Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ZenTiger Glacier Longevity on Thin Ice

Indian glaciologist fires back at skeptics:

BANGALORE - "It is a fact that global warming is happening. If the Arctic Sea ice is melting, how can the Himalayan glaciers not be melting?" glaciologist Syed Iqbal Hasnain asked indignantly.

Here we see scientific logic in action.

Amid the brouhaha over last week's retraction by a United Nations body of its 2007 report that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, global warming skeptics quickly seized on the error...But Hasnain, who found himself at the center of the Himalayan meltdown controversy, said it is "ridiculous" to assume that the glaciers are not melting.

Here we see scientific straw-man in action. What the skeptics seized upon was the ridiculous, and now proven to be erroneous assertion made in the IPCC report.

IPCC, which assesses valuable information on climate change, won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with former US vice president Al Gore.

Here we see a scientific "snow job".

Hasnain’s "Synthesis of Recent Studies on Himalayan Glaciers" sums up scientific research done in the past decade that proves the Himalayan glaciers are receding:

Glaciers in eastern and central Himalayas are especially sensitive to present atmospheric warming due to their summer snow-accumulation system, said the glaciologist's report, citing a 1984 study.

That's scientific for "past decade" meaning anything 30 years ago reprinted last week.

The Himalayas, located between the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau, is the world's highest mountain range and include Mount Everest. It is home to more than 15,000 glaciers.

That's scientific data to say there are a lot of glaciers.

A 2009 study on glacial melt by a team of scientists led by A Shukla used optical satellite sensor data to gauge that the Samundratapu glacier in Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh in northern India, has deglaciated by 13.7 square kilometers in the past 41 years, with the snout retreating about 588 meters.

That's scientific data to say that they looked at one glacier of 15,000 and this report mentions it is presently smaller by 11% than at it's largest during the ups and downs of the previous 41 years (it was not a linear decline).

The scientists concluded that all changes appeared to be linked to climate warming.

That's scientific science to say that when it gets warmer, things melt, and when the get cooler things do not. They appear to have left out the explanation on why they think this may be AGW induced climate warming. Maybe its in the paid version of the report?

The issue of climate change has been on the forefront of vigorous discussions worldwide and the focus of earnest efforts by the international community to deal with its impact, including rapid glacier melting that has been known to trigger a wave of natural disasters.

That's scientific alarmism. Read it again. Did you see the movie rights to that statement? A wave of disasters. Surely, prime material for the revised IPCC report?

Collecting and collating scientific evidence on glacial retreat in the Himalayas has been both physically near impossible and technically difficult. According to the Kathmandu-based International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) there are still no systematic measurements of glacial mass balance in the Himalayan region.

That's scientific for "we don't actually have the data. Trust us anyway."

In November 2009, accompanying a group of international journalists to Khardung La, India's highest pass, to observe the state of receding glaciers, Hasnain found scientific evidence of glacial retreat at Chota Sigri in Himachal Pradesh, Drang Drung in Zanskar region of Ladakh and in East Rathong in the eastern Himalaya.

Because you can watch Glaciers recede. Perhaps the journalists were equipped with high speed cameras to document the action?

"It is definitely shrinking," Hasnain told the group of European, American and South Asian journalists.

Fair enough. You'd want to hear those words after a bloody long walk up the Himalayas to look at rapidly receding glaciers. But why are they receding?

Along with Dr Veerabhadra Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Hasnain also presented scientific evidence of how black carbon aerosols, contributing to the "atmospheric brown cloud" phenomenon, were being deposited on the Himalayan snows and causing temperatures to accelerate even further than "normal" global warming.

Ahh, so it's pollution possibly impacting deglaciation? What's in a brown cloud? Black carbon, nitrates and dust mainly. Black carbon stays in the atmosphere for only a few weeks. What's the solution? Tax CO2? You must be joking?

In Ladakh, in India's northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, retired rural development civil engineer Chewang Norphel quietly refutes claims that there is insufficient scientific data to prove that India's glaciers are receding.

"I am the scientific data," said Norphel.


That's a scientific way of saying "trust me, I don't need facts, I am facts. Perhaps he's got a high mercury content in his brain? He's a natural thermometer.

"I have seen, for instance, the size of the Khardung La glacier since I was a child: it was solid ice then," he told the international journalists' group in November 2009.

Well, that nails it: cause, effect all accounted for. Can science do any better than that?

A survey of 20 villages and 211 individuals over 65 years of age in Ladakh district, done by the French non-government organization GERES (Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarites) found that 90% of them felt that winters were now warmer.

Well blow me down. They can. Science can run surveys. Cause. Effect and Confirmation. I'm in awe of the IPCC scientific method.

"The breeding of the bar-headed goose and the black-necked crane has not been on schedule in recent years," said Nisa Khatoon, project officer of WWF at Leh.

How could they be, with warmer nights? No need to snuggle.

She added that migration routes of communities on the Tsokar lake at Leh, which weave the world-famous Pashmina shawls, "have become more frequented as these pastoral communities migrate due to degrading pastures".

So it might be that we have environmental issues. We may well have issues of pollution. It would be nice to think the studies that pin this on man-made CO2 generation are clear, but if it follows the same muddled thinking as above, then I suspect that the conclusions are made before the report is written. Ignoring the possibility of natural or sun led cycles of warming and cooling, there are hints at possible problems: deforestation, carbon soot, nitrates, dust. Not CO2. Things we could tackle in different ways.

And so far, the only solution IPCC are interested in is taxing CO2.


Here's the news article I extracted the content from: Thin Ice

3 comment(s):

KG said...

If anecdotal evidence constitutes scientific method, then Mrs Throgmorton of Lower Hutt is a sociologist.

ZenTiger said...

Indeed. Science, by default, is suspicious of anecdotal evidence.

For example, try matching up anecdotal evidence of adverse vaccine reactions with health professionals blathering on about how they can be dismissed in favour of pharmacy led studies.

Whilst I think such evidence has a place, it does not belong in IPCC reports as their basis for pushing AGW and a new tax system.

Increasingly, more reports are emerging where they have relied on reports of opinion, not the famed peer reviewed science (that the East Anglia mob abused anyway) in compiling their report.

This report unfortunately is only going to be the first of many designed to convince the population that version 3.0 of the IPCC will be trustworthy.

And by the quality of this news article we can see they still haven't really learned how the science lark should be run.

KG said...

And this just in:
BREAKING NEWS: Major error found in flagship IPCC WG1 report
The UN IPCC is facing more humiliation tonight after revelations that a "peer reviewed' study relied on in its Working Group 1 report contained "worthless" and fake data.

briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2010/02/breaking-news-major-error-found-in-flagship-ipcc-wg1-report.html

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