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Old 09-13-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
19,003 posts, read 21,996,295 times
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Niners fan -

While I can't address all of the links you provide, I CAN tell you that at least one of those links (the Growing Glaciers link) has somewhat dubious data (at least in regards to the glaciers on Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan (they can't even get the name of the mountain right)). The photo shows the snowfall and states:

"This is a photo of my friend Jim Terrell taken on
Mt. Baker, Washington. Jim is more than six feet
tall. See the black line about six feet above his head?
That's where the snow from the winter of 1998/99
stopped melting. Above that, is snow that never
melted from the winter of 1999/2000. Why isn't
the media reporting this sort of thing?
"

First off the media DID report on that - in fact is made big time news. The winter of 1998/1999 produced the world greatest snowfall (a world record) on the slopes of Mt Baker and reflects greater moisture that year (not necessarily decreased temperatures) so using that as evidence that that it's not warming up is very misleading. Glaciers grow if more snow accumulates in the winter than melts off in the summer, so even if the summers are warmer, if the winters are wetter and more snow falls, then a glacier can grow. The circumstances mentioned have not occurred since and I think that the glaciers in the region are all in decline over the last 50 years. I KNOW that is true of the glaciers on nearby Mt Rainier - which have decline substantially over that time as I have PERSONALLY witnessed that during my 35+ years in the area.

" At Mount Rainier, which has more glacial ice than the rest of the Cascades combined and is among the best studied sites in the nation, the area covered by glaciers shrank by more than a fifth from 1913 to 1994, and the volume of the glaciers by almost one-fourth, the National Park Service says. From 1912 to 2001, the Nisqually Glacier on Mount Rainier retreated nearly a mile."

Washington State's Glaciers are Melting, and That Has Scientists Concerned

Secondly, the reference to the growing glacier on Mt St Helens conveniently ignores the fact that the reason it's growing is because it wasn't there to begin with since the crater was newly formed in 1980 and for many years after that time volcanic activity in the crater kept any permanent ice from forming there. Once the volcanic activity died down, then (because the crater was easily high enough to have a glacier - particularly since it is in a shaded location (the walls of the crater limit direct sunlight in that location) a glacier began to form. To use the formation of this glacier as proof that it's not warming up and that worldwide glaciers are not melting is pretty dishonest as the circumstance at Mt St Helens are unique to say the least.

Considering that I KNOW personally of at least two of the cases mentioned in your link are presented in a misleading fashion, I have to say that the rest of the information presented there is at the very least, pretty suspect. Clearly the data is not properly checked out or analyzed before it is posted - either that or they know that the data is untrue and misleading and posted it anyway.

Ken
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:06 AM
 
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There are growing glaciers.

They are few and far between. I believe the majority of them are what are called tidewater glaciers, and they have a very different life cycle than the valley glaciers.

This is an example of one: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-001-03/fs-001.03.pdf and Alaska Section - AWRA

Quote:
Calving glaciers that are currently growing and advancing have at least four things in common. All of them (1) are at the heads of long fiords, (2) have undergone massive retreats during the last thousand or more years, (3) presently calve over relatively shallow moraine shoals, and (4) have strongly positive mass balances that are a consequence of a surface-area distributions that have unusually small ablation areas compared to the accumulation areas.


Glaciologists often point out that glaciers are sensitive indicators of climate. We'll discuss why this paradigm should not be applied to calving glaciers. As a point to think about, the calving glaciers that are currently growing and advancing in the face of global warming, were retreating throughout the little ice age.
Unfortunately, the insistence on focusing on the few (explicable) exceptions occludes the problems of the bulk of the situation!

Whether one wishes to blame the retreat of the overwhelming majority of glaciers on global warming, a lack of precipitation, or the mad god Loki, they are still retreating and the impact on humanity is likely to be devastating.

For example, the loss of glacial melt to the rivers of south Asia will provoke massive death from food and water shortages, leading swiftly to war.

The rise of the oceans, which is already underway, will cause more coastal land to be submerged, to be clobbered by storms, and more villages and towns to need to relocate inland, as has already happened in some places. In a few cases, it will totally wipe out countries. So long as these countries are tiny and have no power, "nobody" really cares...

It will not always be like that. We ignore the ramifications of these climate changes, whether natural or man-caused at our peril, if only because not everybody CAN ignore it, and some of their responses are not going to make other countries happy, to say the least.
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,336,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jps-teacher View Post
It will not always be like that. We ignore the ramifications of these climate changes, whether natural or man-caused at our peril, if only because not everybody CAN ignore it, and some of their responses are not going to make other countries happy, to say the least.
Many of us believe that even if humans are contributing to Global Warming (that is, assuming it is happening) - notice the two BIG "ifs" there - that there is nothing we can do about it. So the best we can do is prepare for it and be grateful that it is not Global Cooling which would be much, much more devastating.

I would add that many of those same people are also very skeptical of the "solutions" because they are generally proposed by people who favor more government control and higher taxes and seem to be using Global Warming as merely their most recent means to that end.
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Old 09-13-2008, 04:48 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,192,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Many of us believe that even if humans are contributing to Global Warming (that is, assuming it is happening) - notice the two BIG "ifs" there - that there is nothing we can do about it. So the best we can do is prepare for it and be grateful that it is not Global Cooling which would be much, much more devastating.

I would add that many of those same people are also very skeptical of the "solutions" because they are generally proposed by people who favor more government control and higher taxes and seem to be using Global Warming as merely their most recent means to that end.
Yes, to all of that.

I don't agree with the positions you describe, but I know them all too well.

But most of the national solutions I have read or seen proposed have far less to do with higher taxes and far more to do with with changing how businesses handle things such as pollutants (including carbon emissions).

Above and beyond that, even if I were to simply accept that the melting is going to continue and the flooding of coastal territories is going to happen, am I not obligated to seek ways to reduce the impact on humanity, especially those parts of humanity least well positioned to help themselves?!

If, for example, war breaks out between India and China or Pakistan, mightn't it turn 'hot' in a hurry, thereby making even more of the world uninhabitable?

I don't mean to be alarmist so much as I mean to be trying to look forward to insufficiently unlikely futures based on various sets of assumptions.
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