Friday, September 07, 2007

Mount Shasta's glaciers not heeding climate change

Mount Shasta, at 14,162 feet seems to have a mind of its own these days. Shasta has seven glaciers. The biggest is the one on the middle, Whitney Glacier. What has surprised scientists about the glacier is that if the theories about global warming are true, the glacier ought to be shrinking, but it's not.

“Unlike most areas around the world, these glaciers are advancing, they are growing. Thirty percent in the last fifty years,” says scientist Erik White.

Full details here, and this is similar to the New Zealand glaciers that we talked about previously as well.

20 comments:

Chris said...

Are you really going to tell me that as a second year meteorology graduate student you don't know about the Clausius Clapeyron relationship? Glaciers in Norway and Antarctica are also advancing, due to WARMER temperatures.

papertiger said...

Here's a Nord glacier that melted back in the 1920's but this greenpeice fella went and got himself a picture from 1919. See him holding it up saying "look how much the glacier retreated due to global warming".

I'm sorry Chris. You can't have it both ways. If global warming isn't melting glaciers, then you have to shut up about global warming melting glacies.
That's just the way it is bub.

papertiger said...

And New Zealands glaciers are advancing too.

Jonathan Lowe said...

yep exactly what I said here in my post in december last year

New Zealand glaciers still growing

papertiger said...

and here's the National Geographic trying to prop up their political movement with shoddy science
See it's a global phenomina, when glaciers are advancing in Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Russia, China, the Hymalaya, Pakisan, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Skandinavia, France, Switzerland, Washington (state), and even California, why that's because of global warming, you fool.

It's a global phenomina alright, but it's got nothing to do with the weather.

Philip_B said...

Below is conclusive evidence that global warming is not occurring. SH sea ice has reached its larger extent ever recorded.

Whatever is melting the Arctic ice cannot be a global mechanism. Averaging NH and SH temperatures to produce a global mean temperature is a spurious statistic to provide spurious justification for 'global warming'.

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 - New historic SH sea ice maximum and NH sea ice minimum

Just when you thought this season's cryosphere couldn't be more strange .... The Southern Hemisphere sea ice area has broken the previous maximum of 16.03 million sq. km and is currently at 16.26 million sq. km. This represents an increase of about 1.4% above the previous SH ice area record high. The observed sea ice record in the Southern Hemisphere (1979-present) is not as long as the Northern Hemisphere. Prior to the satellite era, direct observations of the SH sea ice edge were sporadic.

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

Chris said...

Hi Papertiger,
Glacier mass balance is the result of two processes, the accumulation of snow from precipitation and the melting of ice due to ablation. When temperatures are positive melting dominates, when temperatures are negative precipitation dominates. Precipitation is a function of the capacity of the atmosphere to hold water, the so called 'saturation vapour pressure', which is governed by the clausius claperon relationship. So whether a glacier expands or retreats is ultimately a function of it's climatic regime. So sorry to have to dispel your childish notions papertiger, but perhaps if you learnt some introductory climatology or glaciology you might not look like such an idiot on this forums. The world is not as simple as you would like to think.

Chris said...

Hi philip_b,
Here's an idea. Google "Antarctic Circumpolar Current" and compare the sverdrups to those from the "North Atlantic Passage" There is a reason why the Greeks named it Antarctica, it's called land. You are standing on it. The ignorance on this site is breathtaking.

philip said...

Chris, it always amuses me when people try to show others ignorance and just end up exposing their own ignorance.

Sea ice extent in the SH winter is almost wholly a function of temperature. The complicating factors you get in the NH like particulate pollution and precipitation for glacial mass expansion are not significant.

You are clearly under the impression that SH sea ice at the margins is glacial in origin. Nowhere is that the case at the peak of the southern winter, i.e. now. All the sea ice increase at this time of year is due to sea water freezing.

philip said...

Chris, it always amuses me when people try to show others ignorance and just end up exposing their own ignorance.

Sea ice extent in the SH winter is almost wholly a function of temperature. The complicating factors you get in the NH like particulate pollution and precipitation for glacial mass expansion are not significant.

You are clearly under the impression that SH sea ice at the margins is glacial in origin. Nowhere is that the case at the peak of the southern winter, i.e. now. All the sea ice increase at this time of year is due to sea water freezing.

Chris said...

Hi Philip,
Ignorance indeed. The reason why temperature change dominates in the southern ocean is because the westerly flow of the antarctic circumpolar current goes right around Antarctica and thermally isolates the region, unlike the arctic ocean which is blocked by topography. Why would sea ice come from land? I think you have exposed your own ignorance here. Please lookup coriolis force and antarctic convergence in a climate atlas. Then you can apologize.

papertiger said...

coriolis force and antarctic convergence - if it were that easy to steer water, you would think it's probably ten times as easy to steer atmosphere. Did I say ten times? Try a hundred times more easy.
Puts a whole new angle on fixing the ozone hole, doesn't it.

Chris said...

Yes papertiger, just change the direction in which the earth rotates and you can move the atmosphere any way you like. Think like the superman movie, perhaps you can reverse time. Is that why you call yourself papertiger, because you are all piss and wind?

philip said...

Chris, cheap debating trick. Allude to the fact you have an argument but don't present it.

Surely you can do better.

Chris said...

Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that in a discussion of atmospheric dynamics I would have to prove that the coriolis effect is non-negligible. Here's a thought. In the northern and southern hemispheres atmospheric flow occurs in OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS. In the southern hemisphere it is clockwise, in the northern hemisphere it is anti-clockwise. Go and flush your toilet, and watch the direction. Then do it again and steer the water the other way. Perhaps if you paddle fast enough you will be able to fix the ozone hole.

philip said...

In a discussion about sea ice extent you have to show the relevance of atmospheric dynamics.

BTW, I've lived in the Northern and Southern hemispheres and tested water going down the plug hole to see whether it spins clockwise or anticlockwise. I can tell you the coriolis effect causing it always to spin in one direction is a myth. An initial force in one direction or the other will determine the direction it spins. The Coriolis effect cannot overcome this initial force.

Go try it. You'll find I'm right.

Chris said...

OK, denying the Coriolis force is the limit. You might as well say you're a Christian and everything was put in place yesterday. How do you feel about Newtons' laws of motion? I hear they are part of the greenhouse conspiracy.

OK, I'm going to spell it out at a high school meteorology level, but I have to say I'm embarrassed for all of us:

1) Antarctica is land with max elev >3 km (opposite of arctic, use 'antonym' , another Greek word as a mnemonic if you need to)

2) Persistent high pressure system over Antarctica resulting from elevation (thin atmosphere) means northward flow (high pressure system to low pressure)

3) Eastward deflection of northward motion in the Southern Hemisphere (Coriolis) means winds moving from west to east over the Southern Ocean.

4) Permanent westerly wind shear stress over the Southern Ocean means persistent surface currents. As paper_tiger inadvertently points out, ocean currents are weakly driven by surface wind stresses but as the Southern Ocean has been obstacle free since the Drake Passage opened 65 million years ago (Gondwana) that almost long enough to affect oceanographic currents. Do you think 65 million years is long enough?

5) Oceanographic circulation around Antarctica predominantly west to east means that the ocean circulates in a clockwise pattern around the high pressure system on the continent. This is where the term 'circumpolar' comes from in 'Antarctic Circumpolar Current', it means 'around the pole'.

6) Circumpolar current blocks the advection of warmer water from lower latitudes. This means that the Southern Ocean is thermally insulated from the rest of the world's oceans. Therefore the poleward heat exchange is reduced and Southern Ocean temperatures become much colder (Antarctic Convergence).

7) Sea ice extent is a function of Sea Surface Temperature. Colder SST means greater sea ice extent.

8) None of the above happens in the Arctic because of the presence of LAND. You are standing on it. Greenland blocks circumpolar current, leading to higher sea surface temperatures and less sea ice.

9) Therefore comparing Arctic Sea ice with Antarctic Sea ice = boo boo!

I feel dirty. Can I have your retraction now?

Anonymous said...

Philip said...BTW I've lived in the Northern & Southern hemispheres... can't see Coriolis effect...
I currently live at only 33degrees North and saw the dramatic effect of having a bargain low water consumption toilet made for South of the equator installed. The clockwise swirl became a useless froth. A Northern Hemi unit worked just fine. The effect depends upon volume, mass, and time. When draining water meets these conditions, it always rotates counterclockwise here in S. California.

Anonymous said...

Usually arrogance and sarcasm are symptomatic of a fearful person. Let your facts talk for you, and get rid of the double speak.

Anonymous said...

This whole article is a sham. Shasta's glaciers are almost completely gone! My family drove by Shasta last summer and it was a big brown rock! We were shocked!The big ice sheet Shasta had just ten years ago did not exist, and the lake was so low people were camping where there was once water. The only thing more shocking than the sight of a barren Shasta was this blatantly false reporting! Unbelievable!