New Study Casts Doubt on Cause of Himalayan Glaciers Melting

Weather variations, not global warming cause glacier melt

Himalayan_glaciers

Image courtesy: National Science Foundation

From the The Hindu, 9 August 2009

excerpts:

New Delhi (PTI): Himalayan glaciers, including the world’s highest battlefield Siachen, are melting due to variations in weather and not because of global warming, Jammu University scientists have claimed.

Geologists R K Ganjoo and M N Koul of Jammu University’s Regional Centre for Field Operations and Research of Himalayan Glaciology visited the Siachen glacier to record changes in its snout last summer.

“To our surprise, the Siachen glacier valley does not preserve evidences of glaciation older than mid-Holocene, suggesting that the glacier must have advanced and retreated simultaneously several times in the geological past, resulting in complete obliteration and modification of older evidences,” they said reporting their findings in ‘Current Science’.

Ganjoo and Koul dubbed as “hype” some earlier studies which suggested that the Himalayan glaciers were melting fast and caused serious damage to the Himalayan ecosystem.

There is sufficient field and meteorological evidence from the other side of Karakoram mountains that corroborate the fact that glaciers in this part of the world are not affected by global warming, they said.

Ganjoo said that the east part of the Siachen glacier showed faster withdrawal of the snout that is essentially due to ice-calving, a phenomenon that holds true for almost all major glaciers in the Himalayas and occurs irrespective of global warming.

Ganjoo contended the Siachen glacier shows hardly any retreat in its middle part and thus defies the “hype” of rapid melting.

The research findings by R.K. Ganjoo and M.N. Koul are published in today’s issue of CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 97, NO. 3, 10 AUGUST 2009 and are available at http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/aug102009/309.pdf

(h/t to Benny Peiser)

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Phillip Bratby

This evidence will be ignored by the warministas, the WWF, FoE, all the greenies and the media.

Curiousgeorge

No doubt will be accused of “cherry picking” (sigh).

Nogw

There is sufficient field and meteorological evidence from the other side of Karakoram mountains that corroborate the fact that glaciers in this part of the world are not affected by global warming, they said.
Yes, indeed, and simply because there is no such a thing called “global warming”, at least in the real world. There are many global warmings in computer games (“models”) and “adjusted statistics”.

Jimmy Haigh

Count me as not surprised in the slightest with the results of this study.
I can already hear the warmistas/warmongers/warmorons screaming: “But they’re only geologists – they’re not ‘climate scientists”!!!!!”

Mark Fawcett

Those pesky glaciers, no doubt funded by ‘big-oil’ to not retreat so much…the nerve.

Dave

Whilst I dont believe in runaway Global Warming to AGW, I think we must recognise that some countries have a vested interest now, in not believing in Global Warming. India would be one.
The evidence here cannot be dismissed lightly, but we should acknowledge that the government that may have sponsored these scientists, might not welcome undue pressure to curb their own carbon emissions.

Pofarmer

Golly gee, weather changes over time. Color me shocked. Fits in nicely with the evidence uncovered by other melting glaciers all over the world, too.

OK class, for extra points on your mid term: What is the primary cause of glacier advance and retreat?
a) Sublimation
b) Precipitation changes at higher altitudes
c) Global warming
d) The Gore Effect

UK Sceptic

Well this Himalayas report might just explain what this other report from the BBC is all about:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8189000/8189937.stm
And then there’s this one:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8189549.stm
Someone ought to tell them that the potential food shortage wouldn’t be so bad if they warmists would quit growing food crops for meant for biofuels rather than bellies.

Lee

Dave (07:50:06) :
I’m not having a go especially since I actually read your first sentence and bore it in mind to the end of your statement but you are about to get a torrent of;
“Are you saying America and Europe don’t have a political agenda in continuing to promot the AGW belief!”
Just an observation.

Lee

That was clearly meant to be promote!

Jimmy Haigh

Dave (07:50:06) :
Could be a fair point Dave but I guess you could also reword your post to something along the lines of:
“… I think we must recognise that some countries have a vested interest now, in believing/not believing (delete your choice) in Global Warming. (Insert the country of your choice) would be one.
… but we should acknowledge that the government that may have sponsored these scientists, might welcome/not welcome (delete your choice) undue pressure to curb their own carbon emissions.”

tj

Isn’t it: e) — Ablation?
The temperature on Mt. Kilimanjaro remains steady as the glacier retreats, or so I read. The Himalayas surely follow the pattern.

Skeptic Tank

I understand that temperate glaciers are melting/shrinking. What I don’t understand is why that, in and of itself, is a problem. Now, if ice sheets were advancing into populated areas, I could definitely see that as a problem.

Nogw

Smokey (07:51:32) : Answer is “a” 🙂

This has to be the most sadly hilarious glacier story printed. It is absolute proof that the crisis of global warming is “man-made”.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1203500/In-pictures-How-global-warming-changing-face-northern-hemisphere.html
The glacier is growing madly, choking a lagoon with ice, yet this is all claimed to be from global warming. Here is on of the comments from a geologist on that story.
“I am a geologist who has worked frequently in Alaska for 45 years. I would like to state that the reason the lagoon is filling up with ice is that the glacier is apparently advancing towards the sea. Glaciers advance when snowfall increases and temperatures decline enough for the snow to remain throughout the year. Less snow melts than falls in the year. Glaciers recede when melting exceeds the amount of new ice that forms from each year’s accumulation of snow. I hope that your article was a test to see how many people would believe the ridiculous conclusion you presented. Better yet, I hope it was a joke. I am not laughing, however. I am only shocked that the advance of a glacier could be presented as “evidence” of global warming.”
Here is an article in The Times of India, March09, regarding their glaciers.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/No_threat_to_Gangotri/articleshow/2892632.cms
We are fed NONSENSE on every single angle of this fabricated crisis.

Jimmy Haigh

UK Sceptic (07:59:15) :
Hillary Benn – one of the screaming warmers – said:
“The food supply was currently secure but population growth and climate change could have an impact, he warned. ”
I agree with him but would say instead that population growth WILL have an impact – not COULD – WILL. (it’s a bit of a no brainer really that one.)
I also agree that climate change could have an impact. Especially if it gets colder… (I notice he didn’t say “global warming” so maybe it’s even getting through his skull.)
And I totally agree with your point about the absolute madness of growing crops for biofuel.
I’ve said before – why don’t all these AGW believers just give up their carbon profligate lifestyles and leave us normal people to live life as normal? After all, we don’t expect any other people to live by our religions (if we have any – personally, I don’t) so why should we have to live by theirs?
(Minor rant over…)

tallbloke

Dave (07:50:06) :
The evidence here cannot be dismissed lightly, but we should acknowledge that the government that may have sponsored these scientists, might not welcome undue pressure to curb their own carbon emissions.

Just as the state sponsored scientists in the U.S. are discouraged from producing work which might undermine the new regime’s tax policy ?

Arn Riewe

I had to dig up this oldie but goodie from Nat Geo. It’s from the heads I win, tails you lose department, i.e., glaciers melting – global warming; glaciers growing – global warming!
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060911-growing-glaciers.html

rickM

Smokey, I would have to pick B). (Changes in precipitation in the snow accumulation zone…to ablate or not to ablate)

Mike Davis

Smokey:
A and B with Albedo thrown in. Then there is the Indian Ocean Dipole which is a natural multidecadal oscillation.

Dave (07:50:06) : said
“Whilst I dont believe in runaway Global Warming to AGW, I think we must recognise that some countries have a vested interest now, in not believing in Global Warming. India would be one.”
Sorry Dave, I don’t understand your logic here. India wants the transfer to them of very large sums of money and free technology to compensate for the efforts they are expected to make to reduce their own emissions and in order to ensure the blame for AGW is put firmly on the West.
Creating scientific reports that claim there is no AGW effect is entirely contrary to their interests as that reduces the liability and culpability of the west .
tonyb

Sam the Skeptic

Dave (07:50:06) :
“Whilst I dont believe in runaway Global Warming to AGW, I think we must recognise that some countries have a vested interest now, in not believing in Global Warming. India would be one.
The evidence here cannot be dismissed lightly, but we should acknowledge that the government that may have sponsored these scientists, might not welcome undue pressure to curb their own carbon emissions.”
You’ll have to forgive me not quite getting to grips with this one, Dave.
If there isn’t going to be any runaway global warming then the Indians don’t need to worry about their so-called “carbon emissions”.
And it seems quite reasonable that they should have “sponsored” that research if only because someone has to unless we have scientists who are independently wealthy and I have not met one of those in a long time.
Your suggestion must be:
The Indians don’t want to curb their carbon emissions.
They don’t want to be seen not to want to curb their carbom emissions.
So they send out a group of people to make up some story about glaciers.
And I thought I was a cynic!

RW

“Weather variations, not global warming cause glacier melt”
You frequently make this sort of elementary mistake. This is not an either/or question. It makes as much sense to say what you’ve done as it would to say “Bald tyres, not high speeds cause road crashes”.
Reply: Why do you say “you” to Anthony when the article is just quoting a news item about a study? ~ ctm

rickM (08:20:50) noticed the word “primary” in the test question. He gets a gold star.

Mac

Glaciers ‘naturally’ wax and wane. Again man’s signature is absent.

Nogw

Another question to the attending class: What is the goal of those who promote “global warming” and/or “climate change” in the developed world?

Stephen Wilde

What a surprise, the melting and reformation of Himalayan glaciers responds routinely to the latitudinal positions of the main air circulation systems as they move poleward in response to increased energy output from the oceans and equatorward from decreased energy output from the oceans.
Just like everywhere else on the planet.

Curiousgeorge

@ Jimmy Haigh (08:16:14) : & UK Sceptic (07:59:15) :
You may find this article of interest – http://www.american.com/archive/2009/july/the-omnivore2019s-delusion-against-the-agri-intellectuals

Nogw
Tenuc

Nothing new here – please move along.
Clear historical evidence that glaciers are never static, but always in a state of advance or decline. Glaciers are not an indicator of global climate, although could be considered to be one of local micro-climate, perhaps. This is evidenced currently by glaciers around the world being in one state or the other at the same moment in time.
There is so much rubbish science / political spin around this topic it beggars belief!!!

Well since the AGW minions referenced here will doubtless point to glacial melt as evidence, perhaps this isn’t entirely off topic. BTW, anyone know people in St. Louis?
http://cbullitt.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/want-a-job-selling-agw-door-to-door-for-algore/

Bill Marsh

“the glacier must have advanced and retreated simultaneously several times ”
I’m not sure but I don’t think they intended to use the word ‘simultaneously’ here. Is this a translation error?
I guess if it retreated and advanced ‘simultaneously’ it pretty much just stayed where it was?

Pearland Aggie

but, but, but….the weather variations are CAUSED BY global warming…
LOL

Paddy

Per Wikipedia:
“In glaciology, ablation refers to processes that remove snow and ice from a glacier[2] . Ablation may refer to the melting of snow or ice that runs off the glacier, evaporation, sublimation, calving, or removal of snow by wind.”
“Sublimation of an element or compound is a transition from the solid to gas phase with no intermediate liquid stage. Sublimation is an endothermic phase transition that occurs at temperatures and pressures below the triple point (see phase diagram). “

GeoS

Thought that glacier loss on Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas was due to local deforestation.

Sam the Skeptic

Nogw (08:55:27)
I think you also might benefit from a look at the link Curiousgeorge just posted.
Not directly on topic but it gives a good flavour of what actually drives the eco-luddites which is all the warm-mongers really are.

Stefan

Dave: we should acknowledge that the government that may have sponsored these scientists, might not welcome undue pressure to curb their own carbon emissions.
The trouble with arguing that scientisct can be corrupted, is that it implies that scientists can be corrupted. So we may as well ignore scientists, unless someone has a magic purity of heart test they can administer to find the one true and pure scientist.
If someone has an interest in proving something wrong, let them try to do it. Their motives don’t matter. If they succeed in uncovering greater truth, even if only for selfish reasons, then they have still done us all a favor.

TerryS

Dave (07:50:06) :

Whilst I dont believe in runaway Global Warming to AGW, I think we must recognise that some countries have a vested interest now, in not believing in Global Warming. India would be one.

I guess this is going to be the new attack vector for the AGWers. For years they have been pointing the finger and screaming “funded by big oil”. That doesn’t work because any so called funding by “big oil” is minuscule compared to the amount of funding pumped into climate “science”. We will now be hearing them scream “vested interest” instead.

Robert

It is true that countries like India and China have shown a remarkable insensitivity to the needs of the Western radical left.
Well heck, to illustrate the point the Chinese are now doing what they call an “American Fire Drill.”
They stop the car at a light and everyone gets out and runs about yelling things like “Millions will die” and “The seas are rising 20 feet”, etc.
It is a sign of our times.

Nogw

Sam the Skeptic (10:02:33) :eco-luddites or plainly traitors of their respective countries ?

John Galt

But if we had up weather variations over a period of time — isn’t that climate change? Yeah, that’s the ticket. Climate is weather over a period of time, so if the weather varies over a period of time — that’s climate change!
Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Mr Green Genes

Sam the Skeptic – “Eco-luddites”.
Thanks, I might have to steal that some time. Nice one.

Nogw

Stefan (10:16:07) :
So we may as well ignore scientists, unless someone has a magic purity of heart test
I do have that test, it is very simple: Anyone who never betrays his own convictions.

Dave (07:50:06) :
“Whilst I dont believe in runaway Global Warming to AGW, I think we must recognise that some countries have a vested interest now, in not believing in Global Warming. India would be one.”
Dave, I understand where you’re coming from in that it’s not in India’s near term economic growth interests to support the various CO2 limiting schemes being floated by the west.
However, if the alarmist agenda is correct and all the bad predicted things come to pass – flooding, drought, mass extinctions, halitosis, cats and dogs living together, etc. – the developing states will suffer far more from the effects of global warming than the developed ones.
It’s really in India’s best interests to have science be neutral in the policy debate, get to the truth of the matter and plan their future appropriately – as it is in our best interests as well.

Scott

So wait, I thought one of the primary proofs of AGW was the Himalayan glaciers melting. If AGW is not effecting them… then what is it doing?

Hank Hancock

“I do have that test, it is very simple: Anyone who never betrays his own convictions.” – Nogw (10:48:05):
Darn. I guess I failed that test. The “vested interest” lie I told when I was 12 will always come back to haunt. Yes, I broke the vase and have long regretted that I blamed the the dog.

Rob

Sikkim has the largest number of glaciers in India
The present number of glaciers at 84, with the mapping exercise still underway to find about out more ice caps in the state has grown by about four times over the past six years as the figure of glaciers stood at 21 at that time.
The rise in the number of glaciers belied the impact of the global warming phenomena in this region with the scientist pointing out that the impact of global warming has never been a factor in the climate of the border state with the state.
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_sikkim-has-the-largest-number-of-glaciers-in-india_1144565
The problem is these are only real time observations.

jim papsdorf

OT: Americans cool to global warming !!!!!! [ up on Drudge]
“Recent surveys show Americans cooling to global warming, and they’re even less keen on environmental policies they believe might raise power bills or imperil jobs. Those sentiments could mean a tougher road ahead for elected officials looking to fund investments in renewable power or install a carbon cap-and-trade system……
http://www.lvrj.com/news/52828402.html