Archive for the ‘glaciers’ Category

WWF debunked again — Himalayan glaciers growing

11/14/2009

“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.

The study was published in the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.

The study puts another nail in the coffin of recent claims by global warming alarmists that global warming is causing dramatic shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers. A March 14, 2005 report from the activist group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) claimed, “Himalayan glaciers are among the fastest retreating glaciers globally due to effects of global warming.”

The WWF said its report “reveals the rate of retreat of Himalayan glaciers accelerating as global warming increases.”

Importantly, noted WWF, the reported glacier retreat “will eventually result in water shortages for hundreds of millions of people who rely on glacier-dependent rivers in China, India, and Nepal.”

CNN, Reuters, ABC News, and National Geographic, among others, unquestioningly and uncritically reported the WWF assertions, despite WWF’s clear status as an advocacy group. …

Despite the objective evidence to the contrary, Himalayan glacier-melting stories continued through the spring of 2006.

National Geographic, for example, reported on March 10 that glaciers were shrinking throughout the Himalayas and that “these water supplies could eventually dry up as the glaciers melt due to global warming.”

With the Newcastle University study now validating the Insurance Digest report, National Geographic and others are doing an about-face, reporting the glaciers are growing rather than shrinking … and blaming global warming for the growth of the glaciers.

“Some glaciers in Pakistan’s Upper Indus River Basin appear to be growing, and a new study suggests that global warming is the cause,” reported National Geographic News on September 11.

And just as the media had previously reported shrinking glaciers would threaten the water supplies of hundreds of millions of people, they now claim the water supplies of millions of people are threatened by growing glaciers.

In an August 24 article titled “Global warming boost to glaciers,” BBC News reported, “the findings are significant, because temperature and rain and snow trends in the area impact on water availability for more than 50 million Pakistanis.” …

[S]aid Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis, … “[I]t seems that no matter what happens in the world, it is always claimed that global warming is to blame and that the change will be for the worse.” … “That is not how science operates, it is how propaganda operates,” Lewis added.” “Himalayan Glaciers Are Growing … and Confounding Global Warming Alarmists” Prior post here.

WWF debunked again — Himalayan glaciers growing

11/14/2009

“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.

The study was published in the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.

The study puts another nail in the coffin of recent claims by global warming alarmists that global warming is causing dramatic shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers. A March 14, 2005 report from the activist group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) claimed, “Himalayan glaciers are among the fastest retreating glaciers globally due to effects of global warming.”

The WWF said its report “reveals the rate of retreat of Himalayan glaciers accelerating as global warming increases.”

Importantly, noted WWF, the reported glacier retreat “will eventually result in water shortages for hundreds of millions of people who rely on glacier-dependent rivers in China, India, and Nepal.”

CNN, Reuters, ABC News, and National Geographic, among others, unquestioningly and uncritically reported the WWF assertions, despite WWF’s clear status as an advocacy group. …

Despite the objective evidence to the contrary, Himalayan glacier-melting stories continued through the spring of 2006.

National Geographic, for example, reported on March 10 that glaciers were shrinking throughout the Himalayas and that “these water supplies could eventually dry up as the glaciers melt due to global warming.”

With the Newcastle University study now validating the Insurance Digest report, National Geographic and others are doing an about-face, reporting the glaciers are growing rather than shrinking … and blaming global warming for the growth of the glaciers.

“Some glaciers in Pakistan’s Upper Indus River Basin appear to be growing, and a new study suggests that global warming is the cause,” reported National Geographic News on September 11.

And just as the media had previously reported shrinking glaciers would threaten the water supplies of hundreds of millions of people, they now claim the water supplies of millions of people are threatened by growing glaciers.

In an August 24 article titled “Global warming boost to glaciers,” BBC News reported, “the findings are significant, because temperature and rain and snow trends in the area impact on water availability for more than 50 million Pakistanis.” …

[S]aid Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis, … “[I]t seems that no matter what happens in the world, it is always claimed that global warming is to blame and that the change will be for the worse.” … “That is not how science operates, it is how propaganda operates,” Lewis added.” “Himalayan Glaciers Are Growing … and Confounding Global Warming Alarmists” Prior post here.

WWF factually challenged — again

10/14/2009

“The melting of the glaciers in the Himalayan belt may be a hot topic linked to the ongoing debate on climate change.

But experts claimed that the existing data is inadequate to conclusively predict that glaciers would cease to exist in the near future.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report stated that the total area of the glaciers would shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 sq km by 2035.

Richard Armstrong Professor, Colorado University, USA, however, has debunked this forecast.

“The data is baseless since the total area of Himalayan glaciers is less than 100,000 sq km,” said Armstrong.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), too, has supported Armstrong.

I’ve no idea about the source of the WWF’s data. As per our study, the total area of the Himalayan glaciers is around 100,000 sq km,” said Pradeep Mool, glacier expert, ICIMOD.

Armstrong has pointed out that several articles on the meting of glaciers in popular scientific journals were misleading. …

Studies reveal that the altitude above 5,400 metres has less than 0 degree Celsius throughout the year. Hence, the meltdown of glaciers in this altitude is virtually impossible.” “Glaciers at heart of climate change

“After an extensive study of glaciers throughout the Himalayas, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests reports most did not retreat during 2009. The ministry further concluded there is no strong evidence the modest retreat of some Himalayan glaciers in recent years was caused by global warming.

In an August 2009 white paper, the ministry reports that even in the case of many glaciers that are retreating, ice in the remaining portion of the glacier is thickening.

Geologists at India’s Jammu University report annual variations in precipitation and other weather factors, not global climate change, are the primary cause of growth and retreat of Himalayan glaciers.

“Inter and intra-annual variations in weather parameters have more impact on the glaciers of northwest Himalayas, rather than any impact due to global warming,” the Jammu University geologists reported in Current Science.

Moreover, the geologists report, many Himalayan glaciers are stable or growing. …

In another study, accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of Annals of Glaciology, a team of scientists led by John Shroder of the University of Nebraska-Omaha reports 230 glaciers in the Western Himalayas are growing. Glaciers at such famous sites as Mt. Everest and neighboring K2 and Nanga Parbat are among those growing.

“These are the biggest mid-latitude glaciers in the world,” said Shroder. “And all of them are either holding still or advancing.” …

“Himalayan glaciers, like glaciers elsewhere, are going through cyclic growth and decay with no apparent linkage to present warming,” said meteorologist Madhav Khandekar.” “Himalayan Glaciers Aren’t Retreating

WWF factually challenged — again

10/14/2009

“The melting of the glaciers in the Himalayan belt may be a hot topic linked to the ongoing debate on climate change.

But experts claimed that the existing data is inadequate to conclusively predict that glaciers would cease to exist in the near future.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report stated that the total area of the glaciers would shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 sq km by 2035.

Richard Armstrong Professor, Colorado University, USA, however, has debunked this forecast.

“The data is baseless since the total area of Himalayan glaciers is less than 100,000 sq km,” said Armstrong.

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), too, has supported Armstrong.

I’ve no idea about the source of the WWF’s data. As per our study, the total area of the Himalayan glaciers is around 100,000 sq km,” said Pradeep Mool, glacier expert, ICIMOD.

Armstrong has pointed out that several articles on the meting of glaciers in popular scientific journals were misleading. …

Studies reveal that the altitude above 5,400 metres has less than 0 degree Celsius throughout the year. Hence, the meltdown of glaciers in this altitude is virtually impossible.” “Glaciers at heart of climate change

“After an extensive study of glaciers throughout the Himalayas, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests reports most did not retreat during 2009. The ministry further concluded there is no strong evidence the modest retreat of some Himalayan glaciers in recent years was caused by global warming.

In an August 2009 white paper, the ministry reports that even in the case of many glaciers that are retreating, ice in the remaining portion of the glacier is thickening.

Geologists at India’s Jammu University report annual variations in precipitation and other weather factors, not global climate change, are the primary cause of growth and retreat of Himalayan glaciers.

“Inter and intra-annual variations in weather parameters have more impact on the glaciers of northwest Himalayas, rather than any impact due to global warming,” the Jammu University geologists reported in Current Science.

Moreover, the geologists report, many Himalayan glaciers are stable or growing. …

In another study, accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of Annals of Glaciology, a team of scientists led by John Shroder of the University of Nebraska-Omaha reports 230 glaciers in the Western Himalayas are growing. Glaciers at such famous sites as Mt. Everest and neighboring K2 and Nanga Parbat are among those growing.

“These are the biggest mid-latitude glaciers in the world,” said Shroder. “And all of them are either holding still or advancing.” …

“Himalayan glaciers, like glaciers elsewhere, are going through cyclic growth and decay with no apparent linkage to present warming,” said meteorologist Madhav Khandekar.” “Himalayan Glaciers Aren’t Retreating

AGW ice sheet "collapse" theory naive as the models

08/25/2009

“Global warming alarmists have suggested that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica may collapse, causing disastrous sea level rise. This idea is based on the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming.

In reality the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets occupy deep basins, and cannot slide down a plane. Furthermore glacial flow depends on stress (including the important yield stress) as well as temperature, and much of the ice sheets are well below melting point.

The accumulation of kilometres of undisturbed ice in cores in Greenland and Antarctica (the same ones that are sometimes used to fuel ideas of global warming) show hundreds of thousands of years of accumulation with no melting or flow. Except around the edges, ice sheets flow at the base, and depend on geothermal heat, not the climate at the surface. It is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to ‘collapse’.

In these days of alarmist warnings about climate warming, the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have an important role. Many papers have described their melting at the present times, and dire predictions of many metres of sea level rise are common. Christoffersen and Hambrey published a typical paper on the Greenland ice sheet in Geology Today in May, 2006.

Their model, unfortunately, includes neither the main form of the Greenland Ice Sheet, nor an understanding of how glaciers flow. They predict the behaviour of the Ice Sheet based on melting and accumulation rates at the present day, and the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming. The same misconception is present in textbooks such as The Great Ice Age (2000) by R.C.L. Wilson and others, popular magazines such as the June 2007 issue of National Geographic, and other scientific articles such as Bamber et al. (2007), which can be regarded as a typical modelling contribution. The idea of a glacier sliding downhill on a base lubricated by meltwater seemed a good idea when first presented by de Saussure in 1779, but a lot has been learned since then.

In the present paper we shall try to show how the mechanism of glacier flow differs from this simple model, and why it is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to collapse. Ice sheets do not simply grow and melt in response to average global temperature. Anyone with this naïve view would have difficulty in explaining why glaciation has been present in the southern hemisphere for about 30 million years, and in the northern hemisphere for only 3 million years. …

Conclusion

The global warming doomsday writers claim the ice sheets are melting catastrophically, and will cause a sudden rise in sea level of many metres. This ignores the mechanism of glacier flow which is by creep: glaciers are not melting from the surface down, nor are they sliding down an inclined plane lubricated by meltwater. The existence of ice over 3 km thick preserving details of past snowfall and atmospheres, used to decipher past temperature and CO2 levels, shows that the ice sheets have accumulated for hundreds of thousands of years without melting. Variations in melting around the edges of ice sheets are no indication that they are collapsing. Indeed ‘collapse’ is impossible.” “Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are Not Collapsing” h/t IceCap Aug. 25

AGW ice sheet "collapse" theory naive as the models

08/25/2009

“Global warming alarmists have suggested that the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica may collapse, causing disastrous sea level rise. This idea is based on the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming.

In reality the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets occupy deep basins, and cannot slide down a plane. Furthermore glacial flow depends on stress (including the important yield stress) as well as temperature, and much of the ice sheets are well below melting point.

The accumulation of kilometres of undisturbed ice in cores in Greenland and Antarctica (the same ones that are sometimes used to fuel ideas of global warming) show hundreds of thousands of years of accumulation with no melting or flow. Except around the edges, ice sheets flow at the base, and depend on geothermal heat, not the climate at the surface. It is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets to ‘collapse’.

In these days of alarmist warnings about climate warming, the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica have an important role. Many papers have described their melting at the present times, and dire predictions of many metres of sea level rise are common. Christoffersen and Hambrey published a typical paper on the Greenland ice sheet in Geology Today in May, 2006.

Their model, unfortunately, includes neither the main form of the Greenland Ice Sheet, nor an understanding of how glaciers flow. They predict the behaviour of the Ice Sheet based on melting and accumulation rates at the present day, and the concept of an ice sheet sliding down an inclined plane on a base lubricated by meltwater, which is itself increasing because of global warming. The same misconception is present in textbooks such as The Great Ice Age (2000) by R.C.L. Wilson and others, popular magazines such as the June 2007 issue of National Geographic, and other scientific articles such as Bamber et al. (2007), which can be regarded as a typical modelling contribution. The idea of a glacier sliding downhill on a base lubricated by meltwater seemed a good idea when first presented by de Saussure in 1779, but a lot has been learned since then.

In the present paper we shall try to show how the mechanism of glacier flow differs from this simple model, and why it is impossible for the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to collapse. Ice sheets do not simply grow and melt in response to average global temperature. Anyone with this naïve view would have difficulty in explaining why glaciation has been present in the southern hemisphere for about 30 million years, and in the northern hemisphere for only 3 million years. …

Conclusion

The global warming doomsday writers claim the ice sheets are melting catastrophically, and will cause a sudden rise in sea level of many metres. This ignores the mechanism of glacier flow which is by creep: glaciers are not melting from the surface down, nor are they sliding down an inclined plane lubricated by meltwater. The existence of ice over 3 km thick preserving details of past snowfall and atmospheres, used to decipher past temperature and CO2 levels, shows that the ice sheets have accumulated for hundreds of thousands of years without melting. Variations in melting around the edges of ice sheets are no indication that they are collapsing. Indeed ‘collapse’ is impossible.” “Why the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets are Not Collapsing” h/t IceCap Aug. 25

Ilulissat panic

07/10/2009


The Ilulissat glacier (image from this post by Lubos) has been receding for 300 years, as the planet recovers from the Little Ice Age, but the AGW crowd has apparently just discovered it (there’s that word “alarming” again):

“One of the world’s largest glaciers, on the west coast of Greenland, is shrinking at an alarming rate as a result of global warming – with potentially dire consequences.

Ilulissat, a UNESCO-listed glacier, is shedding ice into the sea faster than ever before, according to one of Denmark’s top experts on glaciology. …

The melting ice [it’s not melting, it’s calving] is both a consequence and a cause of global warming: ice reflects heat, as opposed to water which absorbs it and warms up the climate, thus causing more glaciers and snow to melt. …

“We should aim to at least reduce CO2 emissions and limit the damage done,” he said.” “Global warming shrinks glacier at alarming rate

Ilulissat panic

07/10/2009


The Ilulissat glacier (image from this post by Lubos) has been receding for 300 years, as the planet recovers from the Little Ice Age, but the AGW crowd has apparently just discovered it (there’s that word “alarming” again):

“One of the world’s largest glaciers, on the west coast of Greenland, is shrinking at an alarming rate as a result of global warming – with potentially dire consequences.

Ilulissat, a UNESCO-listed glacier, is shedding ice into the sea faster than ever before, according to one of Denmark’s top experts on glaciology. …

The melting ice [it’s not melting, it’s calving] is both a consequence and a cause of global warming: ice reflects heat, as opposed to water which absorbs it and warms up the climate, thus causing more glaciers and snow to melt. …

“We should aim to at least reduce CO2 emissions and limit the damage done,” he said.” “Global warming shrinks glacier at alarming rate

Surging Alaskan glacier reaches Alsek River

04/03/2009


The Tweedsmuir Glacier on the famous Alsek River is moving more than 100 times it’s usual speed! There are very few regions in the world that boast surging glaciers – only small bits of northern Canada, Alaska and the Himalaya. This is one of the reasons why the racing Tweedsmuir Glacier is such a remarkable phenomena (and one could legitimately say “awesome”). The multi million tons of ice has “flowed” more than a kilometer in the last year, paradoxically behaving more like a fluid than a solid. Glaciologist Chris Larsen reports that it appears to be on a 30 year cycle, last reaching the Alsek River in 1974. It is thought that at one time in history, the glacier actually dammed the river causing the formation of the formidable gorge, appropriately known as Turnback Canyon. Further upriver, the Lowell Glacier blocked the river creating a massive lake for some years.SURGING GLACIER REACHES THE RIVER!

Tweedsmuir Glacier Surge

Surging Alaskan glacier reaches Alsek River

04/03/2009


The Tweedsmuir Glacier on the famous Alsek River is moving more than 100 times it’s usual speed! There are very few regions in the world that boast surging glaciers – only small bits of northern Canada, Alaska and the Himalaya. This is one of the reasons why the racing Tweedsmuir Glacier is such a remarkable phenomena (and one could legitimately say “awesome”). The multi million tons of ice has “flowed” more than a kilometer in the last year, paradoxically behaving more like a fluid than a solid. Glaciologist Chris Larsen reports that it appears to be on a 30 year cycle, last reaching the Alsek River in 1974. It is thought that at one time in history, the glacier actually dammed the river causing the formation of the formidable gorge, appropriately known as Turnback Canyon. Further upriver, the Lowell Glacier blocked the river creating a massive lake for some years.SURGING GLACIER REACHES THE RIVER!

Tweedsmuir Glacier Surge