God, Creation and Climate Change Lecture Update
The following statement based on a peer review article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which appeared after the delivery of this lecture, is more up to date with the science.
“The Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan plateau glaciers, which hold the largest ice mass outside the Polar Regions, sustain seven of Asia’s great river systems providing fresh water for over a billion people in nearly every country in Asia. The historical observation record is less comprehensive for the Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan plateau as compared to some other glaciers around the world (e.g. the glaciers of the European Alps). Thus predictions are more uncertain for Hindu Kush-Himalayan-Tibetan plateau. Recent studies maintain, however, that “the Tibetan glaciers have been melting at an accelerating, alarming rate over the past decade, raising the threat that many of the glaciers could be gone by midcentury.”[i] This would leave 1.3 billion people short of water.”
This quote is from Richard W. Miller “Global Climate Disruption and Social Justice: The State of the Problem” in God, Creation, and Climate Change: A Catholic Response to the Environmental Crisis, edit. Richard W. Miller (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, forthcoming fall 2010), p. 23.
[i] Baiqing Xu et al, “Black Soot and the Survival of Tibetan Glaciers,” PNAS (published online before print edition, December 8, 2009), http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/12/07/0910444106.full.pdf+html.