Himilayan Melting Glacier Alarm Version 2.0

No mention of the IPCC’s flawed 2035 date, but still many of the same talking points are used. It pays to recycle I suppose. This statement:

“But climate change is still happening and we do need to prepare for it. That’s especially true in this part of the world, where poverty and other concerns make its residents very vulnerable to any change.”

…strikes a chord. I’ll point out that our climate now is different than 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 2000 years ago. Did anybody “prepare for it” then? No, and we all seem to be doing better than ever now as a species. – Anthony

The Himalayas. The IPCC had warned that Himalayan glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world and could “disappear altogether by 2035 if not sooner”. Photograph: Wikimedia commons

From the DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory News:

Time to prepare for climate change

Himalayan region’s glaciers melting slowly, but impacts still coming

WASHINGTON – Though the massive glaciers of the greater Himalayan region are retreating slowly, development agencies can take steps now to help the region’s communities prepare for the many ways glacier melt is expected to impact their lives, according to a new report. Programs that integrate health, education, the environment and social organizations are needed to adequately address these impacts, the report states.

“The extremely high altitudes and sheer mass of High Asian glaciers mean they couldn’t possibly melt in the next few decades,” said Elizabeth Malone, a Battelle sociologist and the report’s technical lead. “But climate change is still happening and we do need to prepare for it. That’s especially true in this part of the world, where poverty and other concerns make its residents very vulnerable to any change.”

The report, Changing Glaciers and Hydrology in Asia: Addressing Vulnerability to Glacier Melt Impacts, was prepared in collaboration with Battelle and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Battelle operates the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Malone works from the Joint Global Change Research Institute in College Park, Md., a collaboration between PNNL and the University of Maryland.

Malone will join Mary Melnyk, a USAID natural resource management senior advisor, and Kristina Yarrow, a USAID health advisor, to discuss the findings Tuesday at 10 a.m. Eastern time at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Geoff Dabelko, director of the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, will moderate the discussion.

The event is open to the public, though RSVPs should be sent to ecsp@wilsoncenter.org. The Wilson Center is located inside the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. Directions are available online at www.wilsoncenter.org/directions. A live webcast will also be hosted at http://www.wilsoncenter.org. The report will be available at the event and posted online at www.usaid.gov.

Vulnerable to change

High Asia is dominated by many steep, dramatic mountain ranges that run through parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, India, China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries. The region is home to more than 50,000 glaciers that are vital water lifelines to Asia’s largest rivers, including the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Indus and Ganges. Roughly two billion people depend on these rivers for their water and food supply.

Unfortunately, many people who live in High Asia and along the river basins fed by the region’s glaciers already experience malnutrition and food insecurity, insufficient access to clean water and sanitation, and other issues that will be exacerbated by climate change and population growth. The challenge for agencies like USAID is to incorporate climate change into their existing development efforts so that quality of life continues to improve in the developing world.

“This report lays out what are the potential impacts of glacier melt on sectors such as health and agriculture while exploring how USAID programs could respond to the challenges of changing water supplies,” Melnyk said.

More information needed

Although the world’s glaciers have slowly been retreating since 1850 — the end of what climate scientists refer to as the Little Ice Age — those in High Asia haven’t melted as quickly, mostly due to the glaciers’ location in elevations higher and colder than many other glacier systems, the report notes.

But there’s little historical information about High Asian glaciers to predict their future. The data that does exist consists mostly of physical measurements taken at the glaciers’ most accessible spots, their lowest ends. Glaciers are dynamic and routinely grow in some areas while shedding ice in others. The lower segments are more prone to change due to the higher temperatures associated with lower elevations, making the measurements taken there less reliable. Remote sensing technology has allowed researchers to measure glaciers over larger areas in recent years, but there isn’t much historical data to provide a long-term picture.

The report states that many Himalayan glaciers are retreating, especially at lower elevations, but that no region-wide evidence supports the claim that they’re retreating faster than any other location in the world. The report also recommends that scientists collaborate internationally to show the glaciers’ overall ice balance on a regional scale.

Preparing for the future

One of the most pressing near-term impacts that scientists can study are glacier lake outburst floods. Unlike the widespread deluges that some inaccurately fear could follow sudden glacial melting, these floods are due to slow melting and occur on a smaller scale. They typically happen when an advancing glacier dams a river or water builds up behind soil and rocks deposited by a glacier.

Those most affected by the floods are residents of the rural villages close to glaciers. Although the number of people directly impacted can be small, the damage is often extensive.  Glacier lake floods can be so destructive “that people who survive must move and begin to rebuild their lives in other places,” the report notes. More than 25 glacier lake outburst floods have been recorded in Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet since the 1930s and more will likely occur as climate change progresses.

Retreating glaciers can also heighten existing water worries. In the Indus River Basin, for example, glacier melt accounts for about 30 percent of the river’s water supply. Retreating glaciers would lessen the river’s overall flow, but that impact would likely be more dramatic as the region’s population growth increases the demand for water. The Indus River Basin is already home to more than 200 million people, and the region’s high fertility rates mean its population will continue to grow rapidly. As a result, the region’s per capita water availability will decline steeply. The issue is compounded by the large amount of irrigated land there. “The current vulnerabilities will likely worsen with increasing uncertainties related to water supply,” the report notes.

Human health also stands to be affected by climate change in High Asia. Less available water could mean higher pollution levels and increased difficulty obtaining clean water and sanitation “for hundreds of millions in these watersheds,” reads the report. Diarrhea and other diseases linked to biological and chemical contamination are likely, the report notes. Decreased water availability could also cause declining crop yields and food availability, which would worsen existing hunger issues in the region.

Other impacts discussed in the report include increased civil conflict across country borders due to unstable water supplies and declining ecosystem health that further endangers threatened animals and plants.

Many birds with a few stones

Such expected impacts make for a fairly daunting list. But the report makes several suggestions to address multiple issues at once with cross-sectoral development programs.

For example, programs that focus on agriculture, one of the largest water-use activities, could improve water efficiency and help address water scarcity. This approach could increase crop productivity to address hunger and malnutrition, and strengthen local water-user associations to improve governance capabilities.

Another threat to High Asia’s glaciers, soot, can be reduced while also improving local health, the report suggests. The region’s rural residents cook over traditional stoves that burn wood, agricultural waste, dung and other biomass. The stoves are inefficient and release soot, also known as black carbon, and other aerosols. The black carbon travels through the air and can land on glaciers, which then absorb more sunlight and melt faster. People – mostly women and children – living in the homes where the stoves are used are also harmed. They experience respiratory diseases, heart disease, stillbirth, cataracts and more from the indoor air pollution. More than 1.6 million people in the region die each year as a result.

To counteract this, development agencies could work with scientists, health specialists, technology experts and government officials to develop and make accessible cooking stoves that are more efficient and create fewer emissions. The collaborators could also work closely with women to address health issues by offering alternative cooking practices. And scientific organizations could improve observations and models of glacier melt in relation to soot. Such information could be used by local leaders to develop local methods to reduce soot emissions and improve glacier stability.

“Agencies like USAID already have assets and expertise that have advanced the developing world for years,” Malone said. “This report offers a menu of options on how those assets can also be used to address the many issues that will arise from climate change.”


EVENT: “Changing Glaciers and Hydrology in Asia: Developing a Blueprint for Addressing Glacier Melt in the Region,” Elizabeth Malone, Mary Melnyk and Kristina Yarrow. 10 a.m.- 12 noon, Eastern time, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Ronald Reagan Building , 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C. http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.event_summary&event_id=641631

 

REPORT: “Changing Glaciers and Hydrology in Asia: Addressing Vulnerabilities to Glacier Melt Impacts,” Elizabeth Malone, Mary Melnyk, Kristina Yarrow, Richard Armstrong, Leona D’Agnes, Jessica Ayres, John Gavin, Scott Harding, Ken McNamara, Brian Melchior, Fred Rosenweig, George Taylor, Heather D’Agnes and Rochelle Rainey.  CDM International and TRG collaborated to develop the report.  www.usaid.gov

Tags: Environment, Fundamental Science, Climate Change

Battelle is the world’s largest non-profit independent research and development organization, providing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses: Laboratory Management, National Security, Energy Technology, and Health and Life Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $5.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 20,400 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and two international laboratories—a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom and a renewable energy lab in Malaysia.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America’s most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security. PNNL employs 4,900 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1.1 billion, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab’s inception in 1965. Follow PNNL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Frances White, PNNL, (509) 375-6904

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83 thoughts on “Himilayan Melting Glacier Alarm Version 2.0

  1. It may come as a shock to the agws, that we are at the very end of the 11,500 year Interglacial Warmup Period. All glaciers should be melting. I would be very worried about the glaciers that are growing, which might be signaling the end of the present IWP.

  2. Well – I do believe it when scientists tell me the world will end – in a few billion years! So of course by then, or perhaps a few million years before, all glaciers will be gone!

  3. From the article: “One of the most pressing near-term impacts that scientists can study are glacier lake outburst floods. Unlike the widespread deluges that some inaccurately fear could follow sudden glacial melting, these floods are due to slow melting and occur on a smaller scale. They typically happen when an advancing glacier dams a river or water builds up behind soil and rocks deposited by a glacier.”
    So now “one of the most pressing near-term impacts” is from ADVANCING glaciers? Can’t they at least get the fear of warming/cooling consistent within this one paper?

  4. “Many birds with a few stones”
    Did they leave off the “Kill” because killing birds would sound non-PC and non-vegan? Besides, who still needs stones to kill birds when we have huge rotating blades…

  5. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America’s most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security.
    Why is the United State’s Department of Energy working on ice in the Himalayas? Is there a solution to an intractable energy problem in this? I doubt it. Cut the budget on this Office of Science program.

  6. “Retreating glaciers would lessen the river’s overall flow, but that impact would likely be more dramatic as the region’s population growth increases the demand for water.”
    When precipitation falls on glaciers and doesn’t melt, the glacier grows. That obviously isn’t going to end up in streams anytime soon. When glaciers retreat, more water is melted and it adds to the rivers. That seems pretty basic and obvious. How are retreating glaciers going to reduce the water in Rivers. That would be the case if it didn’t melt and it accumulated water. Do these people not think that the amount of precipitation plus the melt equals the amount in rivers. They seem to have it backwards. I would think they would be more worried about glaciers expanding and the water not making it to the rivers. I must be too dumb to see that 2+2=4.

  7. So, the “technical lead” is a sociologist, not a scientist.
    That might explain the slight contradiction in a report which highlights a risk which has always been there – glacial lake bursts – and the need of a growing population to consume more fresh water, which presumably could come from…….err, melting glaciers.
    Next!

  8. Rhetorical Question – Why does almost every press release, paper or presentation by warming scientists include a bid for more money?
    At least this one is seeking to allocate better (from the writer’s perspective) the enormous amount of funding that is already in place.

  9. Interesting how they try to lay the blame for problems the poor face on “climate change”. Anything to keep on that CAGW gravy train, I suppose.

  10. We did do something the last 100 years to prepare….we got Energy.
    Lots of Energy.
    Now they want to take it away.
    They’re dreaming of a Feudal Utopian.
    Kings & Lords need subjects.

  11. NZ Glaciers holding up?
    “Glacier snowline in steady state by end of summer”
    “In effect, the average amount of snow which fell from autumn 2009 to the end of summer 2010 was slightly more than the amount of snow which melted on these glaciers over that same period.”

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/news-and-publications/news/all/glacier-snowline-in-steady-state-by-end-of-summer
    OT anybody heard anything about the “revised” NZ temp set? Last heard of in “peer review” at OZ BOM?

  12. Parasites!
    “There are big pretty mountains and lots of poor people – so give me a well paid and exciting job where I get to fly all around the world and tell everyone how I am saving people.”
    By the way, I don’t see how measuring water flows on glaciers is going to improve how millions of people cook their dinners.
    “..development agencies could work with scientists, health specialists, technology experts and government officials to develop and make accessible cooking stoves that are more efficient and create fewer emissions” – what self serving BS. I also dont think you need teams of scientists and sociologists and government officials to tell women it would be better if they cooked dinner on an electric stove than on goat dung, we dont seem to need NGO workers here as sales people for Harvey Norman (white goods store).
    Think of all the poor sods whose annual tax payment went to pay “scientists, health specialists, technology experts and government officials”. No person is going to pay for all these parasites voluntarily. Since they are forced to pay they would probably prefer their money go straight to the “poor people” than pay mortgages and plane fares for these self important and sanctimonious ticks.

  13. I do like the report’s emphasis on getting people off biofuels and onto fossil fuels to save the glaciers…

  14. I agree with Warren in Minnesota!
    Why is PNNL using my tax dollars to rant on World Affairs and what does this have to do with “solutions to America’s most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security”?
    Unless I’m missing something, this is a regional Asia and India problem to solve. The particulate matter “soot” is Not coming from the USA; see the link to the map below.
    “Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America’s most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security. PNNL employs 4,900 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1.1 billion, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab’s inception in 1965.”
    New Map Offers a Global View of Health-Sapping Air Pollution
    source: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/health-sapping.html
    “Their map, which shows the average PM2.5 results between 2001 and 2006, offers the most comprehensive view of the health-sapping particles to date. Though the new blending technique has not necessarily produced more accurate pollution measurements over developed regions that have well-established surface-based monitoring networks, it has provided the first PM2.5 satellite estimates in a number of developing countries that have had no estimates of air pollution levels until now.”
    “The map shows very high levels of PM2.5 in a broad swath stretching from the Saharan Desert in Northern Africa to Eastern Asia. When compared with maps of population density, it suggests more than 80 percent of the world’s population breathe polluted air that exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended level of 10 micrograms per cubic meter. Levels of PM2.5 are comparatively low in the United States, though noticeable pockets are clearly visible over urban areas in the Midwest and East.”

  15. That’s especially true in this part of the world, where poverty and other concerns make its residents very vulnerable to any change.”
    Things are changing, you know. Think you should worry about growing poverty in other parts of the world, while we are entering in a Maunder like Minimum….
    Then, as George Carlin said: “Pack you sh##s folks!”

  16. jorge c. says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm
    “Mr.Watt:
    have yor read “The 82 billion prediction”? it is from roger pielke jr.’s blog (link: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/11/82-billion-prediction.html ).
    i think you have to…”
    InsuranceGate!
    “At the same time that RMS was rolling out its new model in 2006, an RMS scientist was serving as a lead author for the IPCC AR4. He inserted a graph (below) into the report suggesting a relationship between the costs of disasters and rising temperatures, when in fact the peer-reviewed literature said the opposite.”
    The IPCC, simply everybody’s darling… Modeled after best pactices of the Oil For Food Program, ROTFLMAO…

  17. Charles S. Opalek, PE says:
    November 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    It may come as a shock to the agws
    ————
    It may come as a shock to naysayers that climatologists are well aware of the IWP since they invented the concept in the first place.
    ————
    that we are at the very end of the 11,500 year Interglacial Warmup Period. All glaciers should be melting.
    ———–
    Weird logic. If we have come to the end of the IWP then the glaciers should have stopped melting.

  18. Until these folks tell me what the freeze line is for each mountain glacier or the elevation so I can figure the lapse rate to see if it even can melt from warming these articles make no sense.

  19. LazyTeenager says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    “It may come as a shock to naysayers that climatologists are well aware of the IWP since they invented the concept in the first place.”
    Like the MWP, right?

  20. kwik says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    thanks for the link – just reading the exec summary is enough to make me wonder why this has obviously been ignored by Messrs Pachauri and Co?

  21. “That’s especially true in this part of the world, where poverty and other concerns make its residents very vulnerable to any change.”
    Poverty stricken areas can be subject to continued poverty given any and all possible changes, and climate of all things changes so slowly that this statement is simply mendacious nonsense. If anything, the exact opposite is true — drought stricken areas aren’t going to be more impoverished due to more of the same, but they COULD show signs of improvement if the climate changed for the better.
    I’d regard the assumption that any/all change is for the worse (wouldn’t any change in reality be a coin flip?) as simply idiotic, but the people making these claims are enabling their would-be totalitarian masters. Hence it’s much worse than merely idiotic; it’s a f****g lie.

  22. BravoZulu ,
    I was thinking the same thing . Has it occured to them that more water probably comes from snow melt than melting glaciers ?

  23. Elizabeth Malone, a Battelle sociologist and the report’s technical lead.
    So a sociologist knows more about climate change than a climate pscientist.
    Says it all really

  24. I disagree that no one in the past did anything about climate change. They used to throw virgins into volcanoes and stuff. These measures would have been every bit as effective in controlling the climate as carbon taxes, emissions trading, renewable energy subsidies etc, and quite a bit cheaper as well.

  25. Why is anyone supposed to pay attention to the lead author, Elizabeth Malone? She is a sociologist, not a “climate scientist.”

  26. AIUI, 90% of all folk that ever became scientists are still alive today. The growth of that career is exponential and therefore cannot be sustained. So much ‘scientific’ output relies on an assumed effect with a construct of cause attached to it and so little on true discovery in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. There needs to be a reset button, a catalyst to allow sanity to return. Perhaps the addition of the word ‘climate’ to any scientific communication will soon assume that role in the wider community as it has done at WUWT and other sceptical blogs.

  27. Anthony wrote “Did anybody “prepare for it” then? No, . . .”
    The Frysans did in the Lowlands (Nederlands). They developed the polders by connecting hills with dikes. They were first developed in the 1500s — just after the low sea levels in the 1400s began rising again after the first cold dip of the Little Ice Age.

  28. The lower segments are more prone to change due to the higher temperatures associated with lower elevations, making the measurements taken there less reliable.

    Sorry Anthony, but I’m not going to beat around the bush.
    SOOT
    Glaciers in northern hemisphere partly melting due to soot.
    James Hansen
    http://www.pnas.org/content/101/2/423.full
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2005/Koch_Hansen.html
    Soot could equal up to 60 percent of the current global warming effect of carbon dioxide
    http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2010/july/072710global-warming.html
    Are all Himalayan glaciers melting?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8387737.stm
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/326/5955/924
    Himalayan glaciers ‘melting’ due as much to soot and dust as CO2
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-soot.html
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/himalayan-warming.html
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/26593/2009/acpd-9-26593-2009.html
    and
    “Most of the earth’s glaciers have been shrinking in recent decades,…..”
    American Geographical Society – 1947
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/211127
    “The great number of glaciers of which we have any information are retreating; the glaciers of the Scandinavian Alps alone are entering a period of advance;….”
    International Committee on Glaciers – 1907
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/30058579
    “But we can say, in general, that the dominating tendency of glaciers at the present time is to retreat.”
    International Committee on Glaciers – 1904
    http://www.jstor.org/pss/30056705
    Sorry for the links but I find it’s easier just to pre-prepare pages for the inevitable claims. I could find more but this should be enough for Warmist to read through for now.

  29. This a wee bit off the main topic, but I felt the urge to comment…
    It really does seem obvious to me that the supporters of AGW and its sceptics will never agree.
    The former are, to put it bluntly brainwashed, and the latter are are fighting a rearguard action; all the time, because the greens insist on moving the goal-posts whenever a new source of data is revealed. Do not ask me to verify a source for this comment, because the greens hardly ever do so either. Having said that, I may be able so to do.
    So, does this mean a majority vote in Mexico will pronounce doom for Joe and Jane?
    Maybe not. If the previous debacles of so-called democratic meetings are to be made meaningful, then hope for a world order domination may, for the time being, be put in abeyance.
    I for one, really hope so.

  30. OT
    Ok I know that given the source this might seem dubious.
    Released by FOI the patent suppression list from 1973 that includes
    “Fuel Conservation Technology” and 
    “Alternative Fuels”. 
    as being subject to Suppression… also 
    “Pollution Reduction Technology” and
    “Apparatus for Increasing Efficiency” and
    “Hydrogen Enrichment Technologies”.
    Photo-voltaic panels “in excess of 20% efficient” !!
    http://www.energeticforum.com/renewable-energy/6720-suppression-document-youtube.html

  31. Actually I didn’t see a whole lot wrong with the article. It says that Himalayan glaciers are retreating slowly due to climate change, which is probably true. I may have missed it but I didn’t see anything that said the climate change was attributable to man, which was refreshing for a change.
    I do question why a US entity is butting into an issue that is obviously a SE Asian problem though.

  32. Glaciers ALWAYS melt., it’s what they do. Trying to stop them is futile. If the Himalayan glaciers are indeed retreating, the probable cause is just as likely to be precipitation starvation – which prevents them from replenishing – as it is rising temperatures. Given the widespread de-forestation that has occurred in the Himalayan foothills, depriving the glaciers of a vital source of moisture, why has it not seemingly occurred to anybody involved in these studies that it is this, and NOT rising temperatures due to CO2, which is the cause of the perceived problem?
    My take…..
    It is not PC to suggest that local problems may caused by the behaviour of impoverished local people, but it is PC to throw actual science out of the window and blame them on the rich industrialised West.

  33. kwik says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    Thanks also for the link.
    In the summary of the report you cited, this stands out:
    “Glacier snout fluctuation can be in response to: Secular movement; Periodic movement, Seasonal movement or even Accidental. The problem of resolving glacier movement into its various components, secular, periodic, seasonal is extremely complicated. Unless and until the basic difference between the types of the glacier snout movement is understood, it may be erroneous to co-relate glacier snout fluctuation with one atmospheric parameter or the other. The more glaciers we can examine in a given area, the better are the chances of coming to a correct conclusion. Every glacier in a region should be studied, for there are few that will not teach us something.”
    AND
    “The problem, however, is not as simple. A glacier is not only effected by complicity of the physical features that affect the glacier itself, but there are so many complications of climate that it is surprising that the snout movement of any glacier should reveal the periodic climate variation or the phases of the climatic variations till many centuries of observations become available. These complicated factors affect the periodic movements of the snouts of glaciers in a very marked manner. Ultimately the movements are due to climate and snowfall in particular, but the factors are so varied that the snout movements appear to be peculiar to each particular glacier. There may be little resemblance between the periodic movements in neighbouring glaciers of a range, even if they have the same exposure. Sometimes there is no similarity between the periodic movements in two branches of the same compound glacier; and, occasionally, one side of a glacier tongue may be advancing while the other is stagnant or even retreating.”
    The Himalayas are still upwelling as the land masses continue to collide, and upwelling also happens greater than this due to the end of the ice age reducing the weight of ice overall (land rebound) at higher elevation. These increase the speed of the glacier proportionate to the length of the glacier (lever length). Archimedes knows this. Seismic upwellings (and subsidences) also complicate this, for example, a subsidence fault could “gobble up” a glacier that passes over it and cause the snout to lose ice contribution, causing apparent “retreat”.

  34. There is more to the Himalayas than the glaciers melting. There appear to be serious geological movement further down. Just take a look at the change in the secular variation of GMFz from 1995 to 2005.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HGMFzsv.htm
    Rapid changes in the magnetic field are usually accompanied by change in temperatures. I will look into this one more closely.

  35. As long as the technical lead is a sociologist, seems to me they should bring Naomi Oreskes on board too, to show that the “consensus” of “climate change” scientists still believe in an early loss of the Himalayan glaciers! This would be good PR for the anti-skeptic campaign of the American Geophysical Union. See L A Times article Nov. 8th, “Scientists form a climate PR strategy” [“researchers will take on global warming skeptics”]. Whatever happened to looking at the skeptic research, as suggested by the Inter-Academy Council?

  36. Although the article above accepts Himalyan glacial retreat since 1850 it’s good to get some more info.

    Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan Glacier Fluctuations Since AD 1812
    “In a gross regional sense Himalayan and Trans-Himalayan glaciers have been in a general state of retreat since AD 1850. Filtering of the fluctuation records with respect to glacier type and regional setting reveals that the period AD 1870 to 1940 was characterized by alternations in the dominancy of retreat, advance, and standstill regimes. “

    Himalayan And Trans-Himalayan Glacier Fluctuations And The South Asian Monsoon Record
    “Termini fluctuations for glaciers in the Himalayas and Trans-Himalayas are examined for the period AD 1850 to 1960. This period can be characterized as one of general retreat. Differentiation by geographic subdivision, however, reveals that Himalayan glaciers (best exemplified in Lahaul-Spiti, Kolahoi, Nanga Parbat, and Garwhal) show consistent retreat throughout the period, while Trans-Himalayan glaciers…”

    Couple this natural retreat with the effects of man-made soot release and what do we have? Co2 (gas) caused melting for the future????? I’m still waiting for the evidence.

  37. “I do question why a US entity is butting into an issue that is obviously a SE Asian problem though.”
    The americans have always felt the need to get involved in south east asia….

  38. Warren in Minnesota says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    Why is the United State’s Department of Energy working on ice in the Himalayas?
    =========================================================
    Programs that integrate health, education, the environment and social organizations are needed to adequately address these impacts
    ==========================================================
    Barack Obama, quote, “spread the wealth”

  39. I’m with John from CA. We (U.S. Fed Gov) need to reduce spending by at least $1 trillion/year and I think we should defund USAID to help.

  40. RayG
    November 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm
    Why is anyone supposed to pay attention to the lead author, Elizabeth Malone? She is a sociologist, not a “climate scientist.”
    #
    We should listen because she is a socialist and not a scientist. She is able to see past cold logic of real science to meet the real needs of people with compassion that comes from soft science, like stalin.

  41. This is BS. Professor Martine Tabeaud from Paris University, a geographer had already to correct quite strongly the IPCC french delegation alarmism on that very question. She explains that this is the monsoon that influences the agriculture and water levels in river about 80-90% of it! not the glaciers water.

  42. Let’s see here…Battelle, $5.2B, I assume PNNL’s $1.1B is separate from that?
    That sounds like $6.3B that could stand a bit of a budget-balancing haircut if this is the kind of thing they’re producing.

  43. Kev-in-UK says:
    November 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    “kwik says:
    November 15, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    thanks for the link – just reading the exec summary is enough to make me wonder why this has obviously been ignored by Messrs Pachauri and Co?”
    Ah, but Kev!!! Pachauri did not ignore it at all!!!! This is the report Pachauri called Voodoo Science, remember?
    While it really was the IPCC that was doing Voodoo science, and this report is the real deal. So why isnt the MSM spreading the good word? Because they are biased.

  44. Apologies if this has already been stated, but please, someone, save this for the incoming head of the appropriations committee. Whomever the person, it would seem to me, he/she would take exception to us funding such tripe.

  45. I am practicing my kangling in order to ward off the evil spirits of Al Gore. Sadly, the kangling should be played with the left side of the mouth and I am to used to playing brass instruments from the right side. However I will persevere. With the right application of a damaru at night and a kangling at night the evil of AGW will be sent to the Gore Mansion and never be seen again. Just to make sure, I also got a Tibetan long horn. A bit of Chod and I exorcise the evil spirits of the Gore from the holy mountains. At that time nature will take over like she always has (no matter what I do anyway).

  46. “Y2Kyoto: We’re Winning
    Tremble, all ye who doubt me…
    Some top advisors to the President are advising cutting off funding for solar and wind farm construction projects, whereas other advisors warn that pulling money from the program could antagonize powerful allies in Congress and signal failure.
    Via
    Posted by Kate at November 15, 2010 4:19 PM”
    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/015349.html#comments
    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/109845/

  47. Does anyone here read the New York Times? America’s “paper of record” yesterday published a 5 page AGW polemic titled, “As Glaciers Melt, Scientists Seek New Data On Rising Seas.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/science/earth/14ice.html?
    It makes all the usual predictions by all the usual “scientists” and reports on “startling changes” in the Greenland and Antartic ice sheets that will have billions of humans treading water in their homes in less than 100 years. I look forward to comments.

  48. Given that the Chinese acted as the spokesman for the developing nations at Copenhagen and will no doubt do the same at Cancun, this site offers a translation of a very popular Chinese book which outlines their views on the whole CAGW issue and more importantly how they see it as being essentially a ploy to keep them poor.
    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/
    Pointman

  49. Sounds like these places need cheap energy like coal so they can fire up the engines of economic growth, create jobs and sustainable wealth to provide for themselves today and into their future. We need to stop that before it gets out of hand and the IPCC and Jim Hansen have a plan – no death trains laden with coal for the Himalayan nations!

  50. So…… written by a sociologist.
    Notes no long term data.
    No overall long term change noted in higher elevations with what little data they do have.
    Lower glacier terminus both retreating and advancing… so no consistency.
    No nothing.
    But lots of global warming predictions based on what? Nothing.
    A total crap article…… in my professional opinion as a geoscientist.

  51. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned it yet, but the mountain photo above is Mt. Everest center, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar to the right, and the Nuptse Ridge running from the left and along the middle of the photo.

  52. re: post by Anything is possible says: November 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Glaciers ALWAYS melt., it’s what they do. Trying to stop them is futile. If the Himalayan glaciers are indeed retreating, the probable cause is just as likely to be precipitation starvation – which prevents them from replenishing – as it is rising temperatures. Given the widespread de-forestation that has occurred in the Himalayan foothills, depriving the glaciers of a vital source of moisture, why has it not seemingly occurred to anybody involved in these studies that it is this, and NOT rising temperatures due to CO2, which is the cause of the perceived problem?
    My take…..
    It is not PC to suggest that local problems may caused by the behaviour of impoverished local people, but it is PC to throw actual science out of the window and blame them on the rich industrialised West.

    It has occurred to some that the glacial retreat is from local factors in some cases. I know there have been some articles along those lines, and pretty sure some research papers too. Just google: Himalayan glacier de-forestation and you’ll get a lot of returns to play with in this regard.
    Meanwhile, I have to partially agree with your final paragraph re PCness. I’m sure there’s a good mix in there of PC issues, “eco-justice” issues, narrow mindedness, ignorance of all the factors involved, $$$ issues, personal bias, etc., all depending on who the researcher(s) happens to be. All of this makes trying to weed thru the cr#p and figure out what is or isn’t reasonable a real pain, not to mention time consuming – for all of the ‘climate science’ research. Some research papers can be tossed out pretty summarily, just from a quick look finding major flaws, but then you still have to find and run thru the zillion other papers on closely related issues to ever get anywhere.

  53. Most of the Himalayan water comes from orographic lift of the monsoon clouds: glacier melt is peanuts compared to that. As the height of the Himalayas are not threatened by catastrophic erosion in the next decade, the need for preparation lays elsewhere, in the plains, where political corruption favors incompetence and results in water scarcity on the ground. The US government could help by stopping to subsidies corrupt regimes.

  54. re post by: Warren in Minnesota says: November 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Why is the United State’s Department of Energy working on ice in the Himalayas?

    The over seas things that our tax dollars are going to is truly amazing – a lot of stuff makes studying glaciers in the Himalayas look virtually reasonable by comparison. Just a few of the crazy ones I’ve run across articles about in the last couple of years alone:
    * $550K for focus groups and interviews of the $ex lives of truck drivers,
    * $1.44 MILLION to study male prostitutes in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi,
    * $2 MILLION study promoting condom use among IV drug users in Kazakhstan (not kidding),
    * $315K studying possible increase in violence in families after NFL upsets,
    * $411K to teach Chinese meditation to cocaine addicts,
    * $181K for how cocaine enhances the sex life of Japanese Quail (not native in the US),
    * $1.39 MILLION surveying married Tajik migrant workers in Moscow,
    * $919K to find that bar fights happen more often in darker dirtier bars frequented by heavy drinking less agreeable people (duh!)…
    I’m sure there are tons more.
    Research funding is a relatively small part of our federal budget, and sometimes research that sound nuts can actually in fact be quite good or useful – but it really seems some of this has just gotten crazy. It’s especially irritating to me when these large amounts go to fund behavioral research outside our nation – seems to me if they’re going to study some of these things, at least do it on our own population where its probably more relevant, and a heck of a lot cheaper to boot!! Even in the USA a lot of these sorts would be highly questionable use of tax payer funds.

  55. Used to be a DOE contractor in the 1970’s (Pilot service) I remember flying
    Battlelle people around and the the talk was of:Global Cooling! yes, Ice flows in the
    sound, the Ice sheet approaching and all that…
    No, I have little confidence when the science is propelled and funded by burning
    taxpayer’s dollars.

  56. we all know the sun will burn out and the earth will die .is there any chance that I will get a grant to investergate if cockroaches will survive

  57. These people need either luggage and transportation, or to hire some qualified engineers and skilled labor and buy some heavy construction equipment.
    Change is the only constant, whether weather, climates, or anything else.
    No one has been able to see into the future, and I don’t think that will happen any time soon.
    A whole lot fewer people who know nothing about science yet attempt to communicate information (or propaganda) about what is science would save taxpayers all over this planet huge sums of money with no downside at all.

  58. Sociology…isn’t that the science of using long and convoluted sentences to express simple ideas badly?
    Should be just what is needed by the pro-AGW mob. Confusion to the enemy.

  59. What they really mean when they say “world’s glaciers” is the less then 150 measured by World Glacier Monitoring Services or some such out of an astounding one hundred thousand plus then some glaciers.
    How is that representative of the worlds glacier mass? For instance they include eight of Iceland’s puny amount of glaciers and 23 in Norway but only three of Chinas more than thirty thousand glaciers, so it’s really just less then 150 of the about 5000 they know something about out of a hundred thousand glaciers they know virtually nothing about, yet the world’s glaciers are a melting like it’s a catastrophe.
    It would be a catastrophe if you were dependent on the fresh water supply from your glacier it was not melting.

  60. First of all the area of glaciation is minute when compared to the size of the catchment area of the big Asian rivers. The majority of people who are served by those rivers reside in the lowlands where any variations in glacier melt would be almost unnoticeable.
    The real problem I have though is with the passive/aggressive racism in the activities of many of these third world helpers. The Indian civilization has been around for a very long time and is sophisticated in many many ways. There are scientists and engineers and medicos and so on who are world class and innovative yet here we have a group saying “hi , we’re from the west and we are here to help”. Such chutzpah.
    I see it here in Africa where NGO’s show up and fiddle about with the native culture, trying to apply some theoretical model they have dreamed up. It invariably fails when the cash runs out or the people lose interest and then back it all goes to the standard local model. Dishing out cash and advice no matter how well meaning never sticks because the locals have their own ideas and aspirations. These western just show up, draw a fat salary, drive SUV’s and live high on the hog. When they are finished a paper is written, the CV fattened and onto the next NGO teat.
    IMHO the USAID, Foreign Aid etc. is a waste of money and time as it doesn’t even convince the recipient that the donors are good guys and so should be sided with or even traded with necessarily. If the money was spent on providing education for promising locals that would be a better spend as the 10% who didn’t want to stay in the west after graduating would at least marry local aspirations and needs to their skills. Those staying in the west would obviously benefit the west.
    You cannot just bungee in with ideas because people don’t like to be told they are inadequate to the task, or even voodoo scientists. The resentment caused by these experts is beyond measure and ultimately it builds into hatred.

  61. “Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 20,400 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which Battelle manages or co-manages for the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and two international laboratories—a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom and a renewable energy lab in Malaysia”
    Battelle is subsidized by the US taxpayer? Do we know why? Is there any accountability here?
    pjs

  62. How many times have the high priests of AGW told us that the views of non-climate scientists on these topics are worthless? I suggest we all apply this view to this report by sociologist lead author.

  63. Battelle and its northwest clone are suitable Tea Party targets. The US can no longer afford such expenditures. Let the “two billion” people to be affected by glacier melt devise their own solutions. No reason for a mere 350 million Americans to get involved.

  64. For example, programs that focus on agriculture, one of the largest water-use activities, could improve water efficiency and help address water scarcity. This approach could increase crop productivity to address hunger and malnutrition, and strengthen local water-user associations to improve governance capabilities.
    IMO: The only paragraph that makes sense. Also, improved agriculture is the most cost effective response to population increases. But, what India really needs is an alteration of the British quote:
    “Let them eat cow.”

  65. Shibui says:
    November 16, 2010 at 4:10 am
    “Battelle is subsidized by the US taxpayer? Do we know why?”
    PNNL is located at/near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Hanford was the main plutonium factory in the US. It’s probably best if the scientists/engineers in the US that made plutonium/nuclear bombs would not be put into the position of having to seek employment on the ‘international’ market.
    In short it started out as a ‘jobs program’ for former nuclear bomb makers.

  66. “”””” Garry says:
    November 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm
    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned it yet, but the mountain photo above is Mt. Everest center, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar to the right, and the Nuptse Ridge running from the left and along the middle of the photo. “”””
    So your point is ???
    AS a matter of fact if I just ignore all that stuff in the foreground (that ridge and peak on the right) and just look at the big mountain on the left; it looks exactly like the North Face of The Eiger; and I can do an A-B match, because I have a photo of the Eiger not more than 18 inches above my computer screen, so I can see both of them simultaneously.

  67. Without reading all of the above.
    “Although the world’s glaciers have slowly been retreating since 1850 — the end of what climate scientists refer to as the Little Ice Age ”
    I thought that Climate Scientists (Mann et al) had declared that there had been no “Little Ice Age” or “Medieval Warm Period” – therefore how can they cite any of those periods in their articles?

  68. But, the most effective solution to crop management, watering livestock and people, and providing for sewage treatment and clean water down below the glaciers – regardless of width or length of the individual glacier in question?
    Dams. Concrete pipes. Steel pipes. Pumps. Electricity. Treatment facilities and spray ponds. Chlorine.
    Oh – right. The enviro’s don’t want “those” solutions. They’d prefer people die early in squalid poverty – living with disease, death, and malnutrition.

  69. Dan in California says:
    November 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    Can’t they at least get the fear of warming/cooling consistent within this one paper?
    ———————-
    Agreed Dan – I only got a few paragraphs further before deciding to stop reading. It just didn’t make sense, half of it. A climate piece written by a sociologist; well, what do we expect?

  70. Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach. Those that can neither do nor teach, go into sociology, where they spend the rest of their lives making up little stories about why they can neither do, nor teach.

  71. The actual amount of flow that glaciers contribute to the major rivers cited is minimal; it’s the monsoons and seasonal rainfall that control them.
    There’s just no end to the invalidity packaged by these shysters.

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