November 10, 2009

Indian Official Finds No Link To Global Warming And Glacier Melt

Scientists were outraged on Tuesday over comments made by India's environment minister, in which he denied a link between climate change and the melting Himalayan glaciers.

On Monday, India Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said he questioned the theories put forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and found no "conclusive scientific evidence" for a link between the melting Himalayan glaciers and global warming.

"None of our glaciers under monitoring are recording abnormal retreat," Dr V K Raina, retired deputy director-general of the Geological Survey of India, said in a report released Monday.

Ramesh referred to the report to state that most glaciers are retreating while some Himalayan glaciers, such as the Siachen glacier, are advancing, the Times of India reported.

"The health of Himalayan glaciers is poor," Ramesh said. "But according to the paper, the doomsday prediction of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Al Gore is also not correct. I want scientists to critique the report."

The IPCC has forecasted that the majority of Himalayan glaciers will disappear by 2035. This conclusion was based on data from the Indian Space Research Organization that showed a 16 percent retreat of 1,000 Himalayan glaciers from 1962 to 2004.

Our prediction [in 2007] was based on government data, and a peer review was done by all countries before our report was released," IPCC chief R.K. Pachauri said.

"I disagree that there's no evidence of impact of global warming, but agree there's a need to do more research on Himalayan glaciers."

"I cannot see what the minister's motives are. We do need more extensive measurement of the Himalayan range but it is clear from satellite pictures what is happening," he told Britain's Guardian newspaper.

"Nothing abnormal is happening to Indian glaciers," said Raina. "They're retreating because of negative mass balance. There's no evidence of climate change."


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