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Don't understand the glacier melt story? Watch this video

  • 16 Feb 2012, 16:00
  • Robin Webster

Last week we discussed a paper published in Nature about non-polar ice melt, which caused something of a media furore after it appeared online.

The new analysis uses global satellite data to map ice melt from the world's glaciers and ice caps (excluding Antarctica and Greenland). It concludes that they lost about 150 billion tonnes of ice per year between 2003 and 2010 - as Yale e360 nicely explains in its summary.

The research also shows that the world's ice is melting slower than previously thought - particularly that melt from the Himalayas contributes a negligible amount to the overall figure.

Cue headlines: "New satellite data reveals that Himalayan glaciers are melting far more SLOWLY than predicted"; "Earth's Polar Ice Melting Less Than Thought" and "Melting glaciers on the Himalayas not contributing to sea level rise". Etc.

It's not that these headlines are inaccurate - they just don't give the full picture. A few days ago the video-blogger Potholer54 put together a great 5-minute video explaining what the research paper found, and why some of the media coverage could be misleading. It's definitely worth a watch:

 

In summary, it appears that in the cold, high-altitude Himalayas mountains are (thankfully) melting slower than previously thought. But globally, ice melt is still going on.

As Tom Chivers of the Telegraph put it: " How's that global climate change conspiracy going, again?"

 

 

 

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