Glacier boffins rubbish IPCC apocalypse claims
Shock UN doom prophecy 'does not pass closer examination'
Glacier and climate boffins have issued a stinging poohpooh to recent alarmist pronouncements on climate-change-driven glacier melt - in particular from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“In the last few years numbers have been named that do not pass a closer examination,“ says glaciologist and climatologist Georg Kaser of Innsbruck uni. “It is an exaggeration when it is claimed that the melting of glaciers endangers the water supply of two billion people.”
Famously the IPCC, the world body coordinating the human race's response to climate change, chose in 2007 to state that major glaciers in the Himalayas would disappear by the year 2035. This would lead to mighty river systems such as the Ganges, Indus, Changjiang etc becoming "seasonal" - so spelling doom for many inhabitants of the densely populated North Indian plains and other areas.
This was, however, completely without basis. It had originated as an off-the-cuff remark by an Indian scientist who later disowned the estimate, reported by well-known warmo journo Fred Pearce of New Scientist and then retailed to the IPCC in a pamphlet from hard-green campaigning organisation WWF, which wields an almost unbelievable amount of influence over the IPCC.
Kaser and his colleagues have now done a proper academic study on just how glacier melt contributes to the water supplies of different populations around the world, and what the impacts might actually be in the coming decades. They suggest that the IPCC might like to consider using their research as a basis for the next international report, rather than bogus WWF propaganda.
“With regard to the next report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), our data can be seen as the basis for regionally more precise estimations and they show that the impact of the expected climate change may be higher in some regions than in others,” says Kaser, chief of Innsbruck's Tropical Glaciology Group.
In essence, the Innsbruck boffins' study says that the only people who need worry about glacier effects on their water supply are small populations who live high up in the mountains. The teeming billions of the Asian river basins will not be affected.
The scientists' article Contribution potential of glaciers to water availability in different climate regimes is published (free as of press time) in the Proceedings of the [US] National Academy of Sciences. They write:
We find that the seasonally delayed glacier contribution is largest where rivers enter seasonally arid regions and negligible in the lowlands of river basins governed by monsoon climates. By comparing monthly glacier melt contributions with population densities in different altitude bands within each river basin, we demonstrate that strong human dependence on glacier melt is not collocated with highest population densities in most basins.
“By all means, the expected climatic development may have detrimental effects for smaller high-mountain communities," comments Kaser.
But the spectre of imminent thirst and/or starvation for billions by 2035 from melting glaciers would appear to have been confirmed as the worst kind of alarmist scaremongering. ®
you are all fired.
How dare you do proper science and research into climate change which we all know is happening anyway.
You are exactly the scientists we dont need in climate research as all we need is someone to publish alarmist claims and then we can all suck up grant money into 'researching' the claim while making our data fit our pre-conceived model.
Countdown to the predictable posts by the treehuggers that these guys aren't "climate scientists", that just being highly-educated glacier specialists means they just don't know as much as Al Gore, or the "independent" IPCC, or have they had any papers published recently?
Looks like Georg Kaser is another name that can be added to the list in response to the usual GreenieWeenie claims that "no serious scientists disagrees with the IPCC"!
Real data leading to proper debate
OK so there're a few analytical steps between those two. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that this comments section will quickly fill with the usual "Register is propagating its AGW-denial agenda" and "Well done finally we hear the truth about the money-making myth of AGW".
And it's really boring and infantile. The reality appears to be that there is general consensus amongst experts that AGW is a reality, but significant lack of reliable agreement concerning predicted effects of this AGW.
Unfortunately one side of the debate has been hijacked by ludicrous environmental activists with no scientific training or knowledge who make claims like the above concerning glaciers (that would include both WWF and the members of the IPCC responsible for including the "data" in the report).
The other side of the debate has been hijacked by ludicrous conservative activists with no scientific training or knowledge who make claims like "AGW is a myth and we should ignore anyone, regardless of their scientific and/or experimental background who says otherwise".
Who is there to represent the sane?