First, where did this number 2035 (the year when glaciers could vanish) come from?
According to Prof Graham Cogley (Trent University, Ontario), a short article on the future of glaciers by a Russian scientist (Kotlyakov, V.M., 1996, The future of glaciers under the expected climate warming, 61-66, in Kotlyakov, V.M., ed., 1996, Variations of Snow and Ice in the Past and at Present on a Global and Regional Scale, Technical Documents in Hydrology, 1. UNESCO, Paris (IHP-IV Project H-4.1). 78p estimates 2350 as the year for disappearance of glaciers, but the IPCC authors misread 2350 as 2035 in the Official IPCC documents, WGII 2007 p. 493!
So we have a raging debate about impending glacier melt-down because of sloppiness of some IPCC authors! Further, according to Kotlyakov, the present glacier area of some 500,000 km2 could shrink to 100,000 km2 and this could happen NOT in 2035 but in 2350, if the current rate of warming continues. Also this estimated glacier area and its shrinkage does not include internal drainage basin of central Asia with an estimated area of some 40,000 km2 .
Let us now look at the statement that Himalayan glaciers are receding faster than in any other part of the world. How true is this statement?
Prof Graham Cogley (Trent University Peterborough Ontario Canada ) who has analyzed shrinkage rates of many glaciers also refutes the IPCC claim that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking faster than in any other part of the world. A recent news item from Science ( V 326 13 November 2009, p.924) cites Prof Jeffrey Kargel’s ( University of Arizona USA) study which suggests that many glaciers in the Karakoram Mountains ( straddling India and Pakistan) have stabilized or undergone an aggressive advance in recent years.
Among many important conclusions drawn by Raina in his comprehensive report, the following statement best describes the present state of the Himalayan glaciers: Glaciers in the Himalayas, over the past 100 years, behave in contrasting ways. Some glaciers (e.g. Sonapani) have retreated by as much as 500m in the last 100 years, while others ( e.g. Kangriz) have retreated just by an inch or so during the same period.
Thanks to Andrew Bolt for the link.