Monday, October 31, 2011

Global Cooling Has Already Started

Guest Post: Gopal Panicker

Soon it will be time for the annual climate change party. This time it is in Durban, South Africa. Before that it was Cancun, Copenhagen….., they always seem to be in nice places where a good time can be had by all. 

How come they never seem to want to go Niger in summer, or Siberia in winter? They could really come to grips with the climate in these places. Is it not ironic that 15,000 people, burning hundreds of tons of jet fuel, gather to discuss how to reduce emissions of CO2? What about all the hot air that will be generated at the conference?
Seriously, there are big problems with the conventional theory of Global Warming, as propounded by Al Gore, the IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) and their friends. Greenhouse Gases, trapping heat and causing the world to warm up. They have conducted a brilliant propaganda campaign that has almost the entire world believing what they say is true.

It is only because their program has high economic costs that they have failed to push through their agenda….Carbon taxes, carbon credits, cap and trade etc. They have used misleadingly presented data, computer models which are worthless and even outright lies to achieve their ends.

A couple of examples. A 2007 IPCC report stated that they had ‘high confidence’ that all the Himalayan glaciers would be melted by 2035. When this was disputed, they said at first that it was a mistake; finally they had to confess that it was done deliberately, in order to put pressure on political leaders. Just a few weeks ago the ‘Times Atlas’ brought out a new edition. This expensive Atlas claims to be authoritative. Their map of Greenland showed areas covered by ice, 500 meters thick, as ice free. This was then touted as ‘evidence’ that Greenland was melting.

The climate of the earth has always changed and will always change. Our human lifetimes are too short to appreciate these changes which occur over thousands or millions of years. The rise of the Himalayas and the vast Tibetan plateau, about 40 million years ago, are thought to have ushered in an era of repeated ice ages.
In the last million years there have been several ice ages. The average ice age lasts 80-100,000 years. The periods in between 10-20,000 years. The entire recorded history of the human race is in one of these in between periods called inter-glacials. In India, climate change is one possible explanation for the collapse of the Indus valley civilization. The Saraswati River disappeared in historic times.

The IPCC and their cohorts believe that emissions of Greenhouse Gases, basically CO2, are causing the earth to warm up. Let me point out a few inconvenient facts.
1. According to the IPCC, 1998 was the hottest year worldwide. Since then it has been flat or cooling slightly. In the 13 years since 1998, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere have gone up by about 7%. This is substantial. If what they say is true, why has it not got hotter?

2. CO2 levels are fairly even throughout the atmosphere. According to the IPCC, the average temperature of the earth rose by 0.6 Deg C in the last century. According to the Government of India the average temperature in India rose by 0.4 Deg C. Substantial difference. According to the IPCC the greatest warming has occurred in the far northern Atlantic-Arctic basin. If their theory is true, why is the warming uneven?

3. Russian scientists at the Vostok station on Antartica, have studied ice cores which record CO2 levels and temperatures going back hundreds of thousands of years. They have found that CO2 levels rose 800 years AFTER temperatures rose. Therefore historically, rising CO2 levels have been an effect and not a cause of temperature rise.

4. The natural emissions of CO2 are many times human output.

5. Extinction coefficients. It can be demonstrated that at atmospheric concentrations, CO2 will absorb to extinction (completely) all the wavelengths it absorbs in the infra red, within tens to hundreds of meters. The atmosphere is dozens of kilometers thick, therefore, adding more CO2 will not make any difference.
The Global Warming propaganda machine puts out scare stories regularly. Let us deal with a couple of generic examples.
1. The Greenland icecap is going to melt. The sea levels are going to rise, flooding coastal areas. Sounds familiar? OK. These things are very difficult to measure, but according to the best estimates by respectable institutions (NASA, NOAA etc) Greenland has lost 0.1% of its ice in the last 13 years. If this rate is maintained for 130 years, Greenland will lose 1% of its ice. That will raise sea levels worldwide by about 2cm. Get out a ruler and see how small 2cm is. Less than the tip of your little finger. Are you still scared?

2. CO2 is going to acidify the oceans, dissolve the shellfish, and kill the corals. Fine. Assume that by some magic trick we could put ALL the CO2 in the atmosphere into the ocean. CO2 is about 380 parts per million in the atmosphere. In the ocean it will be less than 1 part per million. How small is one part per million? Take a liter of water. One part per million is one thousandth of one ml. You will need a magnifying glass just to see it. Do you think that this tiny quantity, of a very weak acid, will acidify the liter of water to any significant extent? The next time you read a scare story, be wary. I saw this story the other day. They were saying that the cocoa crop in West Africa was going to be wiped out by rising temperatures. Oh oh, no chocolate, this is serious business! Then I read the rest of the article. They were talking about a prediction made by a computer model about conditions 50 years from now. No worries! My chocolate was safe.
A few facts to put things in perspective. The earth is billions of years old. The surface and the atmosphere of the earth have been transformed by life. All life on earth is related and based on carbon and DNA. All the oxygen in the atmosphere, all the coal and oil, most of the iron ore, limestone and chalk deposits are there because of the activities of living things, together with geological processes. 80 to 90% of the mass of all living things on earth is accounted for by bacteria. We cant even see them without a microscope.

To explain long term changes over millions of years, we look to geology. Plate tectonics, the slow movements of the continents and so forth. Climatic changes over tens of thousands of years can be explained by the Milankovitch cycles. These are slow cyclic changes in the orbit and the inclination of the earth. The father of oceanography Otto Pettersson, used ancient Icelandic sagas, and variations in the orbit of the moon, to come up with a theory of an 1800 year climatic cycle. This theory is unverified but he did put his finger on ocean currents as the dominant factor in climatic changes on earth.

As I said earlier, CO2 is not the culprit. The IPCC and gang are looking in the wrong place.

After the sun, the oceans are the key to climate on earth. The oceans cover more than 70% of the surface of the earth. Most of the sunlight falls on the oceans. They are excellent absorbers and radiators of heat. The mass of the oceans is more than 400 times that of the atmosphere. Due to the high specific heat of water, the oceans have a heat capacity of more than 1000 times that of the atmosphere.

If you look at the first graph you will see a distinct 30 year cycle in north Atlantic water temperatures. This same cycle, warming between 1919 and 1950, cooling until 1980 and warming after that, is also seen in the IPCC’s charts of ‘Global average temperature’. There is apparently also a 30 year cycle in the Indian monsoon.

 Courtesy: TJ Nelson 

As I said before even the IPCC figures show that the greatest warming is at high latitudes in the Atlantic-Arctic basin. Hence all the fuss about the reduction in the area covered by sea ice in the Arctic. This is due to variations in the Gulf stream and currents in the arctic ocean. When the Gulf stream turns east off Newfoundland, it is 100 kilometers wide and 1 kilometer deep. It transports several times more water than all the rivers of the world combined. I made a prediction almost a year ago that the warming trend was over. It is already coming true.    n
                           Absorption spectra of CO2 and other gases
 Courtesy: TJ Nelson

The ‘La Nina’ condition has set in off the west coast of South America. A huge area of the Pacific ocean is cooling. If the IPCC puts out honest figures it will show that what remains of the warming since 1980 has been wiped out and that a cooling trend has started.
I am going to Durban, I want to have some fun too!

About the author:

Gopal Panicker, a graduate in chemical engineering from REC, Trichy who has researched the subject while in the USA during the last decade, questions the basis of the world-wide propaganda concerning global warming and the effects of carbon dioxide on the atmosphere. He is now a philosopher based in his home town Trivandrum, with much to be philosophical about.

He could well be the first in the world to actually predict an impending Global Cooling, a diagonally opposite view from the more popular Global Warming forecasts. Panicker’s previous articles on this site can be accessed on the links below.

Kerala philosopher debunks theory on Global warming
Global warming:The best explanation yet
Global Cooling Coming Soon
From Global Warming To Global Cooling

He welcomes intelligent reactions and counter arguments to his theories. He can be contacted at or

Climate scientists caught cheating again trying to provide evidence the planet is warming

The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) email controversy (also known as "Climategate") began in November 2009 with the hacking of a server at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). On 20 November, two weeks before the Copenhagen Summit on climate change, an unknown individual or group breached CRU's server and copied thousands of emails and computer files to various locations on the Internet.

The story first broke in the climate skeptic blogosphere, with my pal James Delingpole of the UK Telegraph popularizing the term "Climategate" to describe the controversy. The emails revealed scientists manipulated climate data, suppressed their critics and evidence that global warming was a scientific conspiracy. Once the credibility of climate data was suspect in public perception, the steam went out of the global warming movement.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project was an effort to resolve criticism of the current records of the Earth's surface temperatures by preparing an open database and analysis of these temperatures and temperature trends, to be available online, with all calculations, methods and results also to be freely available online. 

The BEST project is funded by unrestricted educational grants totaling (as of March 2011) about $635,000. Large donors include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Charles G. Koch Foundation, and the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (FICER), and the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation. The donors supposedly have no control over how BEST conducts the research or what they publish. Now the Charles G. Koch Foundation was the charity of the Koch Brothers who global warmists loved to hate for funding climate sceptical research.

Professor Richard Muller, a physicist, and his team at Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) promised to “resolve current criticism of the former temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions”. Because the BEST team constituted of some sceptics as well, even many sceptics looked favourable at this attempt.
A week ago, Muller claimed to the Wall Street Journal that the case for global warming scepticism was over. Thanks to research from his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures (BEST) project, Professor Muller stated confidently, we now know that the planet has warmed by almost one degree centigrade since 1950. What's more, he told the BBC's Today programme, there is no sign that this global warming has slowed down.

The Berkeley Earth data set is now publicly available here.
The Berkeley Earth analysis programs are now publicly available here.
Summary charts, using all of the available data, are here.
A video showing the Berkeley Earth land temperature anomaly is here.
The findings reverberated around the world which claimed that at least here was hard evidence of global warming which sceptic research independently arrived at. The Washington Post commented:
“We know that the rise in temperatures over the past five decades is abrupt and very large. We know it is consistent with models developed by other climate researchers that posit greenhouse gas emissions — the burning of fossil fuels by humans — as the cause. And now we know, thanks to Muller, that those other scientists have been both careful and honorable in their work.

Nobody’s fudging the numbers. Nobody’s manipulating data to win research grants, as Perry claims, or making an undue fuss over a “naturally occurring” warm-up, as Bachmann alleges. Contrary to what Cain says, the science is real.”
But the joy of climate alarmists proved short lived and their smug was wiped out from their faces very fast. A report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation includes a graph of world average temperatures over the past ten years, drawn from the BEST project’s own data published in its website.


Notice the BEST graph is until only 2000 when we are in 2011 to demonstrate a warming world. Even sceptics do not challenge this claim but only differ in attributing this phenomenon to natural cycles. But GWPF’s graph 2000-2010 establish that according to BEST’s own data, there had been no accelerated warming trend. This graph shows that the trend of the last decade is absolutely flat, with no increase at all – though the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have carried on rising relentlessly, demolishing Muller’s claim to the contrary.

But the humiliation of Muller as a cheat did not stop there. A leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped. Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no scientific basis. Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers. Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious ‘Climategate’ scandal two years ago.

Like the scientists exposed then by leaked emails from East Anglia  University’s CRU, her colleagues from the BEST project seem to be trying to ‘hide the decline’ in rates of global warming. In fact, Prof Curry said, the project’s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties – a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained. ‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’

When BEST was formed, its Richard A. Muller told The Guardian:
"...we are bringing the spirit of science back to a subject that has become too argumentative and too contentious. ...we are an independent, non-political, non-partisan group. We will gather the data, do the analysis, present the results and make all of it available. There will be no spin, whatever we find. We are doing this because it is the most important project in the world today. Nothing else comes close."
BEST proved it was an anti-thesis to its overt objectives.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Busted Myth: Himalayan Glacial melt will lead to a ‘catastrophic’ water crisis

WWF makes a remarkable statement:
“The glaciers supply 8.6 million cubic metres (303.6 million cubic feet) every year to Asian rivers, including the Yangtze and Yellow rivers in China, the Ganga in India, the Indus in Pakistan, the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh and Burma's Irrawaddy.”
Remarkable because to-date glaciologists have absolutely no idea how much water is contributed by mountain runoffs to downstream river users. No one really precisely knows how much is snow melt and how much   ice (glacier) melt or how much monsoons contribute as runoffs to rivers like the Ganges.

These are not the only problems with the WWF hysteria. The major arguments against it are discussed below:

1. The operating assumption of global warmist argument is that glaciers are melting because global temperatures are rising which in turn is attributed to increased CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere as an offshoot of  the industrial revolution. So higher the temperature, the more vulnerable glaciers are to melt and once they have completely melted, there would be no more water for our great rivers  and their tributaries like the Ganga, Brahmaputra, Rabi; Chenab; Jhelum; Beas; Sutlej etc.
But history tells us that the cradle of Indian civilization 4,000 years ago was the Indus Valley watersheds of these same very rivers. Now if the retreat of the glaciers is only a recent phenomenon as global warming activists make them out to be, then where did the water for these rivers come from 4,000 years ago? The only way for that to happen is for the glaciers to have been in constant retreat even before the start of human history! 

So what have we now? It’s clear that though glaciers are currently in retreat, industrial revolution and increase in C02 in the atmosphere logically do not seem to have anything to do with it. 

If so, the bulk of the water has to come from somewhere and the only source that can provide such large amounts is the monsoons! The other complementary source to monsoons could be of course, seasonal snow melt.
 2. Besides it looks highly illogically for glacier/snow melt to contribute significantly to the river flow in India. The catchment areas of these major rivers are so enormous while the area above the snow line in comparison is  relatively minute. Therefore, logically it is again only the monsoons that could provide such huge quantum of water to sustain river flows rather than smaller amounts that gets deposited as snow or larger amounts frozen by glaciers in the high mountains. This is why whenever we get deficit monsoons, we see the river depths plunging or even running dry in parts. The converse also holds true. Rivers breaking their banks and flooding the plains during excessive rains just as we experienced during the last two monsoon seasons due to the La Niña effect. 

3. These climate alarmists besides argue that unless the glaciers are conserved (by reducing global temperature which in turn can be only brought about by a reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels) only then can “40% of those living in China and South Asian regions” be saved from chronic water shortages in the future. 

Globally there’s an estimated 1.3 billion people living in watersheds who benefit from some amount of glacier runoff. Let’s assume for a moment, no matter how hare-brained their climate mitigation solutions may look like, that these touted solutions actually bring about the desired global temperature decline. So then, will these 1.3 billion people then be spared chronic water shortages as they predicted?

The problem is, cooler temperatures can only accentuate the problem of water scarcity as advancing glaciers would freeze more and water, which in turn means proportionate reduction of (whatever) the glacial runoff that these people in these watersheds are now receiving. So what will happen if glaciers disappeared altogether? Again, there would be little or no glacier runoff. So what we have here is a zero sum game which should make us wonder what all the hullabaloo of glaciers is all about. 

But that’s the theory. In practice, glaciers however can be considered conceptually similar to a dam. During the global cooling cycle, they lock up water by freezing it and during the global warming cycle, they release water by melting. This is precisely why glaciologists say that glaciers are never in a state of equilibrium viz. they are always either expanding or retreating in alternating natural cycles as seen by their past, historic behaviour. So during high temperatures, they melt more than usual, providing more glacial runoff while during excessive precipitation and low temperatures, they lock up water and this way moderate the impact of both droughts and floods - a kind of a climate mitigating mechanism that nature has bestowed on us.   

 4.  Further, let’s for argument sake, accept the hypothesis that glacial melt is the main source of water for rivers like the Ganges and this source is endangered because glaciers are rapidly melting.  Accordingly, rising water level of rivers (the outcome) should easily validate this hypothesis. Then why is it there is no such evidence of this in the real world? On the other hand, river height strongly correlates with the intensity of the monsoon. 

 5.  Additionally, multi-decadal trend analysis indicates that relatively lesser precipitation (rain and snow) has been falling on the Central and Eastern Himalaya. The El Niño induced drought of 2009-2010 for example saw the lowest recorded rainfall in 37 years. As a result, many of the glaciers in that region suffered significant retreats. In contrast, glaciers in the Western Himalaya, which are fed by winter precipitation from Westerlies (winds from the west), despite the drought, were found to be less sensitive to changes in the monsoon; some even found advancing. 

So the glaciers of the Western Himalayas are not so much a conservation problem whereas the key determinant of glacier health in Central & Eastern Himalayas appears to be the summer monsoon. The monsoon, which is the engine of the weather cycle in the region and – of India’s agricultural economy displays strong multi-decadal variations,  tending to follow  roughly a 30 year dry-wet oscillation pattern that in turn, strongly correlates with a natural, oceanic climatic phenomenon known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).  Similarly, on a shorter time scale, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) also significantly, affects the monsoons but on a 3-5 year, dry-wet alternating cycle.

Besides, whenever the PDO is positive, historical trend analysis shows that El Niños (that brings lack of rain and droughts to India) are more in relative frequency and of relative higher intensity than its reverse phenomenon, the La Niña. Likewise when the PDO is negative, the La Niñas are found more in relative frequency and of relative higher intensity. The PDO turned negative around 2007, which means we can expect or the next 25-30 years more bountiful rainfall  as compared to the past for India similar to what we are  experiencing for the last two years due to an on-going multi-year La Niña. Consequently, the retreat of glaciers in Central & Eastern Himalayas should be at least checked, if not actually advance during the next 25-30 years.

 6.  The World Glacier Monitoring Service is an auspice of ICSU (WDS), IUGG (IACS), UNEP, UNESCO, WMO  working  in close collaboration with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS) initiative. The WGMS run the Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G) in support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). It is interesting what they say on the subject - a few extracts are given below:

 a. The reasons for the cyclical nature of the ice ages, so-called Milankovitch cycles, with dominant periods of 23,000, 41,000, 100,000 and 400,000 years (Milankovitch 1930), are mainly to be found in the variation of the earth rotational parameters.

 b. Further influences include the variability of solar activity, the latitudinal position of the earth’s continents, the chemical composition of the atmosphere, the internal dynamics of the climate system, as well as volcanic eruptions and impacts of meteorites of extreme dimensions.

 c. The overall glacier retreat after the Last Glacial Maximum and extending to the early Holocene is very much in line with the global warming (Solomina et al. 2008). The major glacier re-advances around 8,200 years ago were related possibly to a change in the thermohaline circulation of the ocean in the NorthAtlantic and North Pacific, and a subsequent cooling, due to the outburst of the Lake Agassiz on the North American continent (Solomina et al. 2008). By contrast, the gradual re-advance of tropical glaciers from their small extents, or even absence, in the early to mid Holocene was probably a result of increasing humidity (Abbott et al. 2003). 

 d. The periods of simultaneous glacier advances around the world, peaking in the late Holocene in the Northern Hemisphere and in the early Holocene in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the glacier maximum extents towards the end of the LIA are attributed to changes in solar irradiance, in dependence on the sun’s activity and the earth’s orbit, and also to the effects of volcanic eruption, internal dynamics of the climate system (Grove 2004, Solanki et al. 2004, Koch and Clague 2006)
 e. ENSO appears to be fundamentally correlated to the south Asian monsoon and hence to snow and ice accumulation in the Himalaya (Bush, 2002). On longer timescales, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and centennial climate variability also appear to have significant global signatures in temperature and precipitation, and will also play a role in crysopheric dynamics at the Earth’s surface.

 f. The glacier moraines formed during the end of the (Little Ice Age) LIA, between the 17th and the second half of the 19th century, mark Holocene maximum extents of glaciers in most of the world‘s mountain ranges. From these positions, glaciers around the globe have been shrinking significantly, with strong glacier retreats in the 1940s, stable or growing conditions around the 1970s, and again increasing rates of ice loss since the mid 1980s. On a shorter time scale, glaciers in various mountain ranges have shown intermittent re-advances. Looking at individual fluctuation series, a high variability and sometimes contradictory behaviour of neighbouring ice bodies are found which can be explained by the different glacier characteristics. The early mass balance measurements indicate strong ice losses as early as the 1940s and 1950s, followed by a moderate ice loss between 1966 and 1985, and accelerating ice losses until present.

New Research debunks Doomsday Himalayan Water Shortage Predictions

A new research paper debunks the doomsday scare of mass water shortages due to receding Himalayan glaciers. Rivers will not run dry as upto 80-90% of river water are contributed by the monsoons. Here’s the paper published in Scientific American: 

From the Andes to the Himalayas, scientists are starting to question exactly how much glaciers contribute to river water used downstream for drinking and irrigation. The answers could turn the conventional wisdom about glacier melt on its head.

A growing number of studies based on satellite data and stream chemistry analyses have found that far less surface water comes from glacier melt than previously assumed. In Peru's Rio Santa, which drains the Cordilleras Blanca mountain range, glacier contribution appears to be between 10 and 20 percent. In the eastern Himalayas, it is less than 5 percent.

"If anything, that's probably fairly large," said Richard Armstrong, a senior research scientist at the Boulder, Colo.-based Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), who studies melt impact in the Himalayas.

"Most of the people downstream, they get the water from the monsoon," Armstrong said. "It doesn't take away from the importance [of glacier melt], but we need to get the science right for future planning and water resource assessments."

The Himalayan glaciers feed into Asia's biggest rivers: the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and the Yellow and Yangtze rivers in China. Early studies pegged the amount of meltwater in these river basins as high as 60 or 70 percent. But reliable data on how much water the glaciers release or where that water goes have been difficult to develop. Satellite images can't provide such regular hydrometeorological observations, and expeditions take significant time, money and physical exertion.

New methods, though, are refining the ability to study this and other remote glacial mountain ranges. Increasingly, scientists are finding that the numbers vary depending on the river, and even in different parts of the same river.

Creeping hyperbole

"There has been a lot of misinformation and confusion about it," said Peter Gleick, co-director of the California-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. "About 1.3 billion people live in the watersheds that get some glacier runoff, but not all of those people depend only on the water from those watersheds, and not all the water in those watersheds comes from glaciers. Most of it comes from rainwater," he said.

A key step forward came last year when scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, using remote sensing equipment, found that snow and glacier melt is extremely important to the Indus and Brahmaputra basins, but less critical to others. In the Indus, they found, the meltwater contribution is 151 percent compared to the total runoff generated at low elevations. It makes up about 27 percent of the Brahmaputra -- but only between 8 and 10 percent for the Ganges, Yangtze and Yellow rivers. Rainfall makes up the rest.

That in itself is significant, and could reduce food security for 4.5 percent of the population in an already-struggling region. Yet, scientists complain, data are often inaccurately incorporated in dire predictions of Himalayan glacial melt impacts.

"Hyperbole has a way of creeping in here," said Bryan Mark, an assistant professor of geography at Ohio State University and a researcher at the Byrd Polar Research Center.
Mark, who focuses on the Andes region, developed a method of determining how much of a community's water supply is glacier-fed by analyzing the hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in water samples. He recently took that experience to Nepal, where he collected water samples from the Himalayan glacier-fed Kosi River as part of an expedition led by the Mountain Institute.

Based on his experience in the Rio Santa -- where it was once assumed that 80 percent of water in the basin came from glacier melt -- Mark said he expects to find that the impact of monsoon water is greatly underestimated in the Himalayas.

Jeff La Frenierre, a graduate student at Ohio State University, is studying Ecuador's Chimborazo glacier, which forms the headwaters of three different watershed systems, serving as a water source for thousands of people. About 35 percent of the glacier coverage has disappeared since the 1970s.

La Frenierre first came to Ecuador as part of Engineers Without Borders to help build a water system, and soon started to ask what changes in the mountain's glacier coverage would mean for the irrigation and drinking needs of the 200,000 people living downstream. Working with Mark and analyzing water streams, he said, is upending many of his assumptions.

Doomsday descriptions don't fit

"The easy hypothesis is that it's going to be a disaster here. I don't know if that's the case," La Frenierre said. He agreed that overstatements about the impacts are rampant in the Himalayas as well, saying, "The idea that 1.4 billion people are going to be without water when the glaciers melt is just not the case. It's a local problem; it's a local question. There are places that are going to be more impacted than other places."

Those aren't messages that environmental activists will likely find easy to hear. Armstrong recalled giving a presentation in Kathmandu on his early findings to a less-than-appreciative audience.

"I didn't agree with the doomsday predictions, and I didn't have anything that was anywhere near spectacular," Armstrong said. But, he added, "At the same time, it's just basic Earth science, and we want to do a better job than we have been."

The more modest numbers, they and other scientists stressed, don't mean that glacier melt is unimportant to river basins. Rather, they said, they mean that the understanding of water systems throughout the Himalayan region must improve and water management decisions will need to be made at very local levels.

"We need to know at least where the water comes from," Armstrong said. "How can we project into the future if we don't know where the water comes from now?"

Glaciergate as a game changer gave sceptics the upper hand in the climate debate

"Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world  and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate. Its total area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2035 (WWF, 2005).”(IPCC AR4 WG2 Ch10, p. 493).”
To the runup to Copenhagen Climate meet, in order to get China and other countries in the India sub-continent on-board to signing a global climate treaty, the West unleashed their Trojan horses - their partner NGOs and environmental organizations to launch a grossly intellectually corrupt campaign. 

This centred around the scare that Himalayan glaciers are receding and in the long run as the ice diminishes, glacial runoffs in summer and river flows will also go down, leading to severe water shortages in the region using the IPCC report to buttress their case. The IPCC later withdrew this prediction. 


Glaciergate exposed IPCC as relying upon a second hand, non-peer reviewed source which turned out to be unreliable, and failed to identify this source.  As a result, the IPCC has predicted the likely loss of most or all of Himalaya’s glaciers by 2035 with apparently no peer-reviewed scientific studies to justify such a prediction and at least one scientific study (Kotlyakov) saying that such a disappearance is too fast by a factor of ten!

It also not only punctured the credibility of both the IPCC and its high profile Chairperson, Rajendra Pachuari but also those of the global warming movement in the country, particularly these NGOs who over- hyped this issue.  Lest we forget, a summary of what exactly is glacier gate is provided as a box item below.

In trying to deliver simplified messages; NGOs often pretended to know more than they do lending themselves to charges of climate scaremongering. A snapshot of some of the NGO’s recycled scare can be found as a box item below.