A new study is just out!! Turns out the Himalayans aren’t melting after all! Well, they are, but……. (sigh) I’ll try to explain if I can devolve low enough to think like a climatologist, but, I’m not sure I can get down to that level of stupid with only a 12 pack to drink.
The study, Recent contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea level rise , actually states, “The high mountains of Asia, in particular, show a mass loss of only 4 ± 20 Gt yr−1 for 2003–2010″ …..whatever that means. Obviously, with new publishing comes vapid interviews and heralding from periodicals.
Apparently, they’ve decided to use the Grace tandem to measure the icecaps and glaciers and whatnot. Of course, this can’t be replicated because Grace is about to come down. We’ve promised to send a new one up in 2016. But, still 4 +/-20Gt is equal to just about nothing. This leads me to one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever read……..
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.
You see, the Himalayans are really melting, but that silly snow keeps putting the stuff back!!! Sadly, the massive bit of stupidity doesn’t end there. This will lead to a reappraisal of the estimated future sea-level. No one had done the measurements by satellite before. How did they do it in the past, you ask? I’m glad you asked, but I’d best let the smart sciency guys explain this…….
The reason for the radical reappraisal of ice melting in Asia is the different ways in which the current and previous studies were conducted. Until now, estimates of meltwater loss for all the world’s 200,000 glaciers were based on extrapolations of data from a few hundred monitored on the ground. Those glaciers at lower altitudes are much easier for scientists to get to and so were more frequently included, but they were also more prone to melting.
The bias was particularly strong in Asia, said Wahr: “There extrapolation is really tough as only a handful of lower-altitude glaciers are monitored and there are thousands there very high up.”
So, lower level glaciers are more prone to melting? ……. .YA THINK!!!!!??? It’s “tough” when one tries to extrapolate from one unlike thing to another. No, no, I got that wrong, it’s “really tough“. So, all of these dire predictions of mass drowning and cities underwater and all came from extrapolating melting glaciers to glaciers which aren’t prone to melt.
The article and from what I can glean from the tease Nature has put in, there are more bits of massive stupidity. But, I need more beer to be able to handle much more so I’ll just end with the thermal part of the thermal expansion……. Hadley’s SSTs for the time period o f the study.