Himalayan glaciers' 'mixed picture' from Al-BBC
A scientific debate has been triggered over the state of glaciers in the Himalayas.
Some recent findings seem to contradict claims that the glaciers are retreating rapidly. Some glaciers are even said to be advancing.
There are clear signs of glacial retreat and ice melt from other parts of the world, but few field studies have been carried out in the Himalayas.
Its glaciers too were widely believed to be receding fast. Fact 1: My dog died today after being hit by a car. Fact 2: There are cars all over the world. -> Conclusion: All dogs are facing imminent and inevitable death unless we revert to horse carriages.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had said that Himalayan glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world.
The panel observed: "If the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by 2035 (see below...) and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate."
In the western Himalayas, some scientists have also reported findings that conflict with the long-held view that glaciers are retreating.
The Indian government has issued a discussion paper based on these findings.
It says: "Himalayan glaciers, although shrinking in volume and constantly showing a retreating front, have not in any way exhibited... an abnormal annual retreat, of the order that some glaciers in Alaska and Greenland are reported to have done.
"It is premature to make a statement that glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating abnormally because of global warming."
But, he adds, "I do not know of any scientific study that supports a complete vanishing of [Himalayan] glaciers within this century." Good job, IPCC. 25 years, 90+ years... no difference, right? And they won a Nobel... that prize sure is getting cheap these days. I have my hopes up for one myself for the excellent omelette I made this morning.