Not by Fire but by Ice

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Our glaciers are growing, not melting

More falsehoods from Al Gore

 

By Robert Felix
 

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8 Mar 10 - Page 2 of 3

"These are the biggest mid-latitude glaciers in the world," says John Shroder of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. "And all of them are either holding still, or advancing."

And get this. Eighty seven of the glaciers have surged forward since the 1960s.

So much for Mr. Gore's "more than 80 glaciers."

(I don't know how many Himalayan glaciers are being monitored, but my guess would be fewer than a thousand, so it's possible that hundreds more are growing. There aren't enough glaciologists in the world to monitor them all.)

But we don't need to look to the Himalayas for growing glaciers. Glaciers are growing in the United States.

Yes, glaciers are growing in the United States.

Look at Washington State. The Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. The Emmons Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. Glaciers on Glacier Peak in northern Washington are growing. And Crater Glacier on Mt. Saint Helens is now larger than it was before the 1980 eruption. (I don't think all of the glaciers in Washington or Alaska are being monitored either.)

Or look at California. All seven glaciers on California's Mount Shasta are growing. This includes three-mile-long Whitney glacier, the state's largest. Three of Mount Shasta's glaciers have doubled in size since 1950.

Or look at Alaska. Glaciers are growing in Alaska for the first time in 250 years. In May of last year, Alaska’s Hubbard Glacier was advancing at the rate of seven feet (two meters) per day - more than half-a-mile per year. And in Icy Bay, at least three glaciers advanced a third of a mile (one-half kilometer) in one year.

Oh, by the way. The Juneau Icefield, with its "positive values," covers 1,505 square miles (3,900 sq km) and is the fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere. Rather interesting to know that Gore's own source admits that the fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere is growing, don't you think?

But this mere handful of growing glaciers is just an anomaly, the erstwhile Mr. Gore would have you believe.

Well, let's look at a few other countries.

  • Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest glacier in Argentina, is growing.   

  • Pio XI Glacier, the largest glacier in Chile, is growing.

  • Glaciers are growing on Mt. Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada.

  • Glaciers are growing on Mt. Blanc, the tallest mountain in France.

  • Glaciers are growing in Norway, says the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).

  • And the last time I checked, all 50 glaciers in New Zealand were growing.  

But this is nothing. These glaciers are babies when you look at our planet's largest ice masses, namely, the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.

Contrary to what you may have heard, both of those huge ice sheets are growing.

In 2007, Antarctica set a new record for most ice extent since 1979, says meteorologist Joe D'Aleo. While the Antarctic Peninsula area has warmed in recent years, and ice near it diminished during the summer, the interior of Antarctica has been colder and the ice extent greater.

Antarctic sea ice is also increasing. According to Australian Antarctic Division glaciology program head Ian Allison, sea ice losses in west Antarctica over the past 30 years have been more than offset by increases in the Ross Sea region, just one sector of east Antarctica.

The Antarctic Peninsula, where the ice has been melting, is only about 1/50th the size of east Antarctica, where the ice has been growing.
Saying that all of Antarctica is melting is like looking at the climate of Oregon and saying that this applies to the entire United States.

There was not any evidence of significant change in the mass of ice shelves in east Antarctica nor any indication that its ice cap was melting, says Dr. Allison. "The only significant calvings in Antarctica have been in the west." And he cautioned that calvings of the magnitude seen recently in west Antarctica might not be unusual.

"A paper to be published soon by the British Antarctic Survey in the journal Geophysical Research Letters is expected to confirm that over the past 30 years, the area of sea ice around the continent has expanded."

What about Greenland?

                     
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Robert W. Felix is author of Not by Fire but by Ice, and publisher of www.iceagenow.com.

 

 


 



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