The EU

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Monday, January 31, 2011

A Little Humility Would Help

With regard to climate change (sometimes called Global Warming), sometimes a certain lack of humility gets in the way of the message.

Now comes this report in The Telegraph about the cause of Glacial retreat in the Himalayan Mountains.  It turns out to be about, inter alia, debris:
Dr Bodo Bookhagen, Dirk Scherler and Manfred Strecker studied 286 glaciers between the Hindu Kush on the Afghan-Pakistan border to Bhutan, taking in six areas.

Their report, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, found the key factor affecting their advance or retreat is the amount of debris – rocks and mud – strewn on their surface, not the general nature of climate change.

Glaciers surrounded by high mountains and covered with more than two centimetres of debris are protected from melting.
In fact, some of the glaciers are advancing.

This is not to rule out global warming.  But, the condemnation of the opposition has been unseemly and unsettling.
Dr Pachauri, head of the Nobel prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has remained silent on the matter since he was forced to admit his report's claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was an error and had not been sourced from a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  It came from a World Wildlife Fund report.

He angered India's environment minister and the country's leading glaciologist when he attacked those who questioned his claim as purveyors of "voodoo science".
I look forward to more discussion about this interesting topic.  I hope part of that discussion will be a look at serious economic tradeoffs.

Regards  —  Cliff

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