Melting Glaciers and Cognitive Dissonance

Glacial_lakes,_BhutanMOUNTAIN glaciers in Asia are melting at a rate that could eventually threaten water supplies, irrigation or hydropower for 20 percent to 25 percent of the world’s population: that is according to the latest United Nations Environment Program report.

Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute puts it this way, “The melting of the glaciers in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan Plateau will deprive the Indus, Ganges, Yangtze and Yellow rivers of the ice melt that sustains their flow during the dry season and the irrigation systems that depend on them.”

But according to Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, it’s a case of cognitive dissonance.  He explains:

“In other words the supply of melt water from the melting glaciers is threatened by the melting of the glaciers. This is correct in that if the glaciers melt completely there will be no more melt water from the glaciers.

“What if the glaciers were not melting due to a colder climate? Then where would the irrigation water come from? How about if the glaciers were advancing 100 meters per year toward the villages that need the melt water for irrigation?  

“How does the logic of this situation escape these bright minds?

“It snows every winter in the Himalayas. When the snow melts it fills the rivers. Where there is net melting of the glaciers this adds additional water to the rivers.

“But they can’t have it both ways. If they want to have continued melt water from the glaciers then the glaciers must continue to melt.

“Seeing that the glaciers are finite in size this would eventually result in no glacier, and reliance on annual snow melt.”

*****************

Notes and Links

Read more from Patrick Moore, Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., at www.greenspirit.com

The UNEP report is ‘2009 Climate Change Science Compendium 2009’ which can be downloaded at http://en.cop15.dk/files/pdf/compendium2009.pdf [4MB] .

The report is summarized in the newsletter at http://en.cop15.dk/news/view+news?newsid=2193

Read Lester Brown at http://www.earth-policy.org/index.php?/plan_b_updates/2009/update82

The image of Bhutan glaciers melting is from http://pnb.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Glacial_lakes,_Bhutan.jpg  . Thanks Wikipedia.

And more on glacial lakes here: http://www.eorc.jaxa.jp/en/imgdata/topics/2008/tp080402.html

And so much more on melting glaciers at google:

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Himalayan glaciers ‘melting fast’
14 Mar 2005 … Melting Himalayan glaciers could lead to catastrophic water shortages, a conservation group warns.
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4346211.stm  

Himalayan Glacier – Glaciers of Himalayas – Himalayas Famous Glaciers
It is the second largest glacier in the Himalayan region. Shigar River, which is a tributary of the Indus River, originates from this glacier. …
www.himalaya2000.com/himalayan…/himalayan-glaciers.html

Himalayan Glacier Melting Observed From Space
The Himalayan glaciers are melting under the effect of global warming. However, the extent of this melting remains difficult to assess from ground surveys …
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070327113346.htm

Himalaya Glaciers,Glacier in Himalayan Range,Glaciers in …
Glaciers in Himalaya – Provide information on various glaciers in uttaranchal region of india himalayan range, glacier in himalaya, himalayan glaciers and …
www.travel-himalayas.com/himalayan…/uttaranchal-glaciers.html

Himalayan Glaciers Seem to Be Growing: Discovery News
5 May 2009 … In the Western Himalayas, a group of some 230 glaciers are bucking the global warming trend. They’re growing.
dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/05/05/himalayas-glaciers.htm

40 Responses to Melting Glaciers and Cognitive Dissonance

  1. sod September 28, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    “What if the glaciers were not melting due to a colder climate? Then where would the irrigation water come from? How about if the glaciers were advancing 100 meters per year toward the villages that need the melt water for irrigation?

    Jennfer, did you take a sceptic look at his claim?

    his logic is false.

    obviously a complete removel of a glacier will lead to a problem. when the glacier is gone, there will automatcally be no more additional water.

    colder weather and expanding glaciers on the other hand do NOT automatically cause less melt water. the glacier can expand and deliver MORE water at the same time, if enogh snow falls.

    apart from that, expanding glaciers are building a reservoir for th future. even IF the expansion is leading to lower rivers now, it will help in the future. a glacier that is gone on the other hand, does not.

  2. SJT September 28, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    In reference to your last link, you need to read this, Jennifer.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/graph-jam/

  3. DB September 29, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    I think this post misses the cyclical nature of glacier melt. Obviously there is no melt during the winter. Melt then occurs during the warmer summer months. If the two are in equilibrium the cycle can continue indefinitely, stocking up precipitation in the winter that is released during the summer and fall.

    However, glacier melt water is a relatively unimportant part of the water cycle for south and southeast Asia. There is no contribution during the winter months. As anyone who has lived in India or Viet Nam knows, summer is the rainy season, and glacier melt is a minor contributor to water supplies. It is only during the early fall that glacier melt water makes a difference, contributing some 10% of the water supply.

    It is also not clear that glaciers are needed for year-round water supplies. In the western United States there is very little in the way of glacier ice and melt water, and yet snow pack and river dams seem to supply water year round to the arid southwest region.

  4. sod September 29, 2009 at 2:38 am #

    DB, i8 would love to see some links on your claims. for the moment, i must conclude that you are badly informed.

    here are some informations about Utah:

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13135276

    and here about Asia:

    http://www.scidev.net/en/news/thinning-glaciers-endangering-south-asian-water-su.html

    It is only during the early fall that glacier melt water makes a difference, contributing some 10% of the water supply.

    this sounds pretty important to me. glaciers distribute the water over the year. they deliver water slowly, and at a time, when it is needed most.

    yet snow pack and river dams seem to supply water year round to the arid southwest region.

    ouch. snowpack does the opposit of what glaciers do. it tends to deliver spring floods, and no slow water supply. dams are needed to counteract this effect. no good news.

    ——————————–

    but dams was a good key word, looking back at the orinial article.

    what it says is basically this:

    “building and filling dams is bad, as the water used to fill the dam will #be missing in the river”.

    will you “sceptics” spot the error now?

  5. Tilo September 29, 2009 at 3:48 am #

    Sorry about temporarily changing the subject, but Steve McIntyre has made a very important discovery, and we should all know about it.

    After fighting for years to acquire the release of the tree ring data that Briffa was hiding, Steve McIntyre has finally succeeded. The results are nothing short of shocking.

    First, it shows that the series that Briffa and Schweingruber were using for their reconstructions were highly cherry picked. Second, it shows that the tree ring data gives absolutely no support to the surface temperature data – the tree ring data shows the last century’s temperatures to be basically flat. Third, the data that Briffa had kept hidden from the world shows a much warmer medieval warming period than they had previously acknowledged.

    Of course all of this isn’t completely new. The North American bristlecone tree ring series that Lenah Ababneh produced two years ago showed that the Graybill and Idso series used by Mann for his reconstruction was also cherry picked and that there was no 20th century warming in the tree rings. Even though Ababneh’s series was more extensive and more complete than the Graybill/Idso series, Mann never acknowledged its existence or commented on its divergence from his data.

    Beyond the problem of a complete lack of professional ethics among the alarmists, this leaves us with another glaringly obvious problem. When you use the hockey teams reconstructions as they stand, they currently do not support the full 20th century rise in temperature that is given by the surface temperature records. When you remove the cherry picked data from those reconstructions, they show no warming at all.

    This means that we either have to conclude that the surface temperature record is wrong, or that the tree ring reconstructions are wrong. If the tree ring reconstructions are wrong, then it is impossible to make the statement that the current climate is in any way unusual. If the surface temperature record is wrong, then the 20th century rise is either not there or it is greatly exaggerated.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/27/quote-of-the-week-20-ding-dong-the-stick-is-dead/#more-11229

    Beyond the hiding of the tree ring data, there is still the issue of the Hadley center refusing to release their raw surface temperature data records. One can only wonder how anyone could call for trillions of dollars of economic impact in energy policy while at the same time hiding the information that they claim makes it necessary.

  6. DB September 29, 2009 at 6:51 am #

    Sod, here are a couple of links on the Himalayan water flow issue. The first looks at the Gangotri glacier and notes it has been receding for over 4000 years (since the Holocene Optimum?) and has some numbers on glacier water flow contribution.

    Impact of retreat of Gangotri glacier on the flow of Ganga River
    Sharad K. Jain
    http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/oct252008/1012.pdf

    Looking at one of the Himalayan rivers, the Ganges, Jain writes “Most of its catchment area in India is rain-fed. Only about 7% of the basin up to Devprayag is glacier-fed.”

    In this paper one can also see the small contribution from glaciers in Figure 2 for the Satluj River (one of the main tributaries of the Indus River) by subtracting the December river discharge from the October number. In October the monsoon rains are over and in December everything in the mountains is frozen so there is no glacier melt.

    Snow and glacier melt in the Satluj River at Bhakra Dam in the western Himalayan region
    http://www.cig.ensmp.fr/~iahs/hsj/470/hysj_47_01_0093.pdf

  7. sod September 29, 2009 at 7:15 am #

    Looking at one of the Himalayan rivers, the Ganges, Jain writes “Most of its catchment area in India is rain-fed. Only about 7% of the basin up to Devprayag is glacier-fed.”

    7% is quite a bit more than 10% in the autumn only.

    In this paper one can also see the small contribution from glaciers in Figure 2 for the Satluj River (one of the main tributaries of the Indus River) by subtracting the December river discharge from the October number. In October the monsoon rains are over and in December everything in the mountains is frozen so there is no glacier melt.

    i don t think that it is that easy. glacier melt does also occur during monsoon…
    figure five shows that the snow melt is basically over in july. (very small change in snow cover after july) so melt water after june is mostly from glaciers.

    your link also says:

    The average snow and glacier melt runoff contribution to annual flows
    was found to be about 59% and the rest (41%) was from rain.

    so snow and glaciers contribute more than rain (monsoon..)

    thanks for the links. very interesting papers!

  8. DB September 29, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    “i don t think that it is that easy. glacier melt does also occur during monsoon…”

    Certainly; it is just that during the rainy season glacier melt is not important. There is water everywhere.

    “The average snow and glacier melt runoff contribution to annual flows
    was found to be about 59% and the rest (41%) was from rain.”

    This, of course, is true whether or not it is snow or ice that is melting.

  9. Neville September 29, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    In reference to Tilo above, Ross McKitrick has a good summation in the comments section of the briffa fiasco on Steve’s site, showing how this entire fraud came about.
    Gee a much warmer MWP and a flat 20th century, what a surprise, briffa btw has gone on sick leave and cannot answer reporter’s questions.
    As a lot of people have said before, when does a con just become corruption and will this save us wasting trillions of dollars in the nick of time?

  10. janama September 29, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Here’s Ross’s summary:

    1- Steve suspects tree rings aren’t telling a valid story with that giant uptick at the right side of the graph, implicating the 20th century as the “hottest period in 2000″ years, which alarmists latch onto as proof of AGW.

    2- Steve attempts to replicate Mann’s tree ring work in the paper MPH98, but is stymied by lack of data archiving. He sends dozens of letters over the years trying to get access to data but access is denied.

    3- A Mann co-author (Briffa) used one of the tree ring data series (Yamal Russia) in a paper published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, which has a strict data archiving policy. Steve fought and won access to that data just last week.

    4- Having the Yamal data in complete form, Steve replicates it, and discovers that one of Mann’s co-authors, Briffa, had cherry picked 10 trees data sets out of a much larger set of trees sampled in Yamal.

    5- When all of the tree ring data from Yamal is plotted the famous hockey stick disappears. Not only does it disappear, but goes negative. The conclusion is inescapable. The tree ring data was hand picked to get the desired result.

  11. janama September 29, 2009 at 10:04 am #

    Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers.

    He dismissed scientists’ predictions that Himalayan glaciers might disappear within 40 years as a result of global warming.

    “We have to get out of the preconceived notion, which is based on western media, and invest our scientific research and other capacities to study Himalayan atmosphere,” he said.

    “Science has its limitation. You cannot substitute the knowledge that has been gained by the people living in cold deserts through everyday experience.”

    Mr Ramesh was also clear that India would not take on targets to cut its emissions, even though developed countries are asking only for curbs in the growth of emissions, rather than absolute cuts.

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c2896b88-77bd-11de-9713-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

  12. Ian Mott September 29, 2009 at 10:21 am #

    Good posts, DB. Sod’s implication that snow melt only takes place in spring is more of his usual ignorance. The fact that there is still permanent ice is proof that some of the snow does not melt at all. And it follows that the area of snow recedes right through the summer to the point when it starts to accumulate again in fall/autumn.

    More importantly, a valid assessment of glacier and snow melt must take the altitude of the snow and ice into consideration in any future projection. If a 40% CO2 increase has only produced 0.6 C of temperature increase then, according to theory, the remaining 60% portion of a CO2 doubling event is also only likely to produce another 0.6 C temperature increase, for a sensitivity to doubling of 1.2 C.

    We know that temperature declines by 1.0 C for every 100m of altitude so we can safely conclude that all of the glacier and snowpack that is 60 metres higher than the current melt face will still be their when CO2 hits 560ppm. And the logical conclusion, according to clearly stated IPCC doctrine, is that, even after a subsequent doubling of CO2 to 1120ppm, the lower boundary of snowpack and glacial ice will only rise by 120 metres.

    Counter intuitively, the glaciers with the gentlest inclines will recede faster in response to a temperature rise than those with a steep slope. The gentler sloped glaciers will have a longer portion of their length exposed to the altitude differential. But to put this 120 metres altitude differential in its proper place, we must keep in mind that the Tibetan Plateau ranges in altitude from 4000m to 6000m. So whatever temperatures may be on the Ganges Plain, the mountain snow pack will be 40 C to 60 C cooler.

    And we should also keep in mind the fact that the saturation point of moisture in air increases with temperature. So a warmer air moves further up a mountain valley it’s ability to carry additional moisture into previously dry locations is enhanced. Not only will the volume of rain/snow fall increase but the area over which it falls will also expand.

  13. Magnus A September 29, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    Also water wells shold be able to solve people’s need. If world population peak at about 9 billion (some scientists think less than that) problems will not be too big. Fewer children depends on wealth. Wealth and less burned rain forest depends on fossil fuel (before nuclear, fission and fusion, maybe become more common 50 to 100 years from now……).

    These links, I think, didn’t worked properly (please remove this comment when corrected!) :

    http://www.himalaya2000.com/himalayan-facts/himalayan-glaciers.html

    http://www.travel-himalayas.com/himalayan-mountains-peaks/uttaranchal-glaciers.html

    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/05/05/himalayas-glaciers.html

  14. Ian Mott September 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks for those links, Magnus A. Not all the glaciers mentioned included altitude details but we do have data for Siachen, the largest in the world outside the polar regions. It is 72km long and extends from 6000m to 7000m. That is, it traverses 10 C of temperature range so a 1.0 C rise in mean temperature would be expected to reduce its length by 7.2km.

    But reports from this area confirm that these glaciers are actually growing, not receding.

    Interestingly, the fact that the base of Siachen is at 6000m suggests that warm air from below is blowing up the valley to push the ice back. In a static environment it would need to hit 60.0 C at sea level to produce 0.0 C at 6000m and ice melt. But the fact that the ice boundary is this high indicates the extent of the local adjustment for heat transfer is in the order of 10.0 to 15.0 C.

  15. Ayrdale September 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Tilo, courtesy of Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has delivered the bombshell.

    What value “scientific consensus” over global warming/climate change now ?

    Perhaps this is the “tipping point” alarmists have been predicting for quite some time…

  16. sod September 29, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Certainly; it is just that during the rainy season glacier melt is not important. There is water everywhere.

    i fear that you are using a simplistic approach again.

    glaciers act as a depot, that reacts in exactly the opposite way to weather events, than other sources do. during a hot and dry year, glaciers will release more water. so glaciers provide water, when it is most needed.

    Good posts, DB. Sod’s implication that snow melt only takes place in spring is more of his usual ignorance. The fact that there is still permanent ice is proof that some of the snow does not melt at all. And it follows that the area of snow recedes right through the summer to the point when it starts to accumulate again in fall/autumn.

    figure 5 in the paper linked above gives a pretty good impression for snow melt. (snow melt reduces snow cover area. glacier melt basically does not)

    http://www.cig.ensmp.fr/~iahs/hsj/470/hysj_47_01_0093.pdf

    glaciers provide a very steady supply of water. the same can typically not be said about snow melt or seasonal rain.

  17. sod September 29, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    But reports from this area confirm that these glaciers are actually growing, not receding.

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/glaciers.jpg?w=500&h=295

  18. Larry Fields September 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm #

    Tilo,
    Thanks for the update. Now it’s time for Wet Blanket Larry’s stoopid question of the day.

    I read the article at WUWT, and admired the pretty pictures. Unfortunately, the axes were not labeled. I’ll stick my neck out, and guess that the horizontal axis is years. But what about the vertical axis? I’m guessing that it’s some sort of temperature proxy. But what are the units? Millimeters, pineapples, elephants, dollars, golf balls, hockeysticks? If I knew the answer to that question, I’d rate the article as a conversation-stopper.

    WUWT and climateaudit are truly outstanding blogs, but my impression is that they are populated by serious wonks and wonkettes, most of whom would automatically know what the unlabeled axes represented. After the authors do all of the FOIA donkeywork, are labeled axes too much to ask for?

    I feel more comfortable hanging my hat here, where I can ask basic questions, without feeling like a Neanderthal. Fortunately for me, that ecological niche has already been filled by JC and the Luke Collective.

  19. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    Larry

    Steve McIntyre pointed out the vertical axis is dimensionless – it’s a dendro “thingy” but as the blog is experiencing so much traffic, it might be difficult to locate his comment. I spotted it before SM got hit by the traffic – that was a a day or so ago.

  20. Louis Hissink September 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    Larry Pertinent commnt:

    Steve, wow.
    Please would you help us slow but willing followers by labelling the axes a bit more clearly – especially if these hot pics are going to be quoted. I mean, isn’t the y-axis in fig.2 a measure of temperature divergence from the zero line “mean”, or at least a simple multiple thereof?

    Steve : y-axis is in dimensionless chronology units centered on 1, standard in the industry, as are subsequent graphs (but represent age-adjusted ring width). Temperature doesn’t enter into the data set until these ring width chronologies are statistically related to temperature. The ring width chronologies are the building blocks.

  21. Ian Mott September 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Guys, that topic deserves a proper lead article. You don’t do it justice by tacking it onto another thread like this one. Send the report to Jen so she can post it as a lead article, the better to highlight it in search engines.

    Sod, a five year old’s finger painting would have more credibility than your Tamino link.

  22. SMS September 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    Here are a couple of temperature records from the Yellowstone/Teton area. Not sure where the acelerated warming is coming from to increase the melt rate of the Teton glaciers.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425726700060&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425726700070&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425726720020&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    Took a look at a number of records for rural areas near the Tetons. Just could not find any catastrophic warming.

  23. Derek Smith September 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    Um, pardon my ignorance but apart from the himalayan glaciers, are any other glaciers actually needed for anything?
    If not then what’s the fuss?

  24. Bob Tisdale September 29, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    Larry Fields: You wrote and asked, “Unfortunately, the axes were not labeled. I’ll stick my neck out, and guess that the horizontal axis is years. But what about the vertical axis? I’m guessing that it’s some sort of temperature proxy. But what are the units? Millimeters, pineapples, elephants, dollars, golf balls, hockeysticks? If I knew the answer to that question, I’d rate the article as a conversation-stopper.”

    Steve McIntyre explains the absense of y-axis units to Lucy Skywalker in Comment 3 here:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7168

    Steve writes, “y-axis is in dimensionless chronology units centered on 1, standard in the industry, as are subsequent graphs (but represent age-adjusted ring width). Temperature doesn’t enter into the data set until these ring width chronologies are statistically related to temperature. The ring width chronologies are the building blocks.”

    And yes, Steve’s findings are a conversation-stopper. On that note…

  25. Bob Tisdale September 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    Larry: Sorry. Just discovered that Louis Hissink already answered your question.

    Regards

  26. cohenite September 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm #

    What, no response about Briffa from the alarmists? Where are you little will, RW, luke, JC and sod? Speaking of sod; you reckoned I was off the mark with my comments about Germany doing a u-turn on nuclear;

    http://www.upi.com/Energy_Resources/2009/09/28/Germany-eyes-nuclear-revival/UPI-14571254168521/

  27. SJT September 30, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    In reference to Tilo above, Ross McKitrick has a good summation in the comments section of the briffa fiasco on Steve’s site, showing how this entire fraud came about.
    Gee a much warmer MWP and a flat 20th century, what a surprise, briffa btw has gone on sick leave and cannot answer reporter’s questions.
    As a lot of people have said before, when does a con just become corruption and will this save us wasting trillions of dollars in the nick of time?

    Dog whistle politics at it’s finest. Where did Steve say ‘fraud’. He didn’t. He meant it of course, that’s what everyone calls it, but, no, he’s won’t call it fraud outright. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.

  28. Tilo September 30, 2009 at 1:09 am #

    “Guys, that topic deserves a proper lead article. ”

    I agree. Sorry to hijack the thread. I don’t normally like to do that. I just thought that this release was very important and I wanted people to have a chance to look at it. That done, I don’t think that this is the place to discuss it further. Let’s wait for a thread and continue with the melting glaciers on this thread.

  29. Chris Schoneveld September 30, 2009 at 3:36 am #

    Aren’t the Asian monsoons concentrated in the months July August? Isn’t that also the period that the glacier melt is at its highest and therefore not essential for the water supply of these regions or maybe even a nuisance?

  30. Larr Fields September 30, 2009 at 8:15 am #

    I’d like to thank everyone for bringing me up to speed about the y-axis. Since you answered my question, I’ve poked around a bit, and found that Joanne Nova has a first-rate article about the Briffa scandal on her website.
    http://tinyurl.com/yb4ez4c

  31. Neil Fisher September 30, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    SJT wrote:

    Dog whistle politics at it’s finest. Where did Steve say ‘fraud’. He didn’t. He meant it of course, that’s what everyone calls it, but, no, he’s won’t call it fraud outright. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.

    If you had bothered to read much of SM’s blog, you would have noted that many comments that relate to motivation are snipped, and that such talk is discouraged. SM takes the view – IMO, quite properly too – that it is much better to stick to the facts. Therefore, we can say that something is definately/likely/probably/maybe right/wrong and what the implications of this are in terms of the results and conclusions of that particular paper, or which papers relying on such papers have the same issues, good or bad – although, of course, not many “good” papers get a mention. The “bad” papers get more mention because the impact of them being wrong can be significant both scientifically and politically. And since “fraud” implies willful deception in a way that “wrong” does not, “fraud” is a “red flag” word at that site – to make such a claim at CA, you had better have supporting evidence of intent, which is extremely hard to obtain. Therefore, it is extremely rare to find such terms as “fraud” at CA – even for clearly refuted papers such as MBH9X.
    Now, as to the methods under discusion, certainly it would seem that there is some sort of cherry-picking going on WRT Russian tree ring chronolgy inclusion in climate reconstructions – whether this is justified is highly debateable, and I for one would like to hear more than arm-waving about this. When you combine this with the “divergence problem”, it becomes clear that such reconstructions are, to put it politely, somewhat hairy and inconclusive. And while I’m certain that such reconstructions are “consistent with” AGW theory, they hardly rise to the level of “proof” and there are many unanswered questions about the accuracy of them – both in terms of stats (we don’t have a random sample, but rather a correlation based selection criteria, so data mining techniques should be applied to confidence intervals etc) and actual science methodology (throwing out inconvenient data etc). It’s also germane to this point that this is not the only such paper that has these quesions hanging over it, so suggesting that other such papers corroborate the findings is no evidence that it’s “right” – using the same technique and data with only minor variations in no way shows that the data and methods are correct.

  32. Ian Mott September 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    Excellent point, Chris. According to wikipedia, “the Thar Desert plays a role in attracting moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India’s rainfall”. But it should be noted that the monsoon starts in the south in June/July and finishes in the north in September/October. I am unsure as to when the monsoon actually arrives in the north but most likely it would be July/August.

    There may be some glacial flows in the north that take place before the monsoon arrives but these flows are not critical for crop production as the arrival of the monsoon is the initiator of most activity. The mid-summer glacial flows might assist with the transport of human remains and ashes down the Ganges so they do not become part of the monsoonal flood deposition. A small mercy in the broad scheme of things.

    You have exploded another bloated bladder of climate misinformation. Well done.

  33. jc October 1, 2009 at 1:39 am #

    Perhaps Biffra should be considered the Bernie Madoff of science. Maybe there’s a jail cell next to Bernie for the Biff. Lol

  34. Henry chance October 1, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Perhaps Biffra should be considered the Bernie Madoff of science. Maybe there’s a jail cell next to Bernie for the Biff. Lol

    Good one!!

    Lets borrow Piltdown man and call him Meltdown Mann.

  35. Alan Cheetham October 2, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    See http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_4CE_Glaciers.htm for a summary of glaciers around the world.

  36. jennifer marohasy January 19, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    “A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

    “Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

    “In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

    “It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi…

    more here
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece

  37. jennifer January 21, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    WASHINGTON —
    Five glaring errors were discovered in one paragraph of the world’s most authoritative report on global warming, forcing the Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists who wrote it to apologize and promise to be more careful.

    The errors are in a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N.-affiliated body. All the mistakes appear in a subsection that suggests glaciers in the Himalayas could melt away by the year 2035 – hundreds of years earlier than the data actually indicates. The year 2350 apparently was transposed as 2035.

    The climate panel and even the scientist who publicized the errors said they are not significant in comparison to the entire report, nor were they intentional. And they do not negate the fact that worldwide, glaciers are melting faster than ever.

    But the mistakes open the door for more attacks from climate change skeptics.

    more here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2010845740_apsciunclimatechange.html

  38. Jennifer Marohasy January 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    “THE United Nations’ top climate change body has issued an unprecedented apology over its flawed prediction that Himalayan glaciers were likely to disappear by 2035.
    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said Wednesday that the prediction in its landmark 2007 report was “poorly substantiated” and resulted from a lapse in standards.
    More here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/un-apologises-for-flawed-glacier-prediction/story-e6frg6so-1225822246312

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. First casualties of climate change | Kiwiblog - August 18, 2011

    [...] reality:Not in Australia it ain’t. Also, the argument that smaller glaciers means less water is pure illogical claptrap as explained eloquently by Jennifer Marohasy.The claim:Australia Could Become First Major Casualty [...]

  2. A short history of climate science hysteria & TOADS TO MUSSELS: A WORLD OF WARMING FIRSTS « Follow The Money - August 22, 2011

    [...] in Australia it ain’t. Also, the argument that smaller glaciers means less water is pure illogical claptrap as explained eloquently by Jennifer [...]

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