomach, but more of a problem in the cabins on your ship, or in your luncgs.

  66. PaulH says:

    “Our simulations showed… blah, blah, blah”

    I’m sorry, but I find that more often than not I automatically tune out when I see that phrase.

  67. Hutrefulken says:

    It seems to me that you agree with IPCC:
    “In its 2007 report, the IPCC estimated for the first time the direct radiative forcing of black carbon from fossil fuel emissions at + 0.2 W/m2, and the radiative forcing of black carbon through its effect on the surface albedo of snow and ice at an additional + 0.1 W/m2.[12] More recent studies and public testimony by many of the same scientists cited in the IPCC’s report estimate that emissions from black carbon are the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide emissions, and that reducing these emissions may be the fastest strategy for slowing climate change.[5][13]”

    “According to the IPCC, “the presence of black carbon over highly reflective surfaces, such as snow and ice, or clouds, may cause a significant positive radiative forcing.”[26] The IPCC also notes that emissions from biomass burning, which usually have a negative forcing[27], have a positive forcing over snow fields in areas such as the Himalayas.[28]”

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

  68. rbateman says:

    David Becker, Ph.D. (05:09:29) :

    Gather all the data on cloud-seeding programs.
    Look at the results in terms of where the precipitation fell in the region for up to 3 years afterwards. There you will find your empirical data.

    After 35 years of picking up the paper or hearing on the news that so & so is going to ‘enhance’ the season’s precip in Nowhere, Particular my ears perk up.
    I know what comes next.
    Peter gets robbed and Paul gets a dividend.
    Next 1-3 yrs Paul’s allowance is subject to hidden fees.
    Nothing changes except the locale affected and how long before the account is settled in full.

  69. Bridget H-S says:

    “MattN (05:02:49) :

    I’ve held the position for years that soot was a major factor being ignored by just about everyone. Hopefully now that some extremely smart scientists have said that, others will begin to listen.

    We don’t *NEED* to do anything about CO2. We *NEED* to get China and India to clean up their emissions like we have.”

    Spot on MattN. Someone else commented about pollution in the Midlands in their youth. My parents used to tell me about the pea-soupers in London, thankfully a vague memory now. For the millions living either side of the Himalayas, the governments of India and China ought to be cleaning up their pollution to protect not just the respiratory health of their citizens but also to protect the glaciers on which they are dependant for their water. I don’t think the question of the time it takes for the glaciers to melt is relevant here (unless it can be proven to have a very damaging effect), but the atmospheric pollution could be easily controlled. The cost is another matter and I daresay it is easier for those governments to blame CO2 and obtain guilt money from the west to pay for it but there must come a time when they have to take responsibility for their own countries. They can learn quickly from our past mistakes and benefit immediately from the technology that has been developed to control particulate pollution. History is not always a bad thing.

    It may be a computer model and perhaps it should be reviewed (has it been peer-reviewed and published in a journal?) but it should not be dismissed out of hand because of it.

  70. geo says:

    aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES (23:03:04) :

    Is it wrong of me to be automatically skeptical of anything coming from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs since it is part of U.S. Government (the Dept. of Energy) and receives $500 million in funding from the U.S. Government?
    ++++

    I’m sorry, it is a little unclear what you’re suggesting here. . . could you spell it out?

    LBNL is part of the executive branch, headed by President Obama, he of Copenhagan hectoring, EPA CO2 regulating, cap ‘n trade, etc. . . Cheney & Co have been gone for some time now. LBNL is also home to Ben “Wish I could get those skeptics in a dark alley” Santer.

  71. Steve Goddard says:

    This is how global warming science works.

    1. CO2 is increasing
    2. Any observed or imagined phenomena are blamed on (1)
    3. Write a paper describing (2) in scary language, and get on the front page of the BBC website

  72. Dr. Robert says:

    This is a really great read, but I too feel like we can’t champion this because it’s based on computer models. It’s no more real than all of the BS that alarmists have been throwing at us.

  73. Alan the Brit says:

    TerryS (03:28:42) :

    Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years … Menon says

    Where does this 100 years come from? I’ve looked at the discussion paper and this claim isn’t made anywhere in the paper.

    As far as I can tell, this is direct from the IPCC themselves who are the world’s leading authority on Climate Change, allegedly, & the only ones to claim such a thing, completely arbitrarily it would seem. Of 25 or so studes from the 1990 to 2005 or thereabouts seems to produce a range of between 5 years & 25 years, with a dominant mean of about 7 years. I can send you a link if I can find it in my bulging lever-arch file on AGW where you can read a summary of it, although others may be able to do better in shorter timeframe?

  74. geo says:

    I’m not sure why this report is inherently problematic for IPCC. While they blew the date pretty badly originally, it should be remembered that IPCC actually stands for “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” rather than “Intergovernmental Panel on C02 Changes”. They can easily add next time trying to shake-down “rich” countries for black carbon suppression as well. “Alms for the glaciers! Alms for the glaciers!” is the real overarching theme they care about, this just puts another arrow in the quiver.

  75. Javelin says:

    Good on them.

    Perhaps India will stop the pollution it spews out before they all die of thrist.

  76. SteveE says:

    A very interesting article. Does the soot also effect the global temperature though and account for the global warming by increasing the energy absorbed from the sun? It says:

    “But unlike greenhouse gases, black carbon does not heat up the surface; it warms only the atmosphere.”

    Surely warming the atmosphere is the problem that we are facing. And if there is more CO2 in the atmosphere this will only serve to act as a feed back loop.

    Thankfully the problem of soot is one that can be easily resolved, I imagine getting India and China to do something about it will be the hard part!

  77. James Sexton says:

    OT, but Fox is running a story I hadn’t seen earlier. http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/04/climate-chief-defends-panels-global-warming-findings/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fscitech+%2528Text+-+SciTech%2529

    And quotes from Yvo de Boer. They’re robustly defending the science again.

  78. Khwarizmi says:

    During the ice-age scare of the seventies, the geo-engineering solution most frequently cited involved sprinkling soot on the icecaps.

    Now we can be sure it will work.

    This is great news!

    refs:
    ————
    Another Ice Age?, Time Magazine, June 1974
    In Search Of (The Coming Ice Age), narrated by Leonard Nimoy, 1978 (mention of soot as a possible solution, pt3)

    Cooling World, Newsweek, April 1975 (mention of soot as possible solution)
    ————

  79. Harry says:

    “We may be underestimating the amount of black carbon by as much as a factor of four,” she says.

    China burns 42% of the worlds coal. One only needs to look at various pictures from Beijing to realize that China has a soot problem.

    If I read the report correcting, they only used data provided by India.

    In the US soot has been regulated since the 1980’s.

    It’s relatively cheap to clean up soot emissions from power plants, way way cheaper then trying to control CO2 emissions.

    Hansen et al have been arguing ‘it’s the soot’ for at least 10 years.

  80. Pamela Gray says:

    No, no, and no. This looks like a weather pattern variation to me, not melting ice. Less snow to begin with. The balance tipped in favor of less snow, causing the annual melt to not be replaced. It is very likely that what appears to be increasing glacial melt is not because of acceleration of melt or warmer anything, it is because the steady state seasonal melting is not being recovered during snow and ice build-up season. That’s weather folks. Not black carbon.

  81. Oliver Ramsay says:

    Glaciers are either a finite resource for earthlings or no resource at all.
    If they melt, they provide water until they’re gone.
    If they don’t melt, they provide no water.
    It appears that they are melting these days, although, clearly at some point they weren’t melting and that’s how they got to be there in the first place.
    So, if 2350 seems an undesirable date for the last drop of glacier water, when would be a more satisfactory time?
    As with oil and other finite resources, our descendants, either 5 generations or 500 generations from now, will be staring balefully into an empty bucket.

  82. Tenuc says:

    Another piece of fluff science writing that doesn’t look at the basics before spouting ‘doom’

    First step would have been to get an accurate figure on the amount of soot and aerosols effecting the Himalayan mountains. Without an accurate number for this the whole premise is flawed.

    In fact she admits that 30% of the loss is due to black carbon alone and estimates the real figure could be up to four times as high. If this were true, surely 120% of the ‘thining’ would be caused by soot, without considering the effects of aerosols?

    This would also mean that CO2 must have little or no effect effect and that glaciers would be growing if industrial pollution could be stopped?

    More rubbish from the computer modellers at Berkeley Lab – they’ve really lost the plot!

    Meanwhile the glaciers continue to shrink and grow as they always have done over the millennia at the behest of the deterministic chaos which is inherent in our strongly coupled Earth/Sun climate system.

  83. TanGeng says:

    WE don’t NEED India and China to do anything. THEY NEED to do it for their own sake. Soot effects are so localized that it can’t be called global warming.

  84. Ed Scott says:

    Feb 3, 2010 by Mark Steyn

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/02/03/credibility-is-what-is-really-melting/

    Whenever I write about “climate change,” a week or two later there’s a flurry of letters whose general line is: la-la-la can’t hear you. Dan Gajewski of Ottawa provided a typical example in our Dec. 28 issue. I’d written about the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit’s efforts to “hide the decline,” and mentioned that Phil Jones, their head honcho, had now conceded what I’d been saying for years—that there has been no “global warming” since 1997. Tim Flannery, Australia’s numero uno warm-monger, subsequently confirmed this on Oz TV, although he never had before.
    In response, Mr. Gajewski wrote to our Letters page: “Steyn’s column on climate change was one-sided, juvenile and inarticulate.”

    Yes, yes, but what Steyn column isn’t? That’s just business as usual. A more pertinent question is: was any of it, you know, wrong?

    Well, our reader didn’t want to get hung on footling details: “The disproportionate evidence supports the anthropogenic cause of global warming,” he concluded.

    Yes, but how did the “evidence” get to be quite so “disproportionate”?

    Take the Himalayan glaciers. They’re supposed to be entirely melted by 2035. The evidence is totally disproportionate, man. No wonder professor Orville Schell of Berkeley is so upset about it: “Lately, I’ve been studying the climate-change-induced melting of glaciers in the Greater Himalaya,” he wrote. “Understanding the cascading effects of the slow-motion downsizing of one of the planet’s most magnificent landforms has, to put it politely, left me dispirited.” I’ll say. Professor Schell continued: “If you focus on those Himalayan highlands, a deep sense of loss creeps over you—the kind that comes from contemplating the possible end of something once imagined as immovable, immutable, eternal . . .”

    Poor chap. Still, you can’t blame him for being in the slough of despond. That magnificent landform is melting before his eyes like the illustration of the dripping ice cream cone that accompanied his eulogy for the fast vanishing glaciers. Everyone knows they’re gonna be gone in a generation. “The glaciers on the Himalayas are retreating,” said Lord Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and author of the single most influential document on global warming. “We’re facing the risk of extreme runoff, with water running straight into the Bay of Bengal and taking a lot of topsoil with it. A few hundred square miles of the Himalayas are the source for all the major rivers of Asia—the Ganges, the Yellow River, the Yangtze—where three billion people live. That’s almost half the world’s population.” And NASA agrees, and so does the UN Environment Programme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the World Wildlife Fund, and the respected magazine the New Scientist. The evidence is, like, way disproportionate.

    But where did all these experts get the data from? Well, NASA’s assertion that Himalayan glaciers “may disappear altogether” by 2030 rests on one footnote, citing the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report from 2007.

    In fact, the Fourth Assessment Report suggests 2035 as the likely arrival of Armageddon, but what’s half a decade between scaremongers? They rate the likelihood of the glaciers disappearing as “very high”—i.e., more than 90 per cent. And the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for that report, so it must be kosher, right? Well, yes, its Himalayan claims rest on a 2005 World Wildlife Fund report called “An Overview of Glaciers.”

    WWF? Aren’t they something to do with pandas and the Duke of Edinburgh? True. But they wouldn’t be saying this stuff if they hadn’t got the science nailed down, would they? The WWF report relies on an article published in the New Scientist in 1999 by Fred Pearce.

    That’s it? One article from 12 years ago in a pop-science mag? Oh, but don’t worry, back in 1999 Fred did a quickie telephone interview with a chap called Syed Hasnain of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. And this Syed Hasnain cove presumably knows a thing or two about glaciers.

    Well, yes. But he now says he was just idly “speculating”; he didn’t do any research or anything like that.

    But so what? His musings were wafted upwards through the New Scientist to the World Wildlife Fund to the IPCC to a global fait accompli: the glaciers are disappearing. Everyone knows that. You’re not a denier, are you? India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, says there was not “an iota of scientific evidence” to support the 2035 claim. Yet that proved no obstacle to its progress through the alarmist establishment. Dr. Murari Lal, the “scientist” who included the 2035 glacier apocalypse in the IPCC report, told Britain’s Mail on Sunday that he knew it wasn’t based on “peer-reviewed science” but “we thought we should put it in”—for political reasons.

    I wonder what else is in that Nobel Peace Prize-winning report for no other reason than “we thought we should put it in.” Don’t forget, the IPCC’s sole source was the cuddly panda crowd over at the World Wildlife Fund. Donna Laframboise, a colleague of mine from the glory days at the National Post, did a simple search of the online version of the IPCC report and discovered dozens of citations of the WWF. It’s the sole source cited for doomsday predictions of glacier melt not only in the Himalayas but also the Andes and the Alps, as well as for a multitude of other topics, from coral reefs to avalanches. This would appear to be in breach of the IPCC’s own guidelines. The WWF is a pressure group. They’re not scientists. They’re not even numerate: one of their more startling glacier-melt claims derives entirely from an arithmetical miscalculation arising from a typing error.

    Go back to that Berkeley professor mooning over the loss of that “magnificent landform” he once thought “immutable, eternal.” From his prose style, one might easily assume Orville Schell was a professor of creative writing or some such. In fact, he’s the former dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. Yet, for all the limpid fragrance of his poignant obsequies, professor Schell would seem to lack the one indispensable quality of a journalist: basic curiosity—the same curiosity that led Miss Laframboise to see just how much of the “science” in the IPCC report rested on the assertions of the panda-cuddlers. So instead, professor Schell bid a teary farewell to his beloved landform, even though the glaciers of the western Himalayas are, in fact, increasing.

    Likewise, in the years since Syed Hasnain “speculated” about glacial melt, the BBC, the CBC, CNN and thousands of newspapers around the world have hired specialist Environmental Correspondents on lavish salaries. Yet not one of them gave any serious examination to the claims of the IPCC report, or the “science” on which they rested. And, now that the IPCC and WWF have conceded their error, the eco-correspondents are allowing NATO and other dupes to vacuum their records without having to explain why they fell for the scam.

    V. K. Raina, of the Geological Survey of India, produced a special report demonstrating that the run-for-your-life-the-glaciers-are-melting IPCC scenario was utterly false. For his pains, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the self-aggrandizing old bruiser and former railroad engineer who serves as head honcho of the IPCC jet set, dismissed Mr. Raina’s research as “voodoo science.” He’s now been obliged to admit the voodoo was all on his side. But don’t worry. By 2008, Syed Hasnain’s decade-old casual chit-chat over the phone to a London journalist had become “settled science,” so Dr. Pachauri’s company TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) approached the Carnegie Corporation for a grant to research “challenges to South Asia posed by melting Himalayan glaciers,” and was rewarded with half a million bucks. Which they promptly used to hire Syed Hasnain. In other words, professor Hasnain has landed a cushy gig researching solutions to an entirely non-existent global crisis he accidentally invented over a 15-minute phone call 10 years earlier. As they say in the glacier business, ice work if you can get it.

    “Climate change” is not a story of climate change, which has been a fact of life throughout our planet’s history. It is a far more contemporary story about the corruption of science and “peer review” by hucksters, opportunists and global-government control-freaks. I can see what’s in it for Dr. Pachauri and professor Hasnain, and even for the lowly Environmental Correspondent enjoying a cozy sinecure at a time of newspaper cutbacks in everything from foreign bureaus to arts coverage.

    But it’s hard to see what’s in it for Dan Gajewski of Ottawa and the millions of kindred spirits who’ve signed on to this racket and are determined to stick with it. Don’t be the last off a collapsing bandwagon. The scientific “consensus” is melting way faster than the glaciers.

  85. JER0ME says:

    Ricardo (23:17:34) :

    could not have summed it up better. Thank you.

  86. JER0ME says:

    vibenna (23:51:35) :

    But what I find richly ironic is that China and India are derailing Copenhagen because they want to industrialize. However, this study suggest that the people who will suffer most from their industrial emissions are … Themselves. They could seriously alter their watersheds, with unknown consequences. The soot from burning coal and oil may affect their water supplies, agriculture, and could lead to serious peasant unrest. I wonder if we’ll see a change in policy from China now?

    Agreed. We need to deflect the attention away from CO2 and direct it toward REAL pollution. I suspect China would welcome that as opposed to throttling their burgeoning economy.

  87. Claude Harvey says:

    I can’t get very excited over yet another study based on a “simulation” that almost certainly misses a myriad of climate feedbacks to the forcing functions being simulated. Glaciers have advanced and retreated cyclically throughout history. As of this moment, some are advancing while others are retreating. Although I think it sensible to assume that both the recorded modest global temperature increase of the past century and manmade aerosols might have some effect on the glacial process, quantifying either is well beyond the current state of human knowledge. So the reported study is probably yet another example of your tax dollars funding “garbage in and garbage out”.

  88. yonason says:

    TerryS (03:28:42) :

    Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years … Menon says

    Where does this 100 years come from? I’ve looked at the discussion paper and this claim isn’t made anywhere in the paper.

    They pulled it out of their ***, like all their other bogus bologna.

  89. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    vibenna (23:51:35) :

    However, this study suggest that the people who will suffer most from their industrial emissions are … Themselves.

    What suffering? I see only benefit from their progress.

    If you think there is no benefit then you should go to living in a shack with no electricity and raggedy clothing.

    Would you find suffering then?

    If you would not like to do that then why would you ever begin to contemplate requiring the Indians to do it?

  90. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    vibenna (23:51:35) :

    Again, since you do not know the consequences you should not speculate that bad is coming to them. Because in fact you do not know.

  91. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    Ron Broberg (02:54:53) :

    Could you cite some one other than James Hansen? He does not have a good scientific reputation. He is involved in politics and environmentalism too much to be able to consider him an unbiased source.

    You did know that already.

  92. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    Ron Broberg (02:54:53) :

    Some models predict

    Some models predict something else.

    This could be exclusively the result of the earth emerging from the Little Ice Age.

    You are citing James Hansen and modelling. You shouldn’t think that a lot of attention will be paid to you.

  93. Met Office Bias In Publishing Data About Scotland’s Coldest Winter

    I apologise for introducing another topic to this post but I wish to bring it to your attention immediately. The BBC has just posted an on-line article stating that Scotland has had its coldest combined December and January temperatures since official records began in 1914. The reference is the UK Met Office. The story has been picked up by thr ICECAP website.

    There is no mention on the Met Office website of this story. I have just spoken with an official from the Met Office and she confirmed the story stating that data from the Met Office did suggest such a cold winter for Scotland. When I enquired as to why this srory was not put out as an official press release I was told there was no need to do this. I was told it was not the Met Office’s policy to make such statements: “…we just provide the data”

    When I asked if the Met Office would have produced a Press Release if the Scottish winter had been the warmest on record the officer was equivical: ” I don’t know” was her hesitant reply. She argued there was no need to make a statement about the Winter being the coldest on record: ” Why… what for?” she asked.

    I ask readers to make up their own minds. For the Met Office, the coldest Scottish winter on record does not merit a mention.

    Would the warmest Scottish winter on record have meritted a mention?

  94. solrey says:

    “Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years…”

    Not according to this paper.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N31/EDIT.php

    “In a paper recently published in the international peer-reviewed journal Energy & Fuels, Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh (2009), Professor of Energy Conversion at The Ohio State University, addresses the residence time (RT) of anthropogenic CO2 in the air. He finds that the RT for bulk atmospheric CO2, the molecule 12CO2, is ~5 years, in good agreement with other cited sources (Segalstad, 1998), while the RT for the trace molecule 14CO2 is ~16 years. Both of these residence times are much shorter than what is claimed by the IPCC.”

    If they think CO2 “stays in the atmosphere for 100 years”, it makes me wonder what kind of bogus data made its way into the simulations. Sounds like GIGO.

    We really do need to clean up the toxic environmental mess we’ve made, and keep it clean, but we should do it with eyes wide open, not half shut. Compact fluorescents laden with mercury is one example of the half shut approach.

    peace,
    Tim

  95. Sharon says:

    I think the article omitted a minor, but relevant, detail:

    “Suspecting CO2 apostasy, and email having proved to be an unwise method of threat delivery, Ben Santer in Livermore hopped into his Smart Car to deliver a tongue-lashing in person to LBNL researchers.”

  96. Andrew says:

    It’s important to note what this implies about a solution:

    Firstly, most of the BC in Indian comes from their burning wood, dung, and crop residues for cooking:

    This is the kind of pollution problem (because the pollution in question is actually a direct health hazard, too) which is solved by economic development!

    Secondly, this means that international treaties regulating US and Western emissions will do no good whatsoever for this issue, AND there are sensible things that can be done locally that do not involve any kind of global regulatory organization.

  97. Stephan says:

    Looking at world COLA temperatures certainly seem to be falling. Oddly enough usually this is paralleled by AMSU temps but this doesn’t seem to have held for the past year. I wonder just if the AMSU data is drifting again. this time upwards?.

  98. Veronica says:

    Andrew

    You are right. This is a local pollution and poverty problem. The great Dr Lomborg would agree with you.

    Besides which we learned last week that Himalayan glaciers only contribute 5% of the water used in the Indian subcontinent. The rest comes from snow melt and good old fashioned rain – the latter of which probably washes soot out of the atmosphere.

    They need decent jobs, proper housing and a Clean Air Act.

  99. Richard Sharpe says:

    solrey (07:27:29) said:

    “Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years…”

    Not according to this paper.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V12/N31/EDIT.php

    “In a paper recently published in the international peer-reviewed journal Energy & Fuels, Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh (2009), Professor of Energy Conversion at The Ohio State University, addresses the residence time (RT) of anthropogenic CO2 in the air. He finds that the RT for bulk atmospheric CO2, the molecule 12CO2, is ~5 years, in good agreement with other cited sources (Segalstad, 1998), while the RT for the trace molecule 14CO2 is ~16 years. Both of these residence times are much shorter than what is claimed by the IPCC.”

    If they think CO2 “stays in the atmosphere for 100 years”, it makes me wonder what kind of bogus data made its way into the simulations. Sounds like GIGO.

    Well, the most respectable scientific papers appear in climbing magazines, so I think we can discount these “peer reviewed” papers that you refer to.

    We really do need to clean up the toxic environmental mess we’ve made, and keep it clean, but we should do it with eyes wide open, not half shut. Compact fluorescents laden with mercury is one example of the half shut approach.

    But manufacturers needed higher margin products in order to compete with cheap Chinese imports. Surely, protecting our economy is worth a few sacrifices.

  100. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley says:

    Martinlejudge. Oh you can betcha whatcha like it would. The Met Office and the BBC would be wetting themselves if it had been the warmest. You know it, I know it, even little kids on the street know it. See my earlier post, the Met Office is drunk on its own enthusiasm for warming – so drunk that it can’t see.

  101. Sharon says:

    I think the article omitted a minor, but relevant, detail:

    “Suspecting AGW apostasy, and email having proved to be an unwise method of threat delivery, Ben Santer in Livermore hopped into his Smart Car to deliver a tongue-lashing in person to LBNL researchers.”

  102. yonason says:

    UPDATE to my

    yonason (07:14:25) : Your comment is awaiting moderation

    TerryS (03:28:42) :

    According to this paper, the IPCC modelers were actually using 400 years as the residence time of CO2.

    http://www.princeton.edu/~lam/TauL1b.pdf

    That paper, in turn, references an IPCC document, but it’s oddly only available in internate archive.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/IPCCTP.III(E).pdf (“Not Found”=> try wayback)

    http://web.archive.org/web/20070712200732/http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/IPCCTP.III%28E%29.pdf

    But others have said, “The IPCC claim 50 to 200 years based on “the time required for the atmosphere to adjust to a future equilibrium state if emissions change abruptly,” (IPCC 1990)

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&ved=0CAcQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Festbali.files.wordpress.com%2F2007%2F12%2Fmonckton_cop13.ppt&ei=HfBqS4SeK8ydtweW3p2EBw&usg=AFQjCNGhZMO6HbvN4kAUQOEQsNJ1juNwDQ&sig2=Uu3c3GMcbGRsTYNjPq5OkA

  103. Sharon says:

    Note to mods: For some reason I had trouble on this thread seeing my comments awaiting moderation. Ignore/delete duplicate posts. Apologies and thanks!

  104. Richard M says:

    As always this article should be treated with skepticism. However, the main point to take out of articles like this one is … uncertainty. The more these types of articles appear in the literature casts doubt on the certainty (90%) given by the IPCC (and repeated over and over again) in CO2 induced warming.

    We don’t have to accept the conclusions of this article to point out that the uncertainty in climate predictions (projections) is growing exponentially.

  105. yonason says:

    “Our simulations showed greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt,” says Menon

    And when are they going to go to the Glaciers and sprinkle them with ash and take ACTUAL PHYSICAL MEASUREMENTS? Or, take samples to see if what is there is consistent with their models? They can tell me what a fossil dinosaur had for breakfast a million years ago last Tuesday, but they can’t tell me how much black carbon is actually on a glacier today?

    Don’t “scientists” do actual experiments any more? Do they want to avoid getting their nice shiny lab coats soiled? What gives?

    Prior to entering the tomb of AGW, our hero asks, “Modelers! Why did it have to be Modelers?!”

  106. latitude says:

    “Would the warmest Scottish winter on record have meritted a mention?”

    Is this a trick question? ;-)

    Of course the MET puts out press releases.

  107. Phil. says:

    vibenna (22:54:32) :
    So let’s be clear – the Himalayan glaciers are thinning, with potentially dangerous consequences. Yes we must be clear about the causes, and the science, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that they are thinning.

    REPLY: And let’s not lose sight of the fact that:

    1) Something can be done about black soot and aersols from India, with positive benefits all around
    2) CO2 is not the main driver
    3) The threat of melt has been wildly and irresponsibly exaggerated by the IPCC for the purposes of getting grants
    4) The projection for melt that is realistic is the year 2350…or beyond, Plenty of time to do something about #1

    And yet the data you present above shows a large swathe of the Himalayas had a loss of 16% snow cover in a decade, if the last decade had the same loss that’s about a third gone since 1990. That doesn’t seem consistent with a date of 2350, if anything it makes the 2035 date look reasonable!

  108. Luke says:

    Part of the problem with such ardent focus on CO2 is that less is made about pollutants we should be dealing with. Whether or not we continue to use fossil fuels is one thing, but we should constantly strive to make all of our energy technology as efficient and clean as possible.

    The billions going into CO2 is pure insanity. The cult of Gaia does earth no favors by keeping the focus there. I don’t know if this imagery has been posted here before, but I typically will show this to my AGW alarmist friends and simply ask them which they would spend money on cleaning up.

    http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/

  109. Hu McCulloch says:

    See also the article in PNAS last Dec. by Xu, Hansen, et al, with press release at
    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20091214/.

    “Some glaciers are retreating so quickly that they could disappear by mid-century if current trends continue, the researchers suggest.” I wonder if they got this on the authority of IPCC4 WG2 ?? Or maybe they’re just talking about a few smaller glaciers.

    The press release concludes with a quote from Hansen: “Reduced black soot emissions, in addition to reduced greenhouse gases, may be required to avoid demise of Himalayan glaciers and retain the benefits of glaciers for seasonal fresh water supplies.” So CO2 is largely to blame after all, even though the solution to black carbon is to completely burn it into harmless CO2.

  110. The ghost of Big Jim Cooley (07:55:36) :

    Thank you for your comment. I’ve just read the Met Office response to your e-mail. I think the expression as “clear as mud” springs to mind.

    Keep up the good work.

  111. yonason says:

    WOO HOO

    I’ve found another hockey stick!

    See fig.3 here.

    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/32/85/71/PDF/acp-8-1343-2008.pdf

    (and maybe fig.4?)

    Can I has cookie?
    __________________________________________

  112. kwik says:

    “We may be underestimating….” and “Some glaciers are retreating…”…

    Yes. And “Santa Claus may exist…”.

    Who knows?
    I’m sure a computer can model Santa Claus in 3-D.
    But is he real?

  113. Dave D says:

    Correct me if I am incorrect, but wouldn’t nearly all the Carbon Black come from China Industry? Or will we have to tax the US, the UK and Austrailia as well, just to be thorough?

  114. yonason says:

    Memo to climate “scientists” from CRU, NASA, NOAA, etc., etc.,

    “You had better do everything you can to find some way to blame humans for natural climate variation, or you’ll be out of a job. And, because so much money is being directed toward this cause, there are no real jobs to be had anywhere else.”

  115. Gail Combs says:

    vibenna (22:54:32) :

    So let’s be clear – the Himalayan glaciers are thinning, with potentially dangerous consequences. Yes we must be clear about the causes, and the science, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that they are thinning.

    REPLY: And let’s not lose sight of the fact that:

    1) Something can be done about black soot and aersols from India, with positive benefits all around
    2) CO2 is not the main driver
    3) The threat of melt has been wildly and irresponsibly exaggerated by the IPCC for the purposes of getting grants
    4) The projection for melt that is realistic is the year 2350…or beyond, Plenty of time to do something about #1″

    So we can blame this on the Democrats, Clinton and the World Trade Organization “No tariff – open borders”. their transfer of industry from pollution regulating first world countries to non-regulation countries like India and China. Here in the USA we had less actual manufacturing jobs in 2000 (last US Census) than we did in 1970 despite our increase in population.

    Sam Lau, this is not an attack on the people of China or India but on the greedy @#@$ who have use the “slave labor” practices we got rid of 100 or more years ago. It is also an attack on the “UN” who along with the WTO supports these practices promoting pollution and human suffering.

    “Slave Labor in China Sparks Outrage”

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1635144,00.html

  116. solrey says:

    @ Richard Sharpe (07:53:35) :

    Thanks for the chuckle.

    Andrew (07:35:47) :

    Firstly, most of the BC in Indian comes from their burning wood, dung, and crop residues for cooking:

    Excellent point. Inefficient combustion of those fuels is the main culprit, not only in India, but worldwide. It’s also a major health issue.

    India Announces Improved Cook Stove Program

    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/010842.html

    [..]
    The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced the National Biomass Cook-stoves Initiative, a series of pilot projects that seeks to improve stove efficiency for individual households.
    [..]
    More-efficient biomass stoves can reduce India’s climate impact as well. When soot settles on light-colored snow or ice, less sunlight is reflected into space. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in its 2007 assessment that soot, also referred to as black carbon, is one of the most potent greenhouse pollutants.
    [..]
    About one-third of the world burns wood and other biomass for cooking, heating, and lighting, accounting for 13 percent of global energy consumption. When burned in traditional cooking stoves, the toxic emissions result in 1.6 million premature deaths each year, according to World Health Organization estimates. Children younger than five account for half of the fatalities.

    I’ve been to Aprovecho Research Center where they seem to be at the forefront of the emerging awareness of the benefits in improved cookstove efficiency. Even though they’re in the AGW camp, they have some sensible ideas for reducing pollution and improving sustainability.

    Not trying to promote ARC specifically, just thought these were some good ideas to share related to some profoundly simple things that can be done to address black carbon, among other related issues, plus I’ve occassionally used stoves like these.

    Here’s a 4mb PDF about rocket stoves.
    New Rocket Stove Designs for Central and Southern Africa

    http://www.vrac.iastate.edu/ethos/ethos05/proceedings2004/presentations/scottnewrocketstove.pdf

    peace,
    Tim

  117. J.Peden says:

    PaulH (05:58:44) :

    “Our simulations showed… blah, blah, blah”

    I’m sorry, but I find that more often than not I automatically tune out when I see that phrase.

    Mega Dittos, PaulH. But at least she didn’t call them “experiments”.

  118. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @geo
    “I’m not sure why this report is inherently problematic for IPCC. While they blew the date pretty badly originally, it should be remembered that IPCC actually stands for “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” rather than “Intergovernmental Panel on C02 Changes”. They can easily add next time trying to shake-down “rich” countries for black carbon suppression as well…”

    I don’t actually see too much of a problem with that. Unlike CO2, I can readily believe that soot in the atmosphere causes problems, and that it is the interests of us all to lower it. I don’t think any ‘deniers’ are against all environmental protection – we just deny that CO2 is the proven cause of extensive and dangerous warming…

  119. Roger Knights says:

    Richard M (08:21:07) :

    As always this article should be treated with skepticism. However, the main point to take out of articles like this one is … uncertainty. The more these types of articles appear in the literature casts doubt on the certainty (90%) given by the IPCC (and repeated over and over again) in CO2 induced warming.

    We don’t have to accept the conclusions of this article to point out that the uncertainty in climate predictions (projections) is growing exponentially.

    You can say that again.

  120. John Galt says:

    Somebody once told me that soot and UHI are examples of AGW. Are those things global, regional or just local? And what does either have to do with controlling greenhouse gas emissions?

  121. George E. Smith says:

    “”” The findings are significant because they point to a simple way to make a swift impact on the snow melt. “Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for 100 years, but black carbon doesn’t stay in the atmosphere for more than a few weeks, so the effects of controlling black carbon are much faster,” Menon says. “If you control black carbon now, you’re going to see an immediate effect.” “””

    That’s amazing ! Carbon dioxide only remains in the atmosphere for 100 years.

    Here I am looking at a graph of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere going back to 600 million years ago; basically to the start of the Cambrian period/era/whatever. Now to be honest, it doesn’t show any CO2 in the atmosphere prior to about 560 million years ago; but it does show the average global temperature to be 22 deg C and absolutely constant from about -610 to -460 meg years.

    But nowhere else does it show the atmosphere to have ever been devoid of CO2, so how they figure it only lasts for 100 years I can’t imagine. I would say that CO2 has been a permanent component of the atmosphere +/- a fudge factor of three.
    SEE http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/PageMill_Images/image277.gif

    I would bet that H2O has also been a permanent component of the atmosphere for at least the same period/era/whatever , with of course the same fudge factor of three.

    Amazingly, although the temperature stayed absolutely constant at 22 deg C for 150 million years, the CO2 level ranged from 7000 ppm down to about 4100 ppm, and then after a catastrophic temperature drop to 12 deg C, the temperature recovered but the CO2 dropped below 3000 ppm.

    Presumably 500 million years ago, the definition of LOGARITHMIC must have been different from what it is today; because there is no evidence back then, that the temperature paid any attention to the amount of CO2.

    Looking at that temperature graph; one might actually conclude that there is some statutory bar to the temperature on earth ever rising above 22 deg C; well other than a couple of glitches up to about 23.5 deg C maybe; those might have been due to some forest fires in Malibu Canyon; or maybe just noise.

    So black carbon is the culprit eh ? And just think that back in the late 1970s, the experts, were going to spread black carbon all over the ice everywhere to get rid of the ice.

    We have some wonderful people planning our future for us.

  122. Tim Clark says:

    Our simulations
    I wish researchers would just give graphs of raw data and where obtained. I’m fed up with models and dubious statistical processes.

    While this results in more intense rainfall in some regions, it leads to less in other regions.

    Should read:

    While climate results in more intense rainfall in some regions, climate leads to less in other regions.

    That is how I look at all this data based on short length satellite records.

  123. J.Peden says:

    From solrey (09:44:02)’s link:

    “About one-third of the world burns wood and other biomass for cooking, heating, and lighting, accounting for 13 percent of global energy consumption. When burned in traditional cooking stoves, the toxic emissions result in 1.6 million premature deaths each year, according to World Health Organization estimates. Children younger than five account for half of the fatalities.

    Must be mostly Carbon Monoxide poisoning which would get a lot of the adults too? But they don’t mention it and say instead:

    “An estimated 826 million [~1/2 the population of] Indians depend on simple cook stoves that burn solid fuel, mainly fuelwood or coal. When households are filled with smoke from inefficient stoves, the toxic soot can increase the risks of developing pneumonia, cataracts, and tuberculosis.”

    If people are tolerating smoke filled rooms – doubtful, because it’s not that hard to avoid, unless they’re not as smart as American Indians – they should more likely be getting CO poisoning. It competes with O2 at a rate of about 220/1, so all that’s needed is a CO concentration of about 0.1% vs O2’s 20% to get half of one’s hemoglobin occupied by CO, which is ususally a deadly effect.

    But they do mention or imply the potential for the smaller irritated airways of children to be further compromised and complicated by viral infections so as to produce a greater risk from airway obstruction and pneumonia, also raising the fact that a lot of children in India are not vaccinated against whatever they can be vaccinated against to begin with – which might be a greater problem.

    So it looks like India needs more Nuclear Energy, infrastructure, and public health measures in order to really help people. Getting rid of the ipcc was or would be a good move all around. All it aims for is a man made disaster, another thing which really irritated me early on about the ipcc which alleges to “help” people and “save the World”.

  124. JonesII says:

    George E. Smith (10:23:50) :
    We have some wonderful people planning our future for us
    And they are a bunch of nuts:
    “Dr Robert Muller spent 53 years working within the United Nations and Assistant Secretary-General for more than 12 years (#2 in charge). He is the Founder and Chancellor of the United Nations University of Peace. Here is how he describes himself (remember this is not some fruitcake standing on a streetcorner, this guy was responsible for formulating many UN policies):

    A divine motivator … the wise man of the UN … the shaman of the UN ... the man through whom God speaks … the spokesman of Christ … a magic being …”

    http://www.green-agenda.com/gaians.html

  125. J.Peden says:

    Oops, correction: “An estimated 826 million [~1/2 the population of] Indians”

    Probably more like ~2/3 the population.

  126. Smokey says:

    George E. Smith (10:23:50),

    I believe that the 100 years of CO2 in the atmosphere is referring to the persistence of an average CO2 molecule from emission to being re-absorbed.

    I’m not certain, I’m only basing it on this chart.

  127. J.Peden says:

    Richard Wakefield:

    I’m not saying this research is correct, that’s what more research is for. I’m just saying be cautious in out right rejecting this because of the past history of climate science. Each item must be evaluated on it’s own.

    Amen. And I also want to know why so many people seem to automatically think that if glaciers start to “melt” net, it’s going to stop snowing and raining.

  128. JonesII says:

    J.Peden (10:40:58) :
    On the back cover of (Al Gore’s) Earth in the Balance the well-known New Ager M. Scott Peck states: “Earth in Balance is a brilliantly written, prophetic, even holy book, clearly pointing the way we need to change to assure the survival of our children. I pray it will have the dramatic impact it deserves – and must have for our collective salvation

  129. JonesII says:

    Then we should make a pledge: ” God, protect us from the good ones, who want to save us, and we shall protect ourselves from the evil ones”
    Because these “good” ones nuts are by far more dangerous.

  130. Peter Plail says:

    Can I ask a silly question?

    We are being told that sea level has risen 6 inches in the last 100 years (thanks to Prince Charles for reminding us of this today as he visited Manchester’s Science ans Industry Museum) – is there any evidence that this (sea level rise not HRH visiting Manchester) has caused anybody, anywhere in the world, any problems from the rise in levels rather than the sinking of the land?

    Can anyone cite evidence of communities that have had to be moved, reductions of total land area of any islands or even continents, shortening of rivers, rebuilding of ports and docking facilities, rebuilding of bridges, changes in ecosystems due to increased salinity in formerly freshwater locations or any other effect as a consequence of sea levels rising rather than coastal erosion?

    Taking the evidence as presented by Wikipedia (I use this as it is likely to be the most pro-warming) there is a pretty constant rate of rise over the last century. Wikipedia highlights the fact that recent rise rates have increased, but their own graph shows similar if not greater rate increases at a number of points in the last 100 years so it would be unsound to suggest as they do that recent increases are extraordinary. And yes, I understand that there is evidence that even more recently the rate of rise has decreased, putting the 1993 to 2003 rises into context.

    The evidence of the past thus indicates that there has been an inexorable rise in sea level that is not alarming and that is also not linked to any recent man-made influence.

    Which brings us neatly back to black carbon. I have a feeling, but no direct evidence, that man’s production of soot is more likely to have been a constant influence over the last century than CO2, with the occasional ramp-ups coinciding with western industrial boom periods around both world wars and the 80s, and the rise of China in the 90s.

    Time to stop worrying about runaway climate change, and spending some of that environmental guilt money to develop white carbon ;-)

  131. Gary Hladik says:

    View from the Solent (05:24:20), thanks for the link to the Spectator article. It seems the CRUTape Letters are as embarrassing for the news media as for UEA.

    Ed Scott (06:53:34), thanks for the link to the Steyn article. That guy is one of my favorite writers.

    WRT the LBNL article: yes, like Camelot “It’s only a model”, but CAGW lives by the model, so it’s only appropriate that it dies by the model.

  132. Gail Combs says:

    George E. Smith (10:23:50) :

    “…So black carbon is the culprit eh ? And just think that back in the late 1970s, the experts, were going to spread black carbon all over the ice everywhere to get rid of the ice.

    We have some wonderful people planning our future for us.”

    Of course, this is all a CIA plot from 1974! As I recall spreading soot on snow to increase its melting and decrease the earth’s albedo was one of the suggested solutions to thwarting the coming Ice Age. /sarc

  133. Gail Combs says:

    J.Peden (11:00:48) :

    “Richard Wakefield:

    I’m not saying this research is correct, that’s what more research is for. I’m just saying be cautious in out right rejecting this because of the past history of climate science. Each item must be evaluated on it’s own.

    Amen. And I also want to know why so many people seem to automatically think that if glaciers start to “melt” net, it’s going to stop snowing and raining.”

    I love the way the whole equation involving glaciers is so often ignored especially in the sensationalized propaganda.

    [Snowfall] – [sublimation] – [melting] = increase or decrease in glacier size.

    The amount of snowfall always seems to get left out of the equation. If I recall one of the “retreating glaciers” in Africa was caused not by melting, but by a lack of snowfall.

    The twisting of truth, the use of half truths and exaggeration is what I really hate about the whole CAGW movement.

  134. Russ Blake says:

    Gilbert-(23:30:14)

    The referenced paper on Himalayan Glaciers, IMHO appears to be exactly how I think science research should be conducted. Although I may be one of the least technical types frequenting WUWT, this is a must read for anyone interested in Glaciers. It not only presents a clear and concise technical information, but also contains unbelievable pictures of glaciers.

    The author clearly indicates this paper is meant to serve as a basis for informed debate and discussion. How novel is that in “climate research”?

    For my own education, I would appreciate hearing any comments from the more technical types about the content and presentation of this paper.

    It is well worth looking at, if only for the high quality pictures.

    Note to moderator- I was unable to add the direct link to this report. Hopefully you could add this for me.

    Thanks
    Russ Blake

    [Reply: time to learn. Just copy the URL address in the address bar, like this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com

    It will become a link. {Best to put it on its own line.} ~dbs, mod.]

  135. Richard M says:

    Phil. (08:34:49) :

    And yet the data you present above shows a large swathe of the Himalayas had a loss of 16% snow cover in a decade, if the last decade had the same loss that’s about a third gone since 1990. That doesn’t seem consistent with a date of 2350, if anything it makes the 2035 date look reasonable!

    Phil, I know you understand the difference between snow cover and glaciers, or at least I thought you did.

  136. Pamela Gray says:

    Snow cover on a glacier adds minuscule amounts to the glacier each year, compared to the size of the glacier itself. Loss or additions of snow over a short period of time will show impossible to measure differences. Over a longer period of time you will begin to see effects. Some weather pattern variations have oscillations lasting many decades. I just don’t see how CO2 or carbon can come in at a significantly greater affect than weather. It’s weather stupid. IWS. My new tag line.

  137. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Smokey (10:58:32) :

    George E. Smith (10:23:50),

    I believe that the 100 years of CO2 in the atmosphere is referring to the persistence of an average CO2 molecule from emission to being re-absorbed.

    I’m not certain, I’m only basing it on this chart. “””

    And the consequences of that particular CO2 molecule being “reabsorbed” is what ?

    A simple 8th grade science class explanation of evaporation, describes the simple concept of dynamic equilibrium, between say water molecules being “emitted” from the surface (typically the more energetic ones), and the “reabsoption” of other water molecules that arive at the water surface from the atmosphere above the water, where they have accumulated.

    In the end, the number of emitted, and absorbed molecules equalizes; but that does not mean by any means, that molecules stop being emitted or absorbed once quilibrium is established.

    So in that sense, CO2 in no way differs from H2O, they both are constantly emitted and absorbed, and at any time, the number of H2O molecules in the atmosphere greatly outnumbers the number of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere.

    Both are permanent componets of earth’s atmosphere and have been so for at least 600 million years, and who knows how much longer than that.

    The “Residence” time of a single CO2 molecule in the atmosphere, is as critical to life on earth as the mean lifetime of a single Krill crustacean in the earth’s oceans; namely, not at all; no matter what happens to the population of the great whales.

  138. Anticlimactic says:

    It seems obvious that the soot from India and China is leading to increased cloud formation, which in turn is responsible for the current unexpected global cooling!

    Note: Just a joke, NOT for inclusion in IPCC AR5.

  139. Ron de Haan says:

    Aerosols and black carbon (human induced of course) are melting glaciers!

    Let’s look a little bit closer in to what Manon has to say:
    “The actual contribution of black carbon, emitted largely as a result of burning fossil fuels and biomass, may be even higher than 30 percent because the inventories report less black carbon than what has been measured by observations at several stations in India. (However, these observations are too incomplete to be used in climate models.) “We may be underestimating the amount of black carbon by as much as a factor of four,” she says”.

    As stated, Manon doesn’t know anything for sure (may be, could be, could be worse) but as always, one thing is for sure, humanity burning fossil fuels and bio mass is responsible for the entire disaster.
    In this case our aerosols and our black carbon (but don’t forget CO2) is melting the planet’s glaciers!

    Oh dear, we have to act quickly, even if we don’t know for sure, no time to lose.
    The planet has to be saved, the planet! It’s not only CO2, but BLACK SOOT and Aerosols as well!!!! Heeelp! Modern societies have to be taxed into the stone age and the industrialization that thrives our civilization has to be rolled back!

    Really? I don’t think so! I think this is just another scam.
    Why?
    The major volume of those glaciers have been melting since we came out of the last ice age, long before we drove around with SUV’s.

    Sooth, dust, aerosols, whatever that is transported by our atmosphere
    has been part of the natural process all the time.

    Besides that, all the scientific research by the “may be, could be, we don’t know for sure but..folks” never perform research or write about the “natural factors”.
    Natural events, how inconvenient, don’t pay their research funds and no taxes, so why should they?

    Here are some of those natural events I am pointing at:
    They don’t mention the volcanic emissions (some of those volcano’s are real dirty smoke stags but they are always covered in snow), see these random examples:
    Select the pictures by date and you see the ice cap is permanent, despite massive amounts of dirty black emissions.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=42499&src=eorss-nh

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=42484&src=eorss-nh

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=40918

    (Natural) wild fires, watch the world burn.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/quarterly.php?cat_id=8&y=2009&q=4

    (Natural) dust, smoke and haze:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/category.php?cat_id=7

    Take your pick.
    Thousands and thousands of those “events”, all observed from space.

    During the Little Ice Age volcanic activity was 5 times more frequent compared to the past century and we have seen periods that have been much colder and much warmer than today.

    So where are they worrying about?

    We know what magnitude VEI III + eruptions can do in respect to earth’s temperature,
    weather and climate a.o Pinatubo).
    In the past, our planet has bounced back from thousands of extreme events in a very short time.
    No disaster in the past has been big enough to destroy it.

    Humanity in regard to the planet IMO is nothing more but a spec of dust on the ass of an elephant.

    This planet is in no need for saving.

    It’s humanity that needs to be saved, it’s humanity that is in jeopardy because of some evil narrow minds, whose intend to enslave control and regulate every individual person on the planet!

    And that’s the end of the story.

    Take it or leave it.

    Hanson is one of those alarmists who came up with the CO2 and the sooth story and so are the people behind this publication.
    They really don’t know what they are doing. They build a story on extreme assumptions but don’t have sufficient data to feed a computer models to prove their case.
    But still they dare to conclude that whatever is going on, Human kind is the cause, burning all those horrible fossil fuels.

    Humanity, is the best thing that could have happen to the planet and we should celebrate every progress we make building our magnificent civilizations.
    Sure, we make mistakes. We must take care of of our environment.
    And the best way to do that is to fight poverty, not promote it.

    Don’t let a bunch of narrow minded power hungry book cooking control freaks stop us.

    Fight for your freedom and enjoy every moment of your life on this beautiful planet.

  140. Pascvaks says:

    “God save us from righteous men”

    I think someone said that a long time ago, perhaps in a land far, far away. Whoever it was, and whenever it was, they sure hit the nail on the head.

  141. Anticlimactic says:

    Pascvaks (18:59:43) :

    Re “God save us from righteous men”, I think it should be

    “God save us from self-righteous men”

  142. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Anticlimactic (19:11:37) :
    Pascvaks (18:59:43) :
    Re “God save us from righteous men”, I think it should be
    “God save us from self-righteous men”
    ______________

    I thought that too after I hit “Submit”. But later I thought, is there a real difference? “Righteous” seems so old fashioned that it must be bad, right? Thanks for the comeback:-)

  143. Anticlimactic says:

    Pascvaks (19:39:08)

    Righteous people can live their lives as an example, the self-righteous tend to be sociopaths who LOVE to tell other people how to lead their lives.

    I feel that this has been a large appeal of AGW to the fanatics – ‘cast iron proof’ that enables them to attack almost everybody, with as much venom as they want as ‘Terracide’ is the ‘obvious’ conclusion if their words are not heeded.

    What worries me are the psychopaths. To me, many terrorists are borderline psychopaths who need a cause to kill for. With some AGW believers arguing that civilisation, overpopulation, or simply mankind, is the root cause, and calling for sabotage, then it may prompt some kind of action to try and cause damage on a massive scale, especially if they feel they are losing the fight.

  144. Phil. says:

    Richard M (14:36:23) :
    Phil. (08:34:49) :

    And yet the data you present above shows a large swathe of the Himalayas had a loss of 16% snow cover in a decade, if the last decade had the same loss that’s about a third gone since 1990. That doesn’t seem consistent with a date of 2350, if anything it makes the 2035 date look reasonable!

    Phil, I know you understand the difference between snow cover and glaciers, or at least I thought you did.

    Hmmm, perhaps you should make that point to Menon and the original poster of the thread?

    E.g.: title: ‘LBNL on Himalayas: “greenhouse gases alone are not nearly enough to be responsible for the snow melt”’

    sub heading: ‘Black Carbon a Significant Factor in Melting of Himalayan Glaciers’

    The text seems to switch between talking about snow melt and glacier melt, so which is it Richard?

  145. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Anticlimactic (20:34:37) :
    _____________

    You’re right.

    The older I get the more frustrated I become with the limitations of my “language” abilities, and the apparent limitations of what I perceive as everyone elses as well. I usually blame the language (in this case American English) and not myself or anyone else. When I really get mad, I blame the teacher’s union(s) and our current system of education. When my Irish gets really, really boiling mad, I blame God.

    Many times I feel we’ve definitely lost something on our way to the 21st Century. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it. Maybe it’s like the weather, just to much to comprehend.

    Sometimes I also think we haven’t lost anything at all, that life’s a beach, always the same and always different.

    As you corrected me: “God save us from self-righteous men!”

  146. Richard M says:

    Phil. (22:01:15) :

    The text seems to switch between talking about snow melt and glacier melt, so which is it Richard?

    Well, you need to take that up with LBNL. I thought they transitioned quite well and only discussed glaciers as also being impacted, but not part of the study.

    If you actually read the article you’ll see they make no mention of the 2035 date as AW points out. You’re the only one claiming the 2035 date might be valid based on snow cover melt. Maybe a reading comprehension course is in your future?

  147. Oliver Ramsay says:

    J.Peden said;

    “If people are tolerating smoke filled rooms – doubtful, because it’s not that hard to avoid, unless they’re not as smart as American Indians – they should more likely be getting CO poisoning. It competes with O2 at a rate of about 220/1, so all that’s needed is a CO concentration of about 0.1% vs O2’s 20% to get half of one’s hemoglobin occupied by CO, which is ususally a deadly effect.”
    ———-
    I remember marvelling, when I was in India in the seventies, how such an old culture had failed to come up with the concept of a chimney. Although the smoke in the unglazed houses was not usually dense and suffocating, I recall having to go outside to escape stinging eyes.
    It’s interesting that the northern North American Indians understood the chimney, but didn’t figure out pottery or metals.
    It’s akin to a certain more modern group that can discern variations of a mm in the surface of the sea, but can’t find the heat pipeline.

  148. J.Peden says:

    Oliver Ramsay (07:39:38) :

    I remember marvelling, when I was in India in the seventies, how such an old culture had failed to come up with the concept of a chimney. Although the smoke in the unglazed houses was not usually dense and suffocating, I recall having to go outside to escape stinging eyes.

    Interesting! And so maybe the in house smoke does something good? Or not. Regardless, that combination of possibly increased hemoglobin CO levels plus airway irritation would probably be harder on children. I hope the relevant authorities have not themselves been too “overcome” by AGW to deal with such issues.

  149. J.Peden says:

    George E. Smith:

    The “Residence” time of a single CO2 molecule in the atmosphere, is as critical to life on earth as the mean lifetime of a single Krill crustacean in the earth’s oceans; namely, not at all;

    Yes, I took that “residence time” of CO2 argument to be propagandistic or wishful nonsense almost immediately, when compared to the way water vapor works, often as a very short lifespanned entity but in essentially infinite instantaneous supply – it seemed so obvious that I wondered what I was missing for a little while. Who cares how long they each live compared to how many of them there are in the atmosphere and what they do there? For one thing, I guess the little man made CO2’s from evil ‘fossil fuel’ were supposed to be ipso facto especially pernicious?

  150. Jimbo says:

    NASA have come to similar findings about soot and the Himalayan glaciers published back in December, 2009.

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

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

  151. Jimbo says:

    NASA have come to similar findings about soot and the Himalayan glaciers published back in December, 2009.

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

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

    ————-
    Correction on date of last post: 2009 not 2010

  152. kwik says:

    About tax on soot…..

    In Norway, the tax on diesel was very low for many years…

    More and more diesel-cars appeared on the scene……now the tax-level for diesels are close to the petrol-tax….. same with so called bio-diesel…. so….the goal is in the end…. more tax.

    Everywhere. Not to save the environment.

    The Government-bureacrazy is groving every year.
    There is no limit.

    Someone must pay for it.

    And thats us.

  153. Phil. says:

    J.Peden (09:36:24) :
    Oliver Ramsay (07:39:38) :

    “I remember marvelling, when I was in India in the seventies, how such an old culture had failed to come up with the concept of a chimney. Although the smoke in the unglazed houses was not usually dense and suffocating, I recall having to go outside to escape stinging eyes.”

    Interesting! And so maybe the in house smoke does something good? Or not. Regardless, that combination of possibly increased hemoglobin CO levels plus airway irritation would probably be harder on children. I hope the relevant authorities have not themselves been too “overcome” by AGW to deal with such issues.

    Henan province in China has the highest incidence of oesophageal cancer in the world, widely attributed to smoke from the traditional stoves. A research project I was involved in found many mutagenic compounds present in the soot from those stoves.

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