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back to article Himalayan glaciers actually GAINING ice, space scans show

A new study of survey data gleaned from space has shown a vast region of Himalayan glaciers is actually gaining ice steadily, mystifying climate scientists who had thought the planet's "third pole" to be melting. The study was carried out by comparing two sets of space data, the first gathered by instruments aboard the space …

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Maybe it's happening glacially.

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Anonymous Coward

maybe but there is balance with exploding icebergs :

http://www.videobash.com/video_show/exploding-iceberg-in-antarctica-254769 [extreemly work safe with Mary Whitehouse]

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Happening glacially

Rather than happening glacially, I would say it's happening minutely:

from the article "Across the targeted 5,615km2 region of the Karakorum mountains lying on the Chinese border with India and Pakistan, the glaciers had gained substantial amounts of mass"

from a couple of (non-wikipedia) online sources: "the himalayas extend from west to east for about 2,500 km in a curve, from the pamit knot in the northwest to the valley of the brahmaputra river in the east. and with a width of 100 - 400 km. the himalayas range covering an area of 612,021 sq. km. "

So the title of the article really should be "Less than 1% of Himalayan glaciers actually GAINING ice, space scans show"

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Paris Hilton

THE PROBLEM IS YOU IDIOTS DONT UNDERSTAND HOW GLOBAL WARMING WORKS THE HOTTER IT GETS THE MORE ICE WERE ALL GOING TO DIE OF HEAT PROSTRATION WHILE ENCASED IN SOLID

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A tired topic from a broken record

1. See Lewis Page Climate denier article

2. Skip reading article as all credibility on the issue long gone.

3. Post comment but now this has become religious dogma on both sides instead just post this list.

4. No profit only lots of confusion and divisive name calling.

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Facepalm

Exploding icebergs?

They missed that one in the current incessant deluge of "This is the real reason the Titanic sank" documentaries.

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Anonymous Coward

@Big Dumb Guy 555

Obvious troll is obvious.

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WTF?

The climate change debate is irrelevant

I've never understood why the climate change debate makes any sense. It seems to come down this question: "Have humans polluted the environment so much that it's changing the climate?" But what does it matter if we're affecting the climate or not? Clearly we have polluted the environment to some degree and clearly the climate is changing, because it's always changing, whether we did it or not.

Whether the two are correlated or not is moot. Either way, we should always try to pollute as little as possible. Pollution causes many problems, and possible climate change is only one of them. Why has the climate debate turned into an argument over whether it's ok to continue dumping all the crap we want into the environment? Why is it a political issue instead of an obvious truism? It's never ok to cause more pollution than necessary and we should always be working to reduce our pollution output. Climate change just clouds the real issue. Perhaps an orange-brown hazy kind of cloud.

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Black Helicopters

Doesnt matter

They would still make up taxes for global warming if we where stuck in an ice age.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Doesnt matter

Of course! how dare you want fair taxes!

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Re: Doesnt matter

P.J. O'Rourke put it best.

Talking taxes to the government is like talking garbage to your dog. You can tell your dog to stay out of the garbage, but all he hears is "Garbage!"

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Unhappy

Re: Doesnt matter

Yeah cos it'll get warmer SOMETIME and it's your fault TODAY.

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Watch the excuses come out

Now sit back and watch the excuses come pouring out from the scientists who live on global warming research grants................................

Scientists shouldn't be paid by grant. Grants cause the science to become secondary to ensuring the grant continues. Better to pay them a salary irrespective of their findings and get some real science.

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

Excuse?

It's those Asians coming over here stealing our water and adding to thier ice mountain, just t make us crawl to the Chinese for our, no doubt, water with nasty visruses in it.

I didn't fight in two world wars etc. etc.

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

Feel free to post some evidence to back up this dreary old conspiracy chestnut.

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

Just a small point. Scientists aren't paid by grant. They are paid by salary.

Not that it makes any difference to their lies but I think it's important to get our side of the story right.

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

@Leslie Graham.

Well, my sister is a scientist (not anything to do with climate change) and she gets a salary, but the money for the salary comes from a grant and therefore she is effectively paid by grant. Every so often, lots of ideas go for grant money and if successful, the salary keeps getting paid. If none of the grant applications are successful, she is made redundant...

So, although technically she is paid a salary, without the grant, the salary disappears too. So, the grant is rather important to continued employment, hence my comment.

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Dreary conspiracy

Which one, the one you suspect is going on when some high grade science opposing your opinion comes out or the Warmologists?

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WTF?

Re: Watch the excuses come out

Thus all scientists and science is funded this way?

That is the Daily Mail/Sun approach - not exactly scientific, is it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Watch the excuses come out

Roughly speaking, there are two classes of (academic) scientist.

Some (Profs, Lecturers, etc) are paid by their institution, not by grant.

Others (the postdocs/research associates/etc) are paid by grant money; no grant means no job.

In some countries (e.g the US, I believe) some who in the UK would normally be 100% institution funded are instead only part funded by it; so no grant means a pay cut.

In my experience (i,e. mostly the UK) institutions are absolutely ruthless about getting rid of un(grant)funded postdocs. They do not care how much part-finished work gets binned, or how much stress is caused; out you go.

If you are a lucky postdoc, the boss (ie a prof/etc) does care and tries to get another grant funded before you get the boot; but there are no guarantees.

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Facepalm

Re: Watch the excuses come out

Perhaps if you tried getting the story from someone less biassed it would help. This is typical Lewis crap reporting, only printing the fragments that he agrees with and ignoring the rest.

A small excerpt from another source of this story (BBC web site):

"A French team used satellite data to show that glaciers in part of the Karakoram range, to the west of the Himalayan region, are putting on mass.

The reason is unclear, as glaciers in other parts of the Himalayas are losing mass - which also is the global trend."

So they state categorically that the trend is for global glacial melting, and that this is an unexplained event in a one region.

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

PS: Yes the quote is from the BBC, but it is reporting the scientists views not the journalists!

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Stop

Re: Watch the excuses come out

If your sister part of the Let's Make Up Science Mega Conspiracy tell her to stop.

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

Organic chemist: Benefits ICI. Gets paid by ICI.

Microbiologist. Benefits GSK. Gets paid by GSK.

Climate Scientist. May benefit future generations. Gets paid by who?

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

@Jim Birch.

No my sister is not part of the 'Let's Make Up Science Mega Conspiracy'.

She is actually a well respected geneticist (I should refer to her as Dr) and is currently being made redundant due to the research grant for the work running out!! So, I absolutely know what I'm talking about. She'd love another grant as that would keep her salary coming in!!

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Re: Watch the excuses come out

Surely you're not suggesting that grant funded scientists would put their employers interests before the truth?

I cannot believe anyone would be that unprincipled.

That would be like a journalist who wrote 'contentious' articles simply to generate page views on his employer's website.

Ridiculous, eh?

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Anonymous Coward

So which is it?

I noticed the same information on the BBC this morning, but it put a completely different spin on the issue. I have no opinion on which is right, but I'd be very interested to know whose 'spin' is more accurate.

This article seems to imply the finding is significantly at odds with current thinking. The BBC article implies that this is a minor regional anomaly that doesn't have much bearing on global trends, e.g. "The reason is unclear, as glaciers in other parts of the Himalayas are losing mass - which also is the global trend... it is clear that the trend contrasts with other parts of the wider Himalayas-Hindu Kush region"

So which is it? Is the growth of this glacier an insignificant blip in a wider trend, or is it a major setback to current climate models? Or a bit of both?

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Coat

Re: So which is it?

If anyone knew, would this stupid fucking debate still be raging? We'll all be blissfully happy in our worm farms before anyone actually has a solid explanation.

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Re: So which is it?

In general they are melting, that a small number of glaciers which are technically not in the Himalayas anyway are getting thicker is almost certainly down in increased precipitation on them; though we don't know for certain.

Remember it is global warming, which does not mean that all areas will get warmer. In addition global warming will lead to shifting weather patterns leading to some areas getting increased precipitation. If this falls as snow then glaciers can very easily get thicker/longer.

Trust Lewis to put the usual everything is a scam spin on it.

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Boffin

Re: So which is it?

Well, here's the thing. Lewis Page has significant previous form for over-stating the relevance of findings such as these. When I read the article on the BBC web site over the weekend, I made a mental note to look out for the Lewis Page "Global warming is a myth, look, here, these new findings *prove* it!" article come Monday morning. And, right on cue, here it is.

I have no idea which view is right, having not yet read the source material behind the articles. But I do know I will be giving no credence whatsoever to Page's views on the subject.

GJC

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Downvoted?

Lewis, is that you? :-)

GJC

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Devil

Re: So which is it?

Neither.

The "shrinking" glaciers are downwind from the heavily polluted India.

The "growing" glaciers have virtually no industry upwind from them for thousands of miles. See the jetstream map for the area - before it reaches Karacorum it blows across Afganistan and the virtually uninhabited portions of Iran and Northern Pakistan.

It is not warming which melts Himalayan glaciers, it is particulate polution. Most moisture coming up from the Indian ocean across India with the monsoons settles on the windward (facing India) slopes (along with all pollution it picks up on the way). The slope facing China is a mountain desert with rainfall comparable to the middle of the Sahara.

Even 1% albedo change from tar which industry, badly maintained internal combustion engines and diesels put in the air can make more damage to glaciers and snow cover than all of the annual temperature changes reported so far combined.

Nothing to see here, move along, it is still humans who make for the "melting", just nobody wants to admit "how" they do it.

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@Geoff Campbell Re: So which is it?

Conversely, you could argue that the BBC and other large media outlets have significant previous form for under-stating the relevance of such findings and putting a pro-warming spin on them. But you seem happy to give them plenty of credence.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell So which is it?

That's the problem......money talks. For scientists, journalists etc.etc. You'll never get an unbiased view as each is looking after the next paycheck. They also (including scientists) use very bad and simplistic science to make their viewpoint. Glaciers shrinking must mean increasing temperatures is a common one. Whether glaciers increase, decrease or stay the same is a lot more complicated than simply air temperature.

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@Geoff Cambell Re: So which is it?

There have been many occasions where topics I understood very well have been covered on the BBC and in every single case there has been a very biased spin put on it which was not justified by the actual facts behind the story. This is why one of the BBC's monikers is the Biased Broadcasting Company, Try it out for yourself. Look for a BBC news story on any topic you understand fully and see how they have spun the story to fit their own agenda

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Re: So which is it?

Hi Ralph

It's just a minor anomoly. Don't take my word for it. Simply go and have a look for yourself at any of the other 99% of glaciers around the world.

Interesting that some factions will make a huge fuss about a tiny area anomalous area and yet completely ignore what is happenning everywhere else.

Stand by for; "The Arctic has recovered!" and suchlike. Heh heh.

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Re: So which is it?

"...It is not warming which melts Himalayan glaciers, it is particulate polution..."

It's long been known that 'soot' is a contributory factor in the varying melt rates of the high altitude Karakorum range glaciers. There is no evidence it is the primary factor either there or in the rest of the world's glaciers.

And, of course, the majority of the Himalyan glaciers ARE in rapid retreat - only the high altitude glaciers are building up as a result of the increased precipitation. The lower ones are melting before our eyes. You don't have to be a climate scientist to see this - you just have to go there and take a look for yourself.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So which is it?

The BBC has a nasty habit for over stating the alarmist point of view. You only need to see how their news reporters end every line about bad weather with "is this another sign of climate change?"

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Re: So which is it?

Interestingly, from having a quick look around the net, it would appear something like a sixth to an eighth (it was a pie chart) of glaciers are increasing whilst the rest are decreasing. So, not exactly 99% to 1%, but definately in favour of loss.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell So which is it?

Actually, if you take the time to read what Geoff in fact said, he isn't necessarily giving credence to the BBC either. He's just giving zero credence to Lewis Page's spin. He doesn't have to take a position himself to say this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So which is it?

Its a case of who you believe, scientists and journalists or some ex- navy type with opinion bigger than his intellect?

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Re: So which is it?

"I noticed the same information on the BBC this morning, but it put a completely different spin on the issue. I have no opinion on which is right, but I'd be very interested to know whose 'spin' is more accurate."

Cherry picking is a common tactic of denialists. Pull some data out of context, ignore the rest and then pretend the data "proves" that the trend is not happening at all. I would not be surprised if the exact same thing is happening here.

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Re: @Geoff Campbell So which is it?

Thanks, Eddie, you're spot on.

I give no credence to any journalistic output until I have read the background, which in this case I haven't. But for the hard of thinking, let me re-state what Eddie said - just because I disbelieve Lewis, does not mean I believe the BBC.

GJC

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Re: So which is it?

There are other first order forcings as well as CO2, and they include land use change, aerosols and particulates. These operate in a regional fashion and change weather patterns. It is simply not reasonable to attribute glacier melt to a single cause.

The decline of Kilimanjaro glaciers was originally attributed to AGW and was a poster child of the effects of AGW, but now, almost everyone accepts that the *predominant* cause has been deforestation below Kilimanjaro.

The records kept of the size of glaciers is not particularly good in either extent or depth. With satellite imaging, we'll have much better coverage, but it could take 100 years before we really know the truth....

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Paris Hilton

Re: So which is it?

Actually, the point in this article, and in other cases, is the systematic debunking of various claimed significances. For instance, if IPCC claimed that the Himalayas would be void of glacial ice by 2035, or whenever, then shouted from its highest pulpit and repeated by its disciple groups that this was yet another proof of Global Warming/Global Climate Change (two terms which are largely incompatible.) But then when proven inaccurate the same groups sneer that this is an insignificant area, isolated anomaly, happening even though it shouldn't because we say so, etc.

Same with Al Gore and polar bears, record heat, record cold, record acne breakouts, record crops, record crop shortages, record rain fall, record drought, et al.

In short, the AGW/GCC crowd sets up pillars to support its arrogance, and those pillars keep getting knocked down. Yet they insist the building should still stand even without its foundation.

Paris, a pillar.

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Alert

At least the IPCC ADMITS when it has a problem

Has the Reg ever admitted when its articles have been wrong re AGW? Even provably wrong? Has *any* denier ever admitted they were wrong? The myths about ocean cooling, and global cooling continue to be spread even though they are definitively provable wrong. The scientific process used by the scientists whose data and conclusions are summarised by the IPCC report ensures that errors are discovered and corrected.

As soon as the glacier prediction was shown to be wrong a retraction/correction was issued by the IPCC. Any record of any denier thinktank doing something similar when faced with overwhelming evidence? No, I didn't think so.

So, in summary, one or two bricks may have been knocked out of the huge strong wall proving AGW, but the overall integrity has not been compromised. The side opposing the evidence of AGW has a small pile of half-baked bricks and rubble that no-one in their right mind would use to build a global policy on.

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Re: At least the IPCC ADMITS when it has a problem

I take the point and certainly there are issues with people admitting mistakes when concrete evidence appears. However, this is on both sides. I wouldn't want to say one side is better or worse than the other. For instance. The University of East Anglia went through a process of deliberate concealment and denial of data that suggested the opposite of their view was true. Now, I'm not saying they might not have been the one bad apple, but to say only AGW supporters admit fault and deniers always cover it up is highly disingenuous. Both sides have attempted to maintain positions against new evidence and have even attempted to cover up the evidence.

My position is simple.....it doesn't matter who's causing it. Attempting to keep the climate the same whether the changes are natural or man made is irrelevant. We, as a species, need to simply move with the climate. If we adapt (one of the reasons we became dominant), we'll survive. Otherwise, we'll die. This is all according to Darwin. Survival of the fittest. If we refuse to adapt and cooperate (in say moving people between regions), we'll die out and it will actually prove how right and proper nature is. Arguing who's causing it (when nobody really knows for sure) is pointless.

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Re: @Geoff Cambell So which is it?

@Anigel.

Yep. I totally agree. Journalists are quite often the most ill informed. I've read articles on ships where a picture had been misidentified, when the ships name is clearly visible in the photo!! In one case, they even identified a merchant vessel as a RN warship!!

A journalist is the last person anyone should trust.

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