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Science & Technology

'Karakoram anomaly' defies climate change

By T.K. Randall
August 8, 2017 · Comment icon 7 comments

The Karakoram is particularly resilient to global warming. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Nabeel Akram Minhas
A 'vortex' of cold air over the Karakoram mountain range has been causing glaciers to continue growing.
The peculiar phenomenon, which has been dubbed the 'Karakoram anomaly', was studied recently by scientists at Newcastle University in the UK and is thought to explain how glaciers in some parts of the Himalayas have been acting differently to those across most other parts of the world.

During the winter, the vortex is thought to affect temperatures across the entire mountain range, but in the summer it contracts and its influence continues to affect only the Karakoram and western Pamir.

"While most glaciers are retreating as a result of global warming, the glaciers of the Karakoram range in South Asia are stable or even growing," said study co-author Professor Hayley Fowler.
"Most climate models suggest warming over the whole region in summer as well as in winter."

"However, our study has shown that large-scale circulation is controlling regional variability in atmospheric temperatures, with recent cooling of summer temperatures."

"[This] circulation system is currently providing a dampening effect on global warming, reducing glacial melt in the Karakoram region and any change will have a significant effect on ice melt rates, which would ultimately affect river flows in the region."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (7)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by RoofGardener 5 years ago
Hmm... is this a REAL vortex... e.g. something that has actually been measured ? Or is it just another computer simulation ?†
Comment icon #2 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
This was done from real-life data, but there is a lot of modeling in it.† Best described as something in-between. Doug
Comment icon #3 Posted by RoofGardener 5 years ago
Sooo... does this invalidate the PREVIOUS "solution" to the "anomaly", which was also based on computer modelling ? (it was something to do with winter precipitation.... there is a link to it in the main article linked in the opening post). I'm a trifle suspicious of the article.
Comment icon #4 Posted by BeastieRunner 5 years ago
You and me both.
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
Well it does seem unlikely that all of the Earth is thawing at the same time, regardless of all the hype.† I'm sure eventually it will happen, but for the time being let's hope this article is correct.† People will need somewhere to ski, right?
Comment icon #6 Posted by Noxasa 5 years ago
Just goes to show you how little climatologists really know about Earth processes.† Doesn't surprise me.
Comment icon #7 Posted by fred_mc 5 years ago
I guess Trump is going to use this as evidence for his belief that climate change doesn't exist :-( .

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