Thongchai Thailand

Climate Change: India’s Rivers Running Dry

Posted on: January 5, 2019

 

Melting Himalayan Glaciers Will Cause the Ganges to Run Dry

 

  1. Reference: Himalayan glacier melts to hit billions of poor, Bangkok Post, December 7, 2009: In 2007, the IPCC issued a report citing data on the retreating Gangotri Glacier in the Himalayan mountains that showed that the rate of retreat had accelerated from 19 m/yr in 1971 to 34 m/yr in 2001. They extrapolated the observed acceleration forward and wrote that global warming devastation due to carbon dioxide was only a decade away for people who depend on the Ganges and other rivers with headwaters in the Himalayas. This scenario continues to be widely disseminated in the media (Himalayan glacier melts to hit billions of poor, Bangkok Post, December 7, 2009) in spite of more recent data that show that the predicted acceleration has not occurred; with the IPCC going so far as to vilify Indian scientists who who published the data as climate change deniers. In any case, the idea that glacial retreat in the Himalayas will cause the Ganges river to dry up is inconsistent with the observation that the river derives less than 5% of its water from glacial melt. Also of note is that a gradual decline in overall glacial mass worldwide began in 1850, well before fossil fuel consumption and atmospheric carbon dioxide rose to levels that the IPCC has identified with man-made global warming. Therefore it is not a carbon dioxide issue.
  2. Destruction on a global level, Bangkok Post, December 17, 2009: The soil salinity problem in southern Bangladesh has been misrepresented as an effect of carbon dioxide and “rising seas” (Destruction on a global level, Bangkok Post, December 17, 2009). Shrimp farming did not take root because of soil salinity as claimed in the article. Rather, soil salinity took root because of shrimp farming as explained below. The export oriented shrimp farming boom in Bangladesh started twenty years ago and it caused large coastal agricultural areas to be leased, flooded with sea water, and converted into commercial shrimp farms. The boom went bust in 2008 after the financial crisis dried up the market for large and expensive shrimp in the West and the shrimp farms are being abandoned as a result. Abandoned shrimp farms leave behind agricultural wastelands because the salinity of the soil caused by shrimp farming makes it impossible to grow traditional crops. Farmers who leased their land out to shrimp producers now face a tragic situation because the leases have been terminated and they have taken possession of their farms but they can’t grow anything on them. It is a sad tale of human suffering and it deserves the attention of the appropriate relief agencies but it has absolutely nothing to do with carbon dioxide.
  3. Melting ice to spur new climate deal, Bangkok Post, April 30, 2009: An article on global warming (Melting ice to spur new climate deal, Bangkok Post, April 30, 2009) says that carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels have caused the following alarming changes to our planet: (1) ice covering the Arctic Ocean shrank in 2007 to its smallest since satellite records began, (2) In Antarctica, a section of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has broken up in recent days, (3) glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are shrinking and threatening to disrupt water supplies to hundreds of millions of people, (4) melting permafrost in Siberia will release large quantities of methane into the atmosphere and hasten global warming, and (5) if all of the land based ice in Antarctica melted it would raise the sea level by 80 meters. The article fails to take note of the following data freely available in the public domain: (1) Arctic sea ice suffers a summer melt in every northern summer and that melt was greater than normal in 2007 and it encouraged global warming scientists to speculate that the sea ice would not fully recover in the following winter and thereby the Arctic would begin a non-linear process of forming less and less ice each winter until it became fully ice free. This speculation has been proven wrong. (2) the observed melting in the Wilkins ice shelf is a natural and insignificant event in the vast ice continent of Antarctica where the total mass of ice is increasing and not decreasing. (3) the Himalayan glacial melt is a reference to the data that the Gangotri glacier there had retreated by several hundred meters from 1780 to 2005 and global warming scientists predicted that the rate of retreat would accelerate and cause water supply devastation downstream. The predicted acceleration did not occur. Instead the rate of retreat actually slowed in 2007 and in 2008 it stopped altogether, (4) they have been telling us for more than five years now that the Siberian permafrost is about to melt and release methane devastation but there has been no sigh of this activity and Russian scientists have disputed these claims, and (5) if all the ice in Antarctica melted it would likely raise the sea level by 80 meters as claimed but this computation is purely a hypotherical and trivial conjecture for the subsumed melt has not started and if and when it does start, it will take many thousands of years to complete and the next ice age will surely intervene for the geological history of the earth shows that it is mostly an icy planet with brief interglacial balmy periods like the one in which we now find ourselves.
  4. China’s growth could exceed planet’s resources, Bangkok Post, September 30, 2009: In the good old days the European races consumed all the resources of the planet and lived well and the rest of the world cooperated by staying poor and supplying resources and energy to fuel European wealth. This arrangement is now changing. About 3 billion Asians in China, South Asia, and Southeast Asia are undergoing rapid economic growth with steeply rising income and consumption – particularly the consumption of minerals and fossil fuels – to the point that it now seems that they aspire to live like Europeans. That is a scary prospect for the rich nations (China’s growth could exceed planet’s resources, Bangkok Post, September 30, 2009) because it implies competition for scarce resources with a population many times their own, living at the same standard of living and therefore consuming immense amounts of energy and resources. From their perspective, this scenario is intolerable and cannot be allowed to happen. Initial pleas to the Asians that they must not all drive cars, buy refrigerators, and live in heated and air-conditioned homes, that they must go back to their quaint ways and ride bicycles, have not had any success in stemming the Asian economic onslaught. That is why I believe the Europeans need something like a global warming Armageddon. Armed with that scenario, they can now tell the teeming Asian multitudes that they can’t all live like the Europeans do because that would overload the planet somehow and that overload would destroy them. That, I believe, is the genesis of the fossil fuels to Armageddon connection by way of carbon dioxide and global warming.
  5. Himalayan ice is rapidly vanishing: Bangkok Post, December 13, 2009: An article in the Bangkok Post claims that “Himalayan ice is rapidly vanishing and will be gone by 2035 so the great rivers of Asia that are born there will shrivel and cease” to provide water to a quarter of humanity (The giant climate fraud in Copenhagen, Bangkok Post, December 13, 2009). The preposterous and scientifically impossible idea that the Himalayan ice will be gone by 2035 comes from the IPCC which initially cited a research paper that claimed that Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2350. As this statement may not have contained the fear factor that the warmists wanted, the date has been whittled back to 2035 without explanation and Himalayan glaciers have been gradually expanded to include all Himalayan ice. As for rivers running dry, the IPCC specifically targets the Ganges river claiming it will go bone dry by 2035 because of vanishing ice. Kindly note that the Ganges derives less than 5% of its water from glacial melt.
  6. Non-water flushing, Bangkok Post My Home Magazine, April 22, 2010: It has been a long and bitterly cold winter in the Himalayas with record snowfall; and so I was surprised to read in the Bangkok Post that the Mekong River is drying up because “the amount of ice and snow in the Himalayas this winter is less than usual, and much of it melted in January and February” due to global warming (Non-water flushing, Bangkok Post My Home Magazine, April 22, 2010). Has the global warming juggernaut reached such momentum that even actual weather data don’t matter?
  7. The failure of climate scientists to make their case at the Copenhagen summit came on the heels of leaked emails from climate scientists that exposed a conspiracy to defraud. Even as the IPCC was in damage control mode to defend itself from these charges, there were further even more damaging revelations of scientific fraud and incompetence. It is now known that scores of their claims about devastation from carbon dioxide emissions including their claim that hurricane Katrina was caused by carbon dioxide emissions, that the Amazon forest will be turned into a savanna, that Africa’s agriculture and coral reefs worldwide would be devastated, that the Himalayan glaciers are melting and will be gone in 25 years, that the sea level is rising and inundating atolls in the Pacific, and that the Arctic will be ice free in 15 years, that that glaciers in the Alps and the Andes are in accelerated and alarming decline; are lies. The IPCC is now busy retracting one scary claim after another apparently in secret as the media that once hyped them have gone silent on the retractions. Even so, the credibility of climate science has been irreparably damaged. The global warming house of cards is falling apart.

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