Hindu Today: Indian study challenges global view on Himalayan glaciers
Nov 10, 2009 05:19 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
Here is a recent article from India.......
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Indian study challenges global view on Himalayan glaciers ( Aarti Dhar )
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"NEW DELHI: India on Monday challenged the internationally accepted view that the Himalayan glaciers were receding due to global warming. The glaciers, although shrinking in volume and constantly showing a retreating front, have not in any way exhibited any abnormal annual retreat of the order that some glaciers in Alaska and Greenland have reported, a state-of-the-art review of Glacial Studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change said.
Brought out by V.K. Raina, former Deputy Director-General, Geological Survey of India, for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the discussion paper on the Himalayan glaciers points out that it was premature to make a statement that the glaciers were retreating abnormally because of global warming.
The study says a glacier is affected by a range of physical features and a complex interplay of climatic factors, and it is, therefore, unlikely that the snout movement of any glacier can be claimed to be the result of periodic climate variation until many centuries of observations become available. "
"While glacier movements are primarily due to climate and snowfall, snout movements appear to be peculiar to each glacier, the paper adds.
Releasing the documents, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said that while most Himalayan glaciers were retreating, some were advancing as well. This included the Siachen glacier.
"Some glaciers are retreating at a declining rate, like the Gangotri, and the overall health of the Himalayan glaciers was poor as the debris cover had reached alarming proportions," he said, citing the paper.
Mr. Ramesh added that there was no conclusive scientific evidence to show that global warming was resulting in the glacial retreats. Contrary to what most believe, there can be no comparison between the Arctic glaciers and the Himalayan glaciers, as the former are at sea-level and the latter at a very high altitude.
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