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
"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
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":
See also Franz Josef Glacier
still on the march
See also New Zealand