Wednesday, 10 October 2012

US National Academy of Sciences: Glaciers in Western Himalayas could be growing

Glaciers in Western Himalayas are stable or growing
(image by wikipedia)

The US-based National  Academy of Sciences has published a report according to which glaciers appear to be retreating in eastern and central regions of the Himalayas, while glaciers in the western Himalayas are more stable and could be growing: 

"There is evidence of glacier retreat int he eastern and central Himalayas while glaciers in the western Himalayas appear to be more stable, and may even be advancing. The HKH region is geographically vast and complex both climatologically and hydrologically, and this complexity is dynamic and possibly changing. This large spatial variability makes it very difficult to generalize
observations and findings over the entire region."

However, in another paragraph the same report states:

"Scientific evidence indicates that glaciers in the HKH region are retreating at rates
comparable to those in other parts of the world, and confirms that the rate has accelerated
in the past century."

Only one of these claims can be true. One wonders why the National Academy of Sciences decided to include the latter proposition, which is completely at odds with the main finding of the report?

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