Not by Fire but by Ice

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Pesky New Zealand Glaciers Growing
 

Supposedly a regional phenomenon
 

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3 May 09 - (Excerpts) - "Most of the world's glaciers are retreating as the planet gets warmer but some, including glaciers south of the equator in South America and New Zealand, are growing," says this article on scientificblogging.com.

          Almost all articles about growing glaciers try to tell you that this is
          the only area where it is happening.


"New Zealand's mountain glaciers have fluctuated frequently over the last 7,000 years, and glacial advances have become slightly smaller through time," said Joerg Schaefer, lead author of the paper (published in Science) and a geochemist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.  

"By refining the analysis of a method called cosmogenic dating, Schaefer and colleagues were able for the first time to assign precise ages to young Holocene moraines.

"They accomplished this by measuring minute levels of the chemical isotope beryllium 10 in the rocks, which is produced when cosmic rays strike rock surfaces, and builds up over time.

"The researchers were thus able to pinpoint exactly when glaciers in New Zealand's Southern Alps began to recede, exposing the rocks to the cosmic rays.

"Overall, glaciers around the world have been declining since about 1860," the article asserts, "with the exception of a brief advance in Switzerland in the 1980s, New Zealand in the late 1970s through today (italics added), and a few other places."

Changes in wind and sea surface temperatures are thought to be causing these regional fluctuations.

Currently in a wet phase, New Zealand is expected to swing back to a warmer, drier phase in the next few years, causing the glaciers to retreat once again.

The study also received funding from the Comer Science and Education Foundation, and the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

Other researchers involved in the study were: Michael Kaplan and Roseanne Schwartz, also of Lamont-Doherty; Aaron Putnam, University of Maine; Robert Finkel, CEREGE, France; David Barrell, GNS Science, New Zealand; Bjorn Anderson, University of Oslo; Andrew Mackintosh, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand; Trevor Chinn, Alpine and Polar Processes Consultancy, New Zealand; Christian Schluchter, University of Bern, Switzerland.

See entire article, entitled
"Contrarian New Zealand Glaciers Grow in the Age of Global Warming":

http://www.scientificblogging.com/news_articles/
contrarian_new_zealand_glaciers_grow_age_global_warming

See also Franz Josef Glacier still on the march

See also New Zealand Glaciers Growing
 


 



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