Tag Archives: Himalayas

Are the glaciers in the Himalayas shrinking? A third paper published today falls between one study that said no and another that said yes.

The uncertainty of science: Are the glaciers in the Himalayas shrinking? A third paper published today falls between one study that said no and another that said yes.

The new estimate raises further questions about satellite and field measurements of alpine glaciers, and ”will set the cat among the pigeons,” says Graham Cogley, a remote-sensing expert at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. … Although the ICESat results show twice as much ice loss as the re-interpreted GRACE data, this figure is still three times lower than regional losses estimated on the basis of field studies.

A new study suggests that the glaciers in the Himalayas are shrinking, with different regions shrinking much faster than others.

The uncertainty of science: A new study suggests that the glaciers in the Himalayas are shrinking, with different regions shrinking much faster than others.

This study both supplements and contrasts other work which suggested that the western Himalayan glaciers were not shrinking.

It is interesting that the article above does not give any specifics on the rate of shrinkage, other than to say it is getting faster in some areas. Instead, the focus of this work centers more on the discovery that India’s monsoon winds have a significant influence on glacier growth or retreat.

The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows

The uncertainty of science: New satellite data shows that the glaciers in the Himalayas have lost no ice in past 10 years.

The scientists are careful to point out that lower-altitude glaciers in the Asian mountain ranges – sometimes dubbed the “third pole” – are definitely melting. Satellite images and reports confirm this. But over the study period from 2003-10 enough ice was added to the peaks to compensate.

Is this further confirmation that global warming stopped ten years ago? Not really. As the report notes, the time period is too short to establish a clear trend. Moreover, this study only deals with the Asian glaciers, which is also too small a sample for any firm conclusions.

Nonetheless, the data does illustrate once again how complex and uncertain the study of the Earth’s climate is. Anyone who claims we know what is really happening is either refusing to look at all the data or is simply lying.

The state of the Himalayan glaciers

A new study of the glaciers of the Himalayas by the Indian Space Research Organization and the Geological Survey of India has found that, based on satellite data, 2184 were retreating, 435 were advancing, and 148 showed no change.

It is refreshing that the scientists and politicians involved in India refused to cite global warming as a cause, referring instead to the “natural cyclic process”. As India’s former environment minister Jairam Ramesh noted, “There is no doubt that the general health of the Himalayan glaciers is worsening, but the truth is incredibly complex.”