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
negligible amount to the overall figure.
Cue headlines: "New satellite data reveals that Himalayan glaciers
melting far more SLOWLY than predicted"; "Earth's Polar Ice
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?"