Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny?

So says the Chicago Sun-Times. Oh dear. But what are these claims? For example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Does he? I suppose he might, though I don’t remember it myself. Whats the rebuttal? Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate reported, “Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame.” Curious language for J Climate, no? Makes one suspicious. No ref, of course. But what about Himalayan Glaciers Are Growing … and Confounding Global Warming Alarmists by the Heartland institute? That seems to be the source. And says: Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who have recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame. A new study of the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, and Western Himalaya mountain ranges by researchers at England’s Newcastle University shows consistent recent growth among the region’s glaciers. Researchers found cooler summers are failing to melt winter snows, which are themselves becoming more frequent, resulting in advancing ice sheets.

Which is then enough to turn up Conflicting Signals of Climatic Change in the Upper Indus Basin by Fowler and Archer DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3860.1. Whose abstract concludes:

The impact of observed seasonal temperature trend on runoff is explored using derived regression relationships. Decreases of ∼20% in summer runoff in the rivers Hunza and Shyok are estimated to have resulted from the observed 1°C fall in mean summer temperature since 1961, with even greater reductions in spring months. The observed downward trend in summer temperature and runoff is consistent with the observed thickening and expansion of Karakoram glaciers, in contrast to widespread decay and retreat in the eastern Himalayas. This suggests that the western Himalayas are showing a different response to global warming than other parts of the globe.

So, that morhped from obs thickening in some and widespread decay elsewhere in the paper into the accurate but misleading list of areas of growth into the assertion of growth only in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Motto: as ever: don’t trust the papers to get science right.

[Update: Deltoid had this first -W]