Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us


Blackfeet Indians predict return of
'many glaciers' to Glacier Park
By climatologist Cliff Harris

17 May 09 – (Excerpts) For much of the time between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, I was the chief meteorologist at KCFW-TV in Kalispell, Mont.

One day in 1971, I had the distinct privilege of interviewing several members of the Blackfeet Indian Tribe from Browning, Mont., for a 'POW WOW' of sorts.

They showed us some elaborate dances and rituals, including the 'sun dance' and the well-known 'vision quest.'

They also talked a lot about wide weather 'extremes' over the past 2,000 years since the tribe migrated from northeastern Asia to North America across an Arctic 'ice bridge' (or 'land bridge,' as some have said) during much colder and drier times about 1,000 years prior to a warmer and wetter global climate enjoyed later by the mighty Vikings in once verdant Greenland.

The tribe's historian (storyteller), I believe that his name was "Yellow Bear," told us that the glaciers have both 'advanced' in Glacier National Park and 'retreated' literally dozens of times in the past couple of millennia, often within an individual chief's lifetime (70 to 80 years).

Yellow Bear said that the glaciers in the park nearly 'vanished' 1,000 years ago during an extremely warm period with very little snow. The 'peak' of the number and size of the glaciers occurred during the 40-year period from 1710-1750 towards the end of the last 'Maunder Minimum' global cycle of cooling, a 70-year span almost completely devoid of sunspot activity that occurred from 1645 to 1715.

Some, including this climatologist, believe that we may be moving into a new Maunder Minimum climate phase. As I mentioned last week, the glaciers in Alaska and Norway are already advancing. Glacier Park may one day soon be seeing the return of "MANY GLACIERS," as the Blackfeet predicted four decades ago. Only time will tell.
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