back to article New sat data shows Himalayan glaciers hardly melting at all

New scientific analysis of satellite gravity measurements has shown that ice is melting from glaciers around the world much less quickly than had been thought. The new research is important as worldwide glacier melt is thought to be one of the main factors which could drive rising sea levels in future. The new results were …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aaaaaand let the flamewars begin!

    Honestly, if Anthropegenic Climate Change turns out to be real, it won't be anything to do with CO2, it'll be from all the flames coming of register forums

    1. Graham Wilson
      Angel

      @Anonymous C. -- Who?

      Is the first cab off the rank's passenger an El Reg editor perhaps?

    2. No, I will not fix your computer
      Pint

      For every action....

      You're right, flames beget flames and half the people are spending times arguing instead of doing anything practical, the other half think arguing is practical to stop us doing pointless things.

      *in reality* all this arguing is a distractor, and pointless.

      Fossil fuels will run out, "sometime", the only argument is when, and that could be 10 years, 100 years or 1000 years - even the most ardent climate denier will recognise that the earth is not laying down fossil fuels as fast as we are consuming and discovering.

      So, given that this resource will run out, we need to work out what we're going to do when it's either run out or too rare and expensive to harvest, these solutions will coincidentially also address the climate change concerns.

    3. Arctic fox
      Happy

      "Researchers visiting the region on the ground"..............

      ....................couldn't see the wood for the trees.

  2. TonyHoyle

    Losing 4 billion tonnes a year, plus or minus 20 billion tonnes?

    Isn't that basically the same as 'we don't know'? Under that degree of accuracy it could be gaining 16 billion tonnes a year..

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      It could, but it still isn't the same as "we don't know". It is, for example, significantly different from the previous estimate of 50 Gt, as mentioned in the article.

      1. Eddie Edwards

        In fact, it isn't significantly different. 4 +/- 20 may be as much as 24, which is the same order of magnitude as 50, and who knows what the error bars are on the 50. The spin on this article is that the glaciers are hardly melting at all, and the new data supports this hypothesis, but unfortunately it also supports the hypothesis that, actually, they're still melting quite a lot. So it pretty much is the same as "we don't know", and only appears to be newsworthy at all because of this site's AGW-denial policy.

    2. Sceptic Tank

      Not an exact science by the look of things.

      How can the government tax us for this?

      1. Adam Nealis

        And economics is an exact science, is it?

        Economics is given far more credence in political circles than, say, climatology.

    3. James Smith 3

      Not really. It just means the change is so small that they're having trouble measuring it accurately with the tools they're using, but they do know that the change is small.

      Yes, the change could be between +16 and -20, but it's more likely to be in the middle of that range. All depends on what's causing the potential errors.

    4. James Micallef Silver badge
      WTF?

      There's also the question of the 21 billion tons lost per year worldwide (excl Greenland and Antarctica). This still seems like a huge amount to someone like me who is ignorant of such things. Can we get that into perspective with how many tons are in the glaciers currently?

      For example if all these glaciers hold 1000 billion tons, 21 billion tons lost per year is A LOT, and still worrying even though it's less than previously estimated. If all these glaciers hold 100,000 billion tons, then 21 billion tons a year is pffft

  3. Dirk Vandenheuvel
    Holmes

    Fail headline

    Headline is wrong. They are melting but new extra ice is formed at the top of the mountains and that compensates (probably from more water in the air).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Quite agree ... and if it wasn't for the water in the air falling as rain then the rivers would disappear as well :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More water in the air

      which is in response to higher ocean temperatures. Nature is a zero-sum player.

    3. Nightkiller

      I'm so glad you pointed that out. I was thinking that the water was actually flowing up hill.

    4. Mr Nobody 1
      Facepalm

      Gosh - you mean it's.......a glacier ?

    5. Andy Watt
      Thumb Up

      Never mind the headline...

      Who is the rather comely lass in the cutoffs?

  4. Blusox69

    The problem with extrapolating data from only select or small samples is you exaggerate any errors in that data. Before more countless billions of dollars and lives are laid down in the name of climate change they need to start making their science more water tight

    1. Tom 13
      Coat

      Aboslutely.

      They need to put this discussion on ice.

    2. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

      ... a freeze on any new funding, I would have thought.

      </groan>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I agree we should freeze funding for academic climate researchers ...

        because then they'd all have to get jobs in industry, and so be much less inclined to follow their personal biases.

        1. Martin Budden Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          That's true.

          They'd be following their employers' biases instead.

    3. Graham Wilson
      Pint

      @Blusox69 -- Correct, but Climate Science is unlike all others! Yuh have to make allowances.

      Technical professions, chemistry, physics, civil engineering etc., are unfortunate in that they're underpinned by just science.

      However, lucky Climate Science calls on both science and religion for answers. This makes for much more interesting outcomes, its politics are more interesting and it's better funded not to mention that it makes for much more lively dinner party discussions.

      'Tis a no-brainer really: what's more likely to keep your dinner party guests awake, scenarios surrounding J. G. Ballard's 'The Drowned World' which would involve amazing scenes of say London sinking under melted polar ice or an erudite discussion on the effect partial differential calculus plays in the derivation of Schrodinger's wave equation?

      >;-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "foolishness"?

    It was a theory based on available evidence. The theory was tested and modified as further evidence became available.

    Otherwise known as "science".

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: otherwise known as science

      Good point, which is why so many people are pissed off by oxymoronic statements that "The science is settled.".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        oxymoronic "The science is settled"

        good point, but some science is much more settled than others: would you really claim that (eg) Thermodynamics will be shown to be wrong in regimes where we currently have tested that it works?

        And as for the less-settled science - it might not be settled, but still be a better bet than non-scientific speculation on the subject at hand.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Thermodynamics makes pretty accurate testable predictions

          Most of the predictions (when made) from climate science so far have been wildly inaccurate.

          That's the difference.

          Science means measure, create testable hypothesis, predict, measure, repeat.

          It doesn't mean "create untestable hypothesis, done". That's religion.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            That's religion.

            You mean like, "random inorganic compounds got together on their own over billions of years and became a highly-complex self-reproducing living organism"?

            That sort of untestable hypothesis?

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Facepalm

              AC@01:22

              "That sort of untestable hypothesis?"

              Actually it's not untestable.

              And has been

              Repeatedly. From inorganic constituents of the primitive Earth environment *upward*.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          who cares about the science?

          Research needs settled funding

          Politicians need settled fear

          As someone once sang...

          What's science got to do, got to do with it?

          What's science, but second-hand sta-tis-tics?

    2. Goat Jam
      Childcatcher

      Yes, "foolishness"

      It turns out the 2035 figure that has been bandied around by the eco alarmists was a complete ballsup all along.

      " The UN panel on climate change warning

      that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth

      of current levels by 2035 is wildly inaccurate,

      an academic says.

      J Graham Cogley, a professor at Ontario

      Trent University, says he believes the UN

      authors got the date from an earlier report

      wrong by more than 300 years.

      He is astonished they "misread 2350 as

      2035".

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8387737.stm

  6. John A Blackley

    What we need

    is a couple of thousand 'scientists' living in gas-heated habitats on the glaciers, using oil-powered drilling equipment and oil-powered vehicles to 'study' the glaciers.

    That'll speed up the melting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two thousand people keeping warm will melt the glaciers?

      HAHAHAHA!

  7. General Pance
    Stop

    Don't you fossil fuel funded deniers understand this is exactly how Climate Change works?

    I'll stop worrying when we have the same weather every day for twenty five years.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
      FAIL

      I do not "deny" climate change exists.

      Nor do I receive any funding from the fossil fuel industry. (Quite the opposite in fact.)

      I do, however, have little time for the endless Chicken Littles trotted out by the media constantly telling us that the skies are falling.

      Yes, the Earth's climate is changing. This is NOT news, and never was. It's been changing pretty much since the Earth formed. It has even been through long periods where the atmosphere was utterly poisonous to today's life-forms. It has seen major glaciations. It has seen major interglacial periods. As this article—among many others—has pointed out, "the science" is most certainly not fully understood. It's getting there, but it is not there yet. That three-letter word right there appears to be something you people don't seem to understand.

      The media have been repeating this cheap psychological trick of terrorising its customers for longer than I've been alive—from the "Population Bomb" theories of the 1960s (weren't we all supposed to be wearing gas masks by the early '80s?); the Cold War fear mongers from the '50s through to the '90s; the Energy Crisis of the 1970s; the anti-nuclear brigades who have neatly snookered us today with their ignorance; the incessant demands for our "fookin' money!" from overpaid, under-talented celebrities who appear to believe it's not even remotely hypocritical for the filthy rich to demand money from one set of poor people on behalf of other poor people or they'll DIE, and it'll be ALL OUR FAULT!

      The point is, it's always "our" fault. Never THEIR fault. It's NEVER the idiotic short-termist policies of (wealthy) politicians who pull all the social engineering strings, but OUR fault. Even Robert fucking Mugabe is "our" fault, though Christ alone knows how.

      Enough! I'm suffering from chronic Fear Fatigue. If you have a problem with that, I'll show you the note from my mum.

    2. peter 45

      Errr.

      "same weather every day for twenty five years"

      You mean like...nowhere...ever...in the entire history of the world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: peter 45

        > You mean like...nowhere...ever...in the entire history of the world.

        The Atacama Desert has had the same weather for several hundred years at least.

  8. pdxuser

    This is a different spin than every "straight" news item on the subject.

    Try Reuters, for example: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/08/us-climate-sealevels-idUSTRE8171RH20120208

    1. Ian Yates
      Thumb Up

      Biases aside, this is the perfect example of why everyone should get the information from multiple news sources.

      That and taking any journalistic-rehash of a scientific paper with copious volumes of sodium chloride.

  9. John A Blackley

    @General Pance

    May I suggest you move to Hawaii?

    1. Darryl

      I was going to suggest the Sahara desert

  10. Identity
    Stop

    Nothing would please me more

    than to know to a certainty that the world was not about to change drastically due to climate change. Unfortunately, the natural system is incredibly complex and, to be frank, we don't understand it very well. Nevertheless, visibly melting glaciers away from Greenland and Antarctica, such as in Alaska, Patagonia and at Kilimanjaro give the lie to the gleeful pronouncements that really nothing of importance is happening.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Retreating glaciers in the Arctic are uncovering vegetation that has been radio carbon dated to between 1275 and 1300 AD (Miller et al 2012). This means that those glaciers have only grown since that date.

      The retreating glaciers on Kilimanjaro are due to changes in precipitation because they stripped the forests from the base and slopes of the mountain. Nothing to to do with CO2 or temperature. I am not aware of a single climate scientists who attributes glacier loss on Kilimanjaro to global warming.

      Haven't looked into the Patagonian glaciers (yet)

      1. wayne 8 Bronze badge

        Patagonia ashes to ashes

        The Patagonia glaciers are probably covered in ash from the recent volcanic eruptions. That would cause them to absorb more sunlight and melt at a faster rate than normal for this phase in the earth's climate.

        Maybe the volcano erupted because of man made CO2.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Don't let reality get in the way of ideology

        "been radio carbon dated to between 1275 and 1300 AD "

        Here's a funny thing. Climate change denialists love to quote carbon dating for things like this.

        BUT when you use the same carbon dating to claim the Shroud of Turin is a fake made in the Renaissance, and the Earth really is a couple of billion years old, they suddenly start crowing about how carbon dating isn't reliable, nor is radioactive decay; it's usually the SAME PEOPLE.

        Funny, that.

        1. James Micallef Silver badge
          FAIL

          Funny that, you're making up s**t that is obviously false, just so you can point to a fallacy in your made-up s**t. Way to go!

        2. John Angelico
          Stop

          Given the half-life of C-14

          your comment is a dangerous half-truth.

          C-14 has a half life of approx 5700 years, right? 5730 to be precise, Thomson. Thank you Thompson.

          C-14 radiometric dating is capable of reasonable dating within human history, because it can be cross-checked against external historical evidence.

          It has it's limitations of course: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14 (Wikipedia for speed, only). So it cannot be extrapolated to millions or billions of years via the use of other isotopes.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Selectively ignoring the "plus" in "plus or minus", eh?

    >"Researchers visiting the region on the ground have previously suggested that the Asian mountain ice was depleting at rates as high as 50 billion tons per year, but Wahr and his colleagues' results show losses in the area of just 4 billion tonnes annually. They give the error in this figure as plus-or-minus 20 billion tons, so this much the same as saying that the Asian mountain ice - the planet's "third pole" - was unaffected."

    No, it's not. It's saying that it could be losing as much as 24 billion tons OR as little as zero. For you to completely ignore the vast majority of the error range like that and just focus on the bit that you wish to be true is scientifically fraudulent. Frankly, with an error range five times the size of the measured effect, what it's really saying is that their techniques are too inaccurate to draw any conclusion from at all.

    Your agenda is showing.

    1. James Smith 3

      Of course you can draw a conclusion. You can conclude that the amount of change is smaller than the accuracy of your equipment. And as that is quite a bit smaller than the previously accepted figure you can also conclude that the accepted figure is wrong.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > No, it's not. It's saying that it could be losing as much as 24 billion tons OR as little as zero.

      Plus-or-minus 20 billion does not mean either plus 20 billion or minus 4 billion making the range from 0 to 24. It means exactly what is says and that is it could have gained as much as 16 billion tons OR lost as much as 24 billion tons.

    3. InsaneGeek
      FAIL

      No it doesn't say:

      "it could be losing as much as 24 billion tons OR as little as zero".

      It says that "it could be losing as much as 24 billion tons or GAINING as much as 16 billion. For some reason you decided to forget about half of the the plus or minus part.

      If you are going to go around correcting people, if you don't want to look like a complete ass your complaint should really be correct... or maybe your agenda is showing.

  12. nsld
    Terminator

    You could hear

    the eco mentalists spitting out there soya milk latte's when this news broke.

  13. quarky
    WTF?

    So they are still melting then?

    So the ice is still melting. And that is some kind of victory for those who say that it isn't? How exactly?

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      All glaciers melt.

      The point of the article is that the melting has been shown to be nowhere near as much as was previously thought. Most likely because the melting ice is being replaced quite quickly by fresh ice at t'other end of the glacier.

      (You do know what a glacier is, right?)

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      @quarky - Nope. Maybe melting, maybe freezing.

      Either way, it's very small.

      It's rather like saying you've "lost" 50g of bodyweight by using your bathroom scales. The tool just can't measure it.

      However, it is definitely not melting at anywhere near the rate that was predicted/previously claimed - I've lost track of which that was.

      1. Audrey S. Thackeray

        @Richard12

        "it is definitely not melting at anywhere near the rate that was predicted/previously claimed -"

        It is not, according to this satellite survey, melting at the rate that the most pessimistic of previous ground based surveys claimed in the high Asian mountain ranges.

        I assume if there was a more dramatic previous prediction Lewis would have used that instead.

        I don't think the "definitely" and the "anywhere near the rate" are quite right here - there's too high a margin of error for the former and too similar a range for the latter.

        This might be good news (and I mean actual good news, not just good news for people who want to be able to post insults about 'eco mentalists') but it isn't clear enough to be too celebratory right now particularly given the suggested reason for the discrepancy in the two sets of figures.

      2. DaWolf

        very small?

        from the article

        "The new results were derived by scientists including Professor John Wahr of Colorado uni. According to the new boffinry, glaciers and ice caps in places other than Antarctica and Greenland lost only 148 billion tons of ice each year from 2003 to 2010. This is some 30 per cent lower than had been previously estimated."

        148 billion tons, not including Greenland or Antarctica, is very small?

  14. Boring Bob

    This is all wrong

    Surely global warming should cause glaciers to grow? Global warming heats sea causing more evaporation so more humidity in climate. However hot air reduces rain fall meaning more humidity reaches in-land mountain ranges resulting in more snow and glaciers growing rather than shrinking.

    1. dr2chase
      Boffin

      Not necessarily so, especially in the medium-short run

      Read something about this lately at earlywarn.blogspot.com, also did some casual math with size-of-ocean, size of ice cap, and energy. Short-to-medium term, the oceans suck up all the heat, but it does not change their temperature very much. Land temperature is changes more (on average). Till the oceans and land are in equilibrium (takes decades-to-centuries) we have cool oceans and warm land, meaning less rainfall (general trend, small compared to annual and local variation). Equilibrium is wetter, at least looking at paleoclimate (and at simulations, too).

      The other data point is, last time it was this warm (or perhaps a hair warmer) and stayed that way for centuries, the sea level was much (meters) higher because Greenland and Antarctica had smaller ice caps. So net, "glaciers" must have been smaller, though with G and A smaller, all the others could be larger and you would not notice it in the sea level .

  15. Nick Kew Silver badge

    I smell strawman

    There are only three bodies of ice on Earth that contain enough water to have a material effect on sea levels. The East and West Antarctic, and Greenland. Everything else is trivial noise.

    Move away from sea levels and consider other issues like water supplies to certain regions, and suddenly some lesser glaciers do matter. But that's a different issue altogether

    Still, a bit of realism never stopped Denialists who can't (or won't) admit responsibility for anything that matters. And the argument isn't helped by talking of a complex *effect* of pollution as if it were a *cause* of other complex effects associated with pollution.

    1. James Smith 3

      No strawman

      Ok, I'm confused. Even the IPCC don't follow your "realism":

      http://epa.gov/climatechange/science/recentslc.html

      Which is the link from the article. Do you even read it?

  16. cjoki
    Pint

    The only ice I'm concerned about melting...

    ...is in my glass and soaked in a bath of bourbon and a hint of cola.

    WAITER!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Calling it a 'hint' doesn't obscure the fact that you are polluting adequate booze with fizzy syrup.

      1. cjoki
        Pirate

        adequate?

        you sir sound like a scotch snob!

  17. chris lively
    Pirate

    This just in

    The ice may, or may not, be melting.

    Or, it may be playing a game of hide and seek by melting and reforming at the top of the mountain.. ( bet they didn't really think of that!)

    It might be melting at a rate of 24B tons a year, or growing by 16B tons a year. It could even do both at the same time.

    For some reason, it doesn't seem to matter which way it goes as obviously the *change* is caused by heat. And the biggest source of that are the unwashed masses.

    Never mind that a big part of this could simply be heat that is shuffling around from one system/area on the plant to another. Never mind that this has been going on since the planet was formed.

    So, quit your bitching and just pay the higher taxes. After all, the money is needed to make a stasis field big enough to make sure the weather doesn't change ... That or they need a bigger party boat.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I no longer care

    We are all goosed; be it from global warming, asteroids creating extinction level events, or the sun's outer shell expanding out in a billion plus years time to fry our atmosphere.

    We are all fooked in the end staying on this rock.

    We should stop worrying about the THING that will do it and figure out a way to leave this planet before we go the way of the of the dodo?

    1. veti Silver badge
      Trollface

      So... we need to establish a moonbase to avert the risk that we'll all be clubbed to death by Portuguese sailors?

      Newt Gingrich, is that you?

    2. John Angelico
      Joke

      We have simply GOT to build

      a massive spaceship, call it the "B" Ark, and send at least a third of the population off towards Goldafrincham.

  19. Wombling_Free
    Boffin

    What no-one realises is...

    global food production is based on long range weather forecasting.

    If the weather becomes unpredictable, our capacity to feed the planet's growing population is reduced.

    Fairly simple really.

    Anyway, why is it NOT feasible or worthwhile to find ways of become carbon neutral? Surely using LESS resources is a good thing? OH, sorry, just forgot captialism runs on endless growth, and poor people deserve to be poor because they don't work hard enough and are lazy.

    Carry on.

    "It was the time of the preacher..." ...and the black flowers are blooming in the arctic....

    1. James Micallef Silver badge

      erm... it's not that capitalism runs on endless growth, it's that people in China, India etc rightly aspire to a first-world standard of living and the only way to get there is copious amounts of energy. Of course using less resources more efficiently is a good thing but efficiency will only go so far, the world's net energy use is going to continue rising for many years. I agree that using less carbon fuels is a good thing, but that has nothing to do with climate change and everything to do with availability, stability of supply and cost.

      Now what REALLY concerns me is eco-mentalists getting nuclear power plants shut down just at the moment when we need them most.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I saw

    a lovely lady glaciologist's bottom, came here and all I got was you lot....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hot stuff

      Seeing those tight shorts made my brain melt!

      1. Jimbo 6

        Glacial melt will surely increase dramatically

        If she doesn't move her hot berg-boffin butt to a safe distance quickly.

  21. corcoran

    misleading article

    I only clicked on the article because of that ladies bottom. There's no more ladies bottoms in the article. This is just plain misleading.

    1. Ian 5
      IT Angle

      Dereliction

      Quite - the IT angle is clear here, it's about 45 degrees off the horizontal. I also demand a 3D scan file of that lady for Google Sketchup, and then my CNC styrofoam cutter will be ablaze.

  22. PeterM42
    Flame

    I'm NOT surprised at all

    This "Global Warming" nonsense is just a way for the government to screw more money out of taxpayers.

    The temperature of the Earth is controlled by that raging nuclear furnace a mere 93million miles awaynot a few humans breaking wind, etc.

    JUST GET REAL!!!!!!

  23. DrSteve

    RTF...A

    Radical, I know, but has anyone actually read the abstract (linked in the article)?

    For example, this finishes with " The total contribution to sea level rise from all ice-covered regions is thus 1.48 ± 0.26 mm/yr, which agrees well with independent estimates of sea level rise "

    so nothing too radical there - i.e. GRACE results agree with previous (worrying) estimates.

    So where's the beef then?

    Well, of that 1.48mm/yr, 1.06mm/yr comes from Greenland and the Antarctic, leaving only ~0.42mm/yr from other souces including Glaciers (GIC). Of that 0.42mm/yr the abstract says the following: " The GIC rate for 2003–2010 is about 30 per cent smaller than the previous mass balance estimate "

    So what we have here is research saying that

    1) The big picture of ice melt is unchanged within the (17%) error bars - yup, ice is still melting fast

    2) if you exlude the 2/3 of the melting (Greenland/Antarctica) then the previous estimates for the remaining third were about 30% too high

    3) almost all that 30% reduction comes from high glaciers

    Is it really too much to ask (I fear it is) to include at least *some* mention of point 1) above in reporting of this paper?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Meh

      @DrSteve

      Most of your post is factual. However you describe ice melting as "fast."

      Isn't that rather more of an *opinion* than a fact?

      I'd also raise the question if this method has been applied to the *other* areas (Greenland/Antarctica) you mention and do those figures *also* fall?

      Overall that suggests a fall from 1.48 mm/Yr to 1.36 mm/Yr.

      Which raises the question how many communities would be affected by a seal level rise of roughly 14cm in the next century? I'm sure there are a few and port cities are vulnerable anyway, but how many?

  24. Ian 5
    Unhappy

    Not that I don't care, but...

    ...was I the *only* person to click on the link expecting more hot-pants?

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2012/02/09/glacier.jpg

    I don't *think* I'm a perv...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No

      No, no you weren't the only one ;-)

  25. James 36

    blah title blah

    disaster discovered by research, disaster averted by more research

    “If we could understand the physics more completely and perfect numerical models to simulate all of the processes controlling sea level - especially glacier and ice sheet changes - we would have a much better means to make predictions. But we are not quite there yet.”

    so more research into this sea level thing required, too early to draw conclusion, more science and less interesting headlines and based on the success criteria of the quote, the answer may not be known in the next 50 years (which is the standard measurement for when flying cars will be available IIRC)

  26. The Serpent
    Thumb Up

    Nice arse

    Just saying what people are thinking

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clutching at straws

    I'm not a dark greenie (I save energy because it's expensive, not because the climate is going to change radically in my meagre remaining years) and I think solar PV is a fairly crappy idea, but I am fed up with Lewis Page's constant grasping at any story that might allow him to feel better about his personal energy use. It's bad science.

    The Reg used to be a reasonable IT news site but it's becoming increasingly like the Daily Express. It's about time you ran a feature on how pizza prevents cancer, I think (naturally followed a month later by another story on how it causes cancer).

    Now, where's the "dead Reg" icon gone?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    this is science reporting?

    If I need bias I can always go to Fox for my "news."

  29. atomic jam
    Pint

    "plus-or-minus 20 billion tons"

    It' a pity my bank couldn't make a similar mistake.

    Beer, it's that day of the week, roll on the night!

  30. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Boffin

    They weighed a glacier from space.

    Which seems pretty impressive to me.

    And knocking the *worst* case reduction by 50% seems pretty good news as well.

    And it *might* actually be growing as well.

    Usual caution. Like *all* climate data needs verification and models need updating.

  31. fero

    Has no one read the paper or even the preview?

    To quote:

    Here we show that GICs, excluding the Greenland and Antarctic peripheral GICs, lost mass at a rate of 148 ± 30 Gt yr−1 from January 2003 to December 2010

    But:

    The high mountains of Asia, in particular, show a mass loss of only 4 ± 20 Gt yr−1 for 2003–2010

    So the high mountains of Asia are showing a lower loss compared to previous research BUT overall losses are 148 ± 30 Gt yr despite the correction in the high Asian mountain numbers...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Travesty of reporting.

      Although noteworthy, the Himalayas losing less ice than thought is just an optimistic footnote.

      To make a headline out of it is a gross distraction from the real issue of massive ice loss in Greenland, Alaska, Patagonia and West Antarctica.

      150 cubic kilometers of water per year is a lot to swallow... enough to cover all of America by half a metre.

      High altitude glaciers are not going anywhere until the summer snowline catches up with them, or soot pollution increases to reduce ice albedo, but surely the glaciologists should have known this before AR4?

      Perhaps it's time to wrap up with reflective foil some of the vulnerable glaciers that supply drinking water.

  32. Grease Monkey

    “The GRACE [Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites] results in this region really were a surprise,”

    Which is all you need to hear to know that even climate scientists are treating global warming as they would a religious belief. Prior to this they KNEW the glaciers were melting at one hell of a rate and they told us they were. But they didn't have the evidence to back it up, just the theory.

    But you just wait, it won't be long before they miraculously manage to find a way to make this data support their beliefs (sorry, obviously I meant theories).

  33. MgrBloodBath
    Mushroom

    I was hoping for more pictures of that hot women's back side. The good thing about Global warming is more women will wear less clothes!

  34. jcpw
    Meh

    Almost all of the ice is in Antarctica

    The Asian glaciers would have negligible effect on sea level. But they do regulate river levels so they could have a significant effect on drought, agriculture, etc.

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