Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Reference: Himalayan nations' first climate talks, and Nepal villagers on climate change frontline, Bangkok Post, September 9, 2009

It is claimed that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are causing Himalayan glaciers to melt and threaten devastation (Himalayan nations' first climate talks, Bangkok Post, September 9, 2009). The available data do not support this conclusion. It is true that some glaciers are retreating but that is due to natural cycles of weather patterns and not global warming and the proximate cause of the retreat is aridity and not temperature. In fact, there is no evidence that the mean annual temperature in the Himalayas has risen in the last decade. More to the point, not all glaciers are retreating. Most are stable or advancing. Taken as a whole, total glacial mass is currently not decreasing. It should also be mentioned that the many sad anecdotes about Nepalese men who leave their families behind to seek work in India (Nepal villagers on climate change frontline, Bangkok Post, September 9, 2009) are irrelevant to the climate change issue for they represent a well known historical migration pattern that has to do with poverty and not carbon dioxide.

Cha-am Jamal

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