India should bring out more studies on climate-change: Ramesh

Press Trust of India Ahmedabad | Updated on June 08, 2011 Published on June 08, 2011

Mr Jairam Ramesh

While underlining the need for India to carry out more scientific studies on climate change independently, the Union Environment Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, today alleged that western scientists have more politics and less science on their mind.

Speaking after the release of ‘Discussion paper on Snow and Glaciers of Himalayas' prepared by Space Application Centre (SAC), a part of ISRO, Mr Ramesh said here, “There is no alternative to our science, as science is politics in climate change”.

“We should have more and more studies by our scientists on climate change and they should be published,” Mr Ramesh said adding, “Or else, we will be led by our noses by western scientists, who have less science on their mind and more politics,” Mr Ramesh said addressing the scientific community here.

Mr Ramesh made these statements referring to the controversy over report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), led by Mr R.K. Pachauri, which said that Himalayan glaciers will melt in next few years.

“At that time (when IPCC had declared that Himalayan glaciers will melt fast) also, I had said three points: most Himalayan glaciers are retreating, some are advancing and the rate of retreat glaciers is also slowing,” he said.

“Now, this study-paper prepared by the SAC says 75 per cent of Himalayan glaciers are retreating, eight per cent are advancing and 17 per cent are stable,” Mr Ramesh said.

“This means that the rate of melting of glaciers is not fast enough to disappear by 2035 as said by that study. They will be there for many more years,” he said.

“This is an extensive study conducted by the SAC scientists' team for over the last 15 years and they have studied 2,190 glaciers, which is a robust sample. Some reports are just published after studying one or two glaciers,” he said.

Wetland inventory

Mr Ramesh also released the ‘National Wetland Inventory and Assessment', prepared by the SAC at the same function.

“Wetlands are very important to our ecosystem. It is often not recognised that the wetlands have ecological as well as social value,” he said.

With the release of the wetland inventory by SAC, “we will be able to know the exact number and areas of wetlands, which comes to about 3 per cent of total land area of the country.”

“Wetlands are under threat from the construction industry, as well as other kinds of encroachers, as they are easy targets,” he further said.

Published on June 08, 2011
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