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15 Feb 07

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Experts question theory on global warming
(Himalayan glaciers not shrinking) 

 

New Delhi - 11 Feb 07 - Some glacial experts have questioned the alarmists theory on global warming leading to shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers. VK Raina, a leading glaciologist and former ADG of GSI is one among them.

He feels that the research on Indian glaciers is negligible. Nothing but the remote sensing data forms the basis of these alarmists observations and not on-the-spot research.

Raina told the Hindustan Times that out of 9,575 glaciers in India, research has been conducted only on about 50. Nearly 200 years data has shown that nothing abnormal has occurred in any of these glaciers.

The issue of glacial retreat is being sensationalised by a few individuals, the septuagenarian Raina claimed.

However, Dr RK Pachouri, Chairman, Inter-Governmental Panel of Climatic Change said it’s recently released fourth assessment report has recorded increased glacier retreat since the 1980s.

But Raina, who has been associated with the research and data collection in over 25 glaciers in India and abroad, debunked the theory that Gangotri glacier is retreating alarmingly.

Maintaining that the glaciers are undergoing natural changes witnessed periodically, he said recent studies in the Gangotri and Zanskar areas (Drung- Drung, Kagriz glaciers) have not shown any evidence of major retreat.

"Claims of global warming causing glacial melt in the Himalayas are based on wrong assumptions," said Raina, a trained mountaineer and skiing expert.

There are only about a dozen scientists working on glaciers in India under the aegis of the Geological Society of India. How can one talk about the state of glaciers when not much research is being done on the ground, he wondered.

In fact, it is difficult to ascertain the exact state of Himalayan glaciers as these are very dusty as compared to the ones in Alaska and the Alps. The present presumptions are based on the cosmatic study of the glacier surfaces.

Nobody knows what is happening. Whatever is being flaunted about the under surface activity of the glaciers is merely presumptions, he claimed.

His views were echoed by Dr RK Ganjoo, Director, Regional Centre for Field Operations and Research on Himalayan Glaciology, who is supervising study of glaciers in Ladakh region including one in the Siachen area. He also maintained that nothing abnormal has been found in any of the Himalyan glaciers studied so far by him.

Another leading geologist MN Koul of Jammu University, who is actively engaged in studying glacier dynamics in J&K and Himachal holds similar views. Referring to his research on Kol glacier ( Paddar, J&K) and Naradu (HP), he said both the glaciers have not changed much in the past two decades.

See full article by Anil Anand at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1925164,0008.htm
Thanks to Jack Holland for this link


               

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