Another recycled climate scare back in the news is the melting of the Himalayan glaciers. This time for sure. And humans caused it to start half a millennium ago by… by… committing journalism or something. We’re not sure what, because this story comes from “YaleEnvironment360” which is “Published at the Yale School of the Environment” and warns us that “New research suggests that the area of v has shrunk by 40 percent since the Little Ice Age maximum between 400-700 years ago” yet it’s somehow our fault.
You see the problem here. What’s happening is the continuation of a trend that must surely extend back into “pre-industrial” times no matter how you date either the LIA or the Industrial Revolution. And if it’s been going on that long it must be for natural reasons, which throws the whole man-made-climate-change-ate-my-glacier theory into the recycling bin. Or should. But as we noted recently, when it comes to climate breakdown, time travel is no problem. Warming we caused today can melt a glacier in the time of Babur if it helps spread panic.
The author of this piece does admit that the settled science came a methodological cropper on Himalayan glacier melt recently. But apparently it’s grounds for having more not less confidence in its gloomy conclusions:
“Just over a decade ago, relatively little was known about glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, the vast ice mountains that run across Central and South Asia, from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. But a step-up in research in the past 10 years — spurred in part by an embarrassing error in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, which predicted that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 — has led to enormous strides in understanding.”
Namely that it’s worse than we thought in exactly the way we thought. More climate MRDA.
So there they go again:
“Depending on the level of global warming, studies project that at least another third, and as much as two-thirds, of the region’s glaciers could vanish by the end of the century. Correspondingly, meltwater is expected to increase until around the 2050s and then begin to decline.”
And we, or they, are all going to die:
“More than a billion people depend on the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river systems, which are fed by snow and glacial melt from the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, known as the world’s ‘Third Pole’ because it contains so much ice. Peaking in summer, meltwater can be a lifesaver at a time when other water sources are much diminished. But increased melt may also trigger landslides or glacial lake outburst floods, known as GLOFs, scientists warn. Or it could aggravate the impact of extreme rainfall, like the deluge that caused recent massive flooding in Pakistan.”
Blah blah blah. Drought, floods, both or neither. All bad. As you might expect, since that Yale School of the Environment place has a “Vision and Mission” redolent of activism rather than boring academic research: “We are leading the world toward a sustainable future with cutting-edge research, teaching, and public engagement on society’s evolving and urgent environmental challenges.” Although with an annual budget of nearly $60 million and tuition of $47,600 it could be mistaken for an Establishment outfit by those unaware that deniers have all the money and climate campaigners are the rebels.
Given this focus we won’t ask them to know when the Little Ice Age maximum really was. (Though if you care about pedantic old-school details it certainly wasn’t 700 years ago.) We’re just glad they admit it existed, since along with the Medieval Warm Period it’s been the target of some serious disrespect lately. Even in admitting it was real, and putting its coldest points around 1650, 1770 and 1850, Wikipedia demands that it “was not a distinct planet-wide time but the end of a long temperature decline, which preceded the recent global warming” (and incautiously concedes that it “occurred after the Medieval Warm Period” their hockey stick graph erases) while quoting the IPCC that the LIA was just this series of regional coolings that were world-wide but not global.
Whatever it was, whenever it started, and whatever it did, it’s become our fault now.