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Old 04-24-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
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Default Troublesome Karakoram glaciers getting bigger, new study suggests

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Troublesome Karakoram glaciers getting bigger, new study suggests

Despite the global temperature increase and the overall shrinking of the world's glaciers, some glaciers in the Karakoram mountains have actually grown over the past decade, according to a new study.

By Trevor Quirk, Correspondent / April 16, 2012

Practicing good science often means accepting inconvenient data. The results of a new study that depict the recent growth of some Asian glaciers — despite the warming global climate — surely fall into this category, especially in the US where, according to a 2011 Harris Poll, public belief in manmade warming dropped from 71 percent in 2007 to 44 percent in 2011.

This research, led by glaciologist Julie Gardelle of the University of Grenoble, has confirmed suspicions about the massive glaciers in the Karakoram Mountains along the border of India, Pakistan and China. The researchers analyzed satellite images of a 2,168 square-mile area, and found that the glaciers are not losing ice, but probably gaining it. The study's results were recently published in Nature Geoscience.

For the past seven years, scientists have noted that the Karakoram glaciers have been spreading. Yet it was not clear whether the glaciers were merely becoming thinner, with the same amount of ice, or less, spread over a larger area, or if they were actually gaining mass.

To determine which, Gardelle and her team used data taken by instruments aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor and the French SPOT5 satellite, which collected the relevant data in late 1999 and 2008, respectively. The researchers estimated that, over this time period, the glaciers gained mass. On average, the glaciers developed a new patina of ice that, if melted, would amount to just over four inches of water.

Gardelle’s team, as well as many other scientists, say they cannot yet determine why the glaciers grew. The Karakoram region has been a climatological oddity for decades. Between 1961 and 2011, weather stations there have reported increases in winter precipitation and decreases in summer temperatures. A lack of glacial meltwater has constricted the flow of one of the local rivers by 20 percent, over the same time period. Incidentally, the 46,000 ice masses that compose the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau provide water to over 1.4 billion people living in central and southern Asia.

Though scientifically intriguing, the scientists involved in this study are wary of the political impact of these results; especially in light of the 2007 snafu involving the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s mistaken assertion that the Himalayan glaciers would be eradicated by 2035, and the damage to the credibility of the IPCC’s otherwise robust body of research. Unfortunately, the political volatility of manmade global warming is such that even the smallest oversight can have a significant impact on the general public's perception.
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/201...study-suggests

Interesting little story.

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Old 04-24-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
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Can't they just bomb the living crap out of it?

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Old 04-24-2012, 10:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baconbits View Post
Are you trolling? One glacier is getting bigger. That's only "troublesome" because anti-science libertarians are going to spread the news to their imbecile followers, who cannot comprehend the most basic things about science, or in this case common sense (such as why it matters that MOST glaciers are getting smaller, and why it's to be expected that SOME will still be growing bigger). Like the majority of Americans apparently, a nation which recognizes neither evolution nor climate change, and makes sure politicians enforce their religious nonsense on innocent kids. Yeah, you're trolling.


Last edited by impersonal; 04-24-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by impersonal View Post
That's only "troublesome" because anti-science libertarians
Whoa, McCarthy.

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Old 04-24-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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lol Christian Science monitor.

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Old 04-24-2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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Just wait for global warming to burn them up.

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Old 04-24-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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Meanwhile, most of the rest of the world's glaciers are getting smaller...

But this one's getting bigger! Therefore it overrules the effects of all the ones getting smaller, right!?

And while we're at it, if the percentage of people who "believe" the Earth is round and orbits the sun dropped from 77 to 41, it's not going to have any effect on the shape of the Earth or the path of its orbit, just as trying to pretend climate changes isn't happening won't stop glaciers from melting or tundra from thawing.

It just serves to illustrate how good a snowjob spin doctors have been doing distorting people's perceptions of what has been going on all around us our entire lives.

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Old 04-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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Perhaps a more credible source is called for...

Article

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The glaciers flowing between the towering peaks of the Karakoram range on the Pakistan-China border have grown in size in the last decade, according to new research.

The impact of climate change on the ice in the greater Himalaya range has been controversial because of an unfounded claim by the United Nations' climate science panel over the rate of melting in the region. However the melting of vast volumes of ice into the sea in most other parts of the world has been clearly demonstrated. In March, scientists showed that far less ice was being lost across the Himalayas than had been estimated from sparse ground surveys on the remote slopes.

The new study shows that glaciers in one important part of the mountain range are growing. "We provide a detailed glacier-scale evaluation of mass changes in the central Karakoram," said Julie Gardelle, at CNRS-Université Grenoble, who led the research published in Nature Geoscience on Sunday. "In our warming world, there are regions of the Earth where, for a few years or decades, the atmosphere is not warming or is even cooling. So it is not really a big surprise that there are some regions where the temperature is not rising and the Karakoram may be one of those."

The scientists used 3D altitude maps obtained from satellites in 2000 and 2008 to track the changes in the glaciers. Prof Graham Cogley, of Trent University in Canada, who was not part of the research team, called the approach a "ground-breaking" advance.

"On most of the glaciers in the Karakoram it is simply not possible to be there," he said. "The roads end well short of the glaciers, and it can take days to trek to them. If you reach that point in spite of reluctant soldiers and eager terrorists, it might be physically impossible to get on to the glacier, which will be extremely crevassed and dangerous. Granting agencies do not fork out for helicopter time for this kind of activity. Yet."

Global warming is causing the loss of more than 500bn tonnes a year of ice from the world's ice caps and glaciers, but it is not yet understood why the Karakoram bucks that trend. "It seems that, by a quirk of the atmospheric general circulation that is not understood, more snow is being delivered to the mountain range at present, and less heat," said Cogley. He added that the valleys of the Karakoram are unusually steep sided, meaning that unpredictable snow avalanches add more ice to the glaciers than elsewhere. On 7 April, scores of Pakistani soldiers were killed by an avalanche on the nearby Siachen glacier.

The global study published in March used gravity measurements by satellites which directly measures changes in the mass of ice, but has a resolution of about 350km, whereas Gardelle's work focused on one region with a resolution of 100m. Continuing controversy about melting rates means "new independent assessments are eagerly needed," said Gardelle, who will now apply her method to other parts of the Himalayas.

Prof Jonathan Bamber, at the University of Bristol, said Gardelle's research was consistent with global gravity work. But he cautioned: "Nine years is a very short period to draw strong conclusions about trends in glaciers. If you are looking for a climate effect - as opposed to a weather effect - you usually take a 30-year period as a minimum, on the assumption that this averages out the interannual variability."

Cogley emphasised that, despite the relatively ice small growth seen the Karakoram, global glacier and ice cap melting is continuing and contributing to rising sea levels. "The world exhibits enormous variety, but that doesn't mean we cannot make valuable generalisations about how it is changing," he said.

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Old 04-25-2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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I don't see how this goes against the theory of Climate change?

As the climate gets more unstable certain parts of the world will undoubtedly get much colder.

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