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A Meltdown Over Glaciers and Global Warming in India

India is in hot water with some leading environmentalists after its government claimed there’s no evidence that climate change has shrunk glaciers in the Himalayas.

“There is no conclusive scientific evidence to link global warming with what is happening in the Himalayan glaciers,” said Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, following a newly released report on the glaciers.

This directly contradicts what NOW’s David Brancaccio and environmentalist Conrad Anker personally witnessed on their trip to the Gangotri glacier, as featured in the NOW hour-long special “On Thin Ice.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N. agency which assesses the risk from global warming, called Ramesh’s statement "arrogant" and dismissed the report. Two years ago, the IPCC concluded that the glaciers in the Himalayas were receding faster than in any other part of the world.

One of the Indian report’s most controversial findings is that the Gangotri glacier, the source of the Ganges River, receded fastest in 1977 and today is “practically at a standstill.”

Watch “On Thin Ice” and see for yourself where the truth lies in the debate over global warming.

Comments (2)

“Climate Change” is real… hey, I believe the data. It shows that climate on this water envelope planet is truly dynamic. When you think ‘climate’ always think in geologic or evolutionary timeframes, not annual, decadal, or even a century. True climate is related to centuries or more of natural variability. (sidebar: ‘average drought’ in our southwest US lasts for 50 years, so states peer reviewed scientific data.) Let’s look at the scintilla of knowledge we humans possess about natural planetary climate change. Climate is never ‘static’ as stagnation is not how our planet functions. Evolution also requires we maintain a constantly changing climate. True climate drivers are long-term variations and fluctuations in atmospheric water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, etc, etc. Other climate effects are from normal earth polar instability and re-alignment occurring as earth’s magnetic poles move or switch. Then there are obvious effects from both cyclic and sporadic solar radiation, and not infrequent cosmic collisions. Always remember in proper climate discussions and the primary understanding of climate variables, Einstein’s time is truly relative. Recent proof would be tree-line in North America continues to move northward, and has for the past 10,000 years. That is what the news media calls global warming. Remember just a short 7,000 years ago Canada was underneath 1-2 miles of snow and ice. But yet, there are alligator bones and Cyprus stumps in arctic Canada. Bottomline: Life forms like mosquitoes or humans have very little to do with Earth’s planetary climate variability, and even less ability to alter, reverse, or stop actual climate change. The short existence of humans on earth and our impact appears to be like a single wave on an ocean beach. The idea that mere humans have the ability to stagnate planetary climate at an ‘average’ condition we approve of, is hubris and arrogance with a big dose of ignorance.

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