Not long ago, the IPCC got one on the knuckles for grossly exaggerating Himalayan glacial ice melt, preposterously claiming the glaciers there would be gone by 2035. Now it comes to light that the IPCC has also grossly exaggerated the importance of glaciers as a source of fresh water supply for populations.
If climate change does come, like some crystal balls are forecasting, then the glaciers melting and diminishing would reduce or eliminate melt water. The IPCC claims that it could impact perhaps 50 to 60 percent of the world’s population, 500 million people in the Ganges region in India alone!
But these numbers are quite exaggerated, claims Austrian experts Prof. Georg Kaser and Dr. Ben Marzeion of the Institute of Geography of the University of Innsbruck in Austria:
In the last few years numbers have been named that do not pass a closer examination. It is an exaggeration when it is claimed that the melting of glaciers endangers the water supply of 2 billion people.“
The professors of geology and their colleagues have examined data like precipitation, temperature and the glaciers, taken together throughout the year.
Just imagine you find yourself at the Ganges delta, it’s summertime, and a lot of melt water is coming down. But during the warm months, there are also the monsoons. And when there is a lot of land area on which the monsoons fall between you and the glaciers, glacier water plays a minor role.”
Die Presse writes that this is the case everywhere for the region south of the Himalayas. This means that the 500 million people in the region of the Ganges would therefore hardly be effected.
Dr. Ben Marzeion says the story is different for the region of the Aral Sea because the region is dry and depends more on glacier melt water. Here 10 million of the 40 million people would be significantly impacted.
In Europe, on the other hand, 81 million people live along the along Danube River. An absence of glacier melt water would significantly impact only 310,000 people. Marzeion says:
That’s still a lot of people who would be effected, particularly in higher elevations near the glacier. But it is a relatively small number.”
The results of the study have been published in the renowned scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).