Not by Fire but by Ice


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




Nisqually Glacier Advancing

But headline says "State's shrinking glaciers:
Going ... going ... gone?"

(See important map below)


page delimiter

As far as I’m concerned, this article by Seattle Times staff reporter Warren Cornwall is another case of misleading - if not downright dishonest - reporting.

1 Nov 06 — "Like tiny doctors on the belly of a sleeping giant," Cornwall 
writes, "three National Park Service workers trudged up the middle of the
Nisqually Glacier (on Mt. Rainier in Washington state) stepping over tiny 
creeks and peering down a dizzying chute where water from the melting 
glacier wormed into the 300-foot-thick slab of ice."

"Nearby, a tall plastic pole arced from the ice into the sky. ..."The pole is 41 
feet long. Six months ago, in April, it was totally buried in snow and ice. On this recent sunny October day, so much snow had melted that only a few inches of the pole remained buried.

      Read that again. "... in April the pole was buried in snow and ice,
      and now it’s not."
Well, duh. I’ve heard that it’s rather normal for
      snow to melt between April and October.

Cornwall goes on to paint a gloomy picture. "Some glaciers are on the verge 
of disappearing." "While glaciers have ebbed and flowed through the region 
for millennia — the land where Seattle now stands was once beneath more 
than half a mile of ice — scientists say global warming is at least partly to 
blame this time."

      I’ll bet Seattle residents are rather glad that they’re no longer
      buried beneath half a mile of ice.

      Then Cornwall goes on to moan about the Nisqually Glacier, which
      he says is melting.

      This is absolutely false. 

      I’ve visited the Nisqually Glacier twice in the past few years, and
      talked to the Park Rangers. The Rangers say that the Nisqually
      Glacier is growing thicker and has been doing so since the late
      1990s. There are also signs posted at the viewpoints of the Nisqually
      Glacier saying that, yes, the glacier is indeed advancing.

      The Nisqually is growing. Not melting.

                                   Story (with map) continues below:



The newspaper even included a link to a map from the USGS which, when you look closely, shows that the glacier was higher up the mountain in 1997 than it was in 2002. 

In other words, the map shows that the glacier is advancing. And yet, the newspaper's words would have you believe just the opposite.

Here's the map. 

See the 1997 terminus? 
See the 2002 terminus? It's lower down the mountain!

The headline says "Rainier's glaciers are shrinking."

But the USGS map shows that the Nisqually Glacier is advancing.

Hardly the kind of reporting that would make me trust the Seattle Times.

Read the article for yourself:

Another confirmation that the Nisqually glacier is growing

Another confirmation that the Nisqually glacier is growing came from the September 2000 issue of Washington Geology.

"In 1931, fearful that the receding glacier would provide insufficient runoff for their newly completed hydroelectric facility, Tacoma City Light began careful measurements of the glacier," says the article. "Since the mid-1800s, the glacier had receded about 1 kilometer.

"Between 1994 and 1997, the glacier thickened by 17 meters at 2,800-m altitude, indicating probable glacier advance during the first decade of the 21st century."




Order Book l E-Mail Robert l Q & A l Book Reviews l Plant Hardiness Zone Maps l Radio Interviews l Table of Contents l Excerpts l Author Photo l Pacemaker of the Ice Ages l Extent of Previous Glaciation l Crane Buried in Antarctic Ice Sheet l Ice Ages and Magnetic Reversals l Expanding Glaciers