After hearing out a student of a South Asian youth group Jairam Ramesh clarified the position on the Himalaya’s and Climate Change pointing out research done by Indian scientists for the past 50 years.
A South Asian youth group has expressed “deep concern” over the remarks of Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh that the link between the receding Himalayan glaciers and climate change cannot be “conclusively established“.
“We, South Asian youth, express deep concern over your statement about the lack of link between climate change and glacial melting,” Alina Pokhrel, on behalf of the South Asian Youth group, said here.
After hearing out the student, Mr. Ramesh clarified the position on the Himalaya’s and Climate Change pointing out research done by Indian scientists for the past 50 years.
“The link between the global warming and retreating glaciers has not been conclusively established because of cyclical changes,” Mr. Ramesh explained.
“Denying climate change to be the cause of accelerated glacial melting is only serving to undermine efforts to mitigate greenhouse gases to avert the climate crisis,” Alina said.
Mr. Ramesh proceeded to give a concise yet clear explanation for his reasons to doubt the link between the melting glaciers and the climate crisis.
“The Indian scientific community has been studying the behaviour for the last 50 years and the general consensus view is that most Himalayan glaciers are retreating,” he said, while referring to examples like Siachen.
The UN’s scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that the Himalayan glaciers were receding faster than in any other part of the world.
“If the present rate continues the likelihood of them disappearing by 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate,” it said.
However, other scientists find that the picture is not so straightforward with some glaciers there were advancing.
In November, Mr. Ramesh had released a report challenging the “conventional wisdom” about melting glaciers and rejected “the doomsday scenarios of Al Gore and the IPCC“.
The South Asian youth group in a statement asked Mr. Ramesh to “show moral leadership and take deep emissions cuts immediately.”
The minister underlined that whatever the cause for the changes there is a need to lay out a plan of adaptation for the people whose lives will be impacted.
“I’m not a climate evangelist not a climate sceptic,” Mr. Ramesh said. “But I believe in science.”
Mr. Ramesh joined other Indian delegates who have been here for a week attempting to hammer out a climate change treaty before the heads of state from over 100 countries, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao begin to arrive next week.