2 more glaciers gone from Glacier National Park

Apr 07, 2010 By MATTHEW BROWN , Associated Press Writer
This undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows Iceberg Lake at Glacier National Park, Mt. Scientists on Wednesday, April 7, 2010 said that Glacier National Park has lost two more of its namesake moving icefields to climate change, which is shrinking the rivers of ice until they grind to a halt. (AP Photo/National Park Service)

(AP) -- Glacier National Park has lost two more of its namesake moving icefields to climate change, which is shrinking the rivers of ice until they grind to a halt, a government researcher said Wednesday.

Warmer temperatures have reduced the number of named glaciers in the northwestern Montana park to 25, said Dan Fagre said, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He warned many of the rest of the glaciers may be gone by the end of the decade.

"It's continual," Fagre said. "When we're measuring glacier margins, by the time we go home the glacier is already smaller than what we've measured."

The meltoff shows the climate is changing, but does not show exactly what is causing temperatures to go up, Fagre said.

The park's glaciers have been slowly melting away since about 1850, when the centuries-long Little Age ended. They once numbered as many as 150, and 37 of those eventually were named.

A glacier needs to be 25 acres to qualify for the title.

If it shrinks any smaller, it does not always stop moving right away. A smaller mass of ice on a steep slope would still continue to grind its way through the Rocky Mountains.

Glacier melting has accelerated in recent decades as have increased. Over the past century, Glacier National Park's mean summer temperature has risen by about 3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Explore further: NASA image: Fires and Smoke in Canada's Northern Territories

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User comments : 27

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meeker
3.9 / 5 (12) Apr 07, 2010
Whether you believe that climate change is man-made or not ... you must believe that something is in fact changing. It takes human arrogance to think that the Earth is completely safe from disaster.
dunno
Apr 07, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gunslingor1
3.8 / 5 (10) Apr 07, 2010
-A lot of people don't realize just how small the earth is. We aren't concerned with the entire mass of the planet, we are only concerned with this tiny layor of crust that all life exists on, and yes, this crust and the fine layor of atmospher is delicate. It can be aftered by the sun, the earths rotation, astronomical bodies and atmospheric content. CO2 absorbs more IR radiation than normal air and emits more heat, which is easy to prove. CO2 in the air is double what it was 100 years ago and the only idenfiable and proven source is man.

The danger is there, you cannot deny that. Why risk it when we have a solution that is better for the environment in the near and long terms and is better technologically and far more profitable than fossil.

Why do I bother, nothing will convince you at this point if you still don't see.
Shootist
1.5 / 5 (15) Apr 07, 2010
-A lot of people don't realize just how small the earth is. Why do I bother, nothing will convince you at this point if you still don't see.


There is nothing to see.

1000 years ago there were operating dairy farms in Greenland. The planet was (quite a bit) warmer then.

The Christmas of 1776 the Hudson River froze solid enough that General Washington order cannon be dragged across. The planet was cooler then.

When there are again Dairy Farms in Greenland, give me a call. Otherwise the climate is Terran normal. And nothing that bacterial scum you described above is going to permanently change that.

Questions you can refer to Freeman Dyson, who doesn't believe this crap anymore than I do.
Anyone
4.5 / 5 (2) Apr 07, 2010
"dunno" -- physician, heal thyself
Parsec
4.2 / 5 (10) Apr 07, 2010
Shootist - calling people bacterial scum is not going to convince anyone that your opinion or arguments hold water. In fact the opposite is true.

It is a logical fallacy to assume that because the climate was better in one location (dairy farms in Greenland), that the entire planet was quite a bit warmer. The same is true with your example of one day in 1776 meaning the planet was cooler then.

You and other climate deniers simply ignore all evidence contrary to your preconceived notions, just like you claim that AGW believers do.
Birger
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 08, 2010
The article is consistent with the experience from Scandinavian glaciers.

In regard to the warm north atlantic medieval period -this was a REGIONAL warming, due to a slightly different arrangement of wind/ocean current patterns.

The current warming trend is GLOBAL, as you can see if you inspect marginal, sub-arctic environments that are particularly sensitive to changes.

Before making absolute claims about the truth of this or that, please check out some of these climate-sensitive regions with your own eyes.

Or you can choose the path of the catholic scholars who refused to view space through Galileo's telescope when he offered it, since they already "knew" the truth.
Shaffer
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2010
Parsec is a cool name...

Shootist - calling people bacterial scum is not going to convince anyone that your opinion or arguments hold water. In fact the opposite is true.


Maybe not, but it gets attention. I laughed!

Nothing to say about the article. If you want to see a glacier do it soon. Not my cup of tea...
stealthc
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 08, 2010
The icesheets are supposed to melt when the earth is emerging from an iceage. of course the climate is changing -- but this was happening anyways with or without mankind's assistance.
JayK
3.7 / 5 (9) Apr 08, 2010
Glaciers aren't ice sheets. Pretty simple mistake, did you make it on purpose or was it just done out of total ignorance, stealthc?

And once again you ignore the main claim of AGW: Rate of Change. Is that also because you don't understand that part of it?
exBrit
5 / 5 (3) Apr 08, 2010
A local geologist in Colorado, talking about glaciation in the Indian Peaks area of the Rockies, used the simple criteria that if the spring melt is milky due to ground rock, then it is still a glacier. If it is simply clear snowmelt, then it is a simply a permanent snow field. In the last century, the Arapahoe 'glacier', in the City of Boulder watershed, has stopped grinding and changed to a permanent snow field.
LuckyBrandon
2.2 / 5 (5) Apr 08, 2010
The park's glaciers have been slowly melting away since about 1850, when the centuries-long Little Ice Age ended. They once numbered as many as 150, and 37 of those glaciers eventually were named.


Hell that paragraph in and of itself kind of says the warming isnt due to man...industry was nowhere nears the level it is today back in 1850...during a "little ice age", i would expect more ice to form...160 years later, yea, I would not be at all surprised that the glaciers built up (at least partially) during the little ice age are melting.

I don't know, it seems rather "point and click" to me....
TegiriNenashi
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 09, 2010
I guess the media is pretty upset that Arctic ice pack, quick death of which has been loudly predicted two and a half years ago, fails to comply. It recovered to 1979-2000 average. So the ice coverage on both poles (which is a pretty good temperature indicator) is normal or slightly above it. But no, there is no reason for complacency, hence this dusted off old glacier disappearance urbane legend.
Caliban
3 / 5 (6) Apr 10, 2010
Everyone, you'll have to please forgive this tegiri-thing, being one of Palin's Children, it suffers from the insufficient development of certain key faculties.
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (6) Apr 11, 2010
CO2 absorbs more IR radiation than normal air and emits more heat, which is easy to prove. CO2 in the air is double what it was 100 years ago and the only idenfiable and proven source is man.


The only identifiable and proven source is man? This claim will have to be rethought. Several active volcanoes recently have been re-tested and found to emit 13C depleted CO2 in quantities and ratios similar to burning fossil fuels. More volcanoes will need to be tested the world over to be sure of anything.

As to the claim that CO2 does what is claimed for it is easily provable, it is--if you set up jars full of the stuff at many times the levels of CO2 currently in the atmosphere!
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2010
@Skepticus_Reex,
Several active volcanoes recently have been re-tested and found to emit 13C depleted CO2 in quantities and ratios similar to burning fossil fuels.
As for QUANTITIES, what's your source? You might want to notify Wikipedia:

http://en.wikiped...mosphere
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2010
From the above Wikipedia link:
It is estimated that volcanoes release about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. This is about a factor of 1000 smaller than the sum of the other natural sources and about factor of about 100 smaller than the sources from human activity.
From USGS:

http://volcanoes....ndex.php

Scientists have calculated that volcanoes emit between about 130-230 million tonnes (145-255 million tons) of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (Gerlach, 1991). This estimate includes both subaerial and submarine volcanoes, about in equal amounts. Emissions of CO2 by human activities, including fossil fuel burning, cement production, and gas flaring, amount to about 27 billion tonnes per year (30 billion tons) ... Human activities release more than 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes--the equivalent of more than 8,000 additional volcanoes like Kilauea...
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2010
Both the USGS count and the information repeated by Wikipedia are based on what we thought we knew about CO2 delta-13C/12C ratios and man allegedly emitting 13C depleted CO2 being the smoking gun proving it is man releasing so much.

Edit Wikipedia? And, make the edit stay without some environut removing the entry minutes after it is added? Good luck with that.

As to the source, most of the work has not yet been published. When it is you will have all the information you will need.

As to one of the other sources for my information, which has been published, I will have to hunt up the source again for linking. I do know that it was in Japan and that its ratio of 13C ro 12C is closely comparable to the level of depletion of 13C observed in fossil fuels. The writers of the paper speculate that release of these ratios may be attributable to biological sources as well as coal-layer subduction.

I almost cannot wait for the publication of the other materials. Can you?
PinkElephant
4.4 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2010
What does 13C depletion have to do with the price of tea in China? The amount of fossil CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere by human activities is well-known from industrial and economic metrics, quite independently of any direct atmospheric measurements. Even if there were some systematic error in estimating the total amount of volcanic outgassing -- which I doubt -- I very much doubt that the error would amount to 2 orders of magnitude (a factor of 100.)

In fact, when you sum up all the anthropogenic CO2 pumped into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution, you'll find that it greatly exceeds the total increase of CO2 in the atmosphere since then. A large fraction of the anthropogenic contribution has been sequestered on land and in oceans (though the efficiency of such sequestration is likely to taper off over time, as the buffers involved begin to saturate.)
PinkElephant
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2010
Edit Wikipedia? And, make the edit stay without some environut removing the entry minutes after it is added? Good luck with that.
I'm sure if you provided legitimate published sources, the edit would stick.

OTOH, childish name-slinging is not helping your cause. I mean, I could respond in kind by calling you a political whore, but that wouldn't serve to advance the discussion...
Benier_Duster
3.7 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2010
Pink, I wouldn't bother trying to discuss anything with Skepticus reex, look at the syntax of its posts and is clear that it is one of dachpyarseviles many alias's
drel
5 / 5 (1) Apr 12, 2010
-... CO2 in the air is double what it was 100 years ago ...


This sounded wrong to me, so a quick check leads me to believe that current CO2 levels are 391ppm. Per the "Double what it was 100 years ago" statement, That would mean that in 1910 the CO2 level was 195.5ppm. I cannot find anything to support such a claim. I am finding numbers more like 310ppm for 1910. That would be more like a 26% increase not double (which would be a 100% increase).
twango
5 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2010

The other day I was looking at maps of droughts in Asia over a period of thousands of years. The droughts, lasting a few years to decades, were moving all around the continent. It was impossible to infer anything about the universal from the particulars.

Any 'evidence' that you mention about particular locations (Greenland, Washington DC or Glacier) does not in itself decide *anything* about -global- climate change.

Deniers seldom mention the increase in ocean acidity and dying coral reefs. (Never mind the continent of plastic, the near-extinction of major lifeforms like whales.) They want to live in an invisible fairyland world that only they can be see and be certain of.
hike_n_bike
not rated yet Apr 15, 2010
"...said that Glacier National Park has lost two more of its NAMESAKE moving icefields..."

Glacier isn't named after its glaciers, it's named after the fact that its features were created by glacial action.
LuckyBrandon
3 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2010
the glaciers are the tourist attraction for the blackfoot tribe...which is whose reservation the park sits on.....loss of the glaciers = an economic problem within the tribe...
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (4) Apr 20, 2010
I'm sure if you provided legitimate published sources, the edit would stick. ...


Past experience tells me otherwise. It does not matter which sources are used. If someone does not like what is posted, it goes away.

Perhaps after a few more years of IPCC fact-checking things might change over on Wikipedia.

And, by the way, I used to go by dachpyarvile but stopped using that username as a result of Benier_Duster's many other sockpuppets misusing my name. I had to choose something without an I or L in the name where he can substitute letters in creating his sockpuppets. He's just upset that I did it. :)

And, what does 13C depletion to do with the price of tea in China? Nothing. But, it has everything to do with what people claim is the smoking gun for the amounts of CO2 from fossil fuels is detected. The data suggest that things may need to be rechecked on that front. :)
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2010
Deniers seldom mention the increase in ocean acidity and dying coral reefs.


While I cannot speak to deniers and what they do or do not do, I have mentioned the substantial increase of ocean 'acidification'. Why, not long ago, in fact, I discussed with people the pH of the South China Sea and how there was a major drop in pH from 8.1 to 7.88. What gets me is that the most significant or highest drop in pH occurred well over 400 years before man began buring fossil fuels. Recent measurements actually have shown an increase in pH. Go figure.

When people have some substantial evidence that man is responsible, that leaves no room for dispute, then they will get my attention. But when I see things like what happens in the South China Sea and that they do not coincide with the activities of mankind, then do not expect me to fall into line. :)

Incidentally, coral reefs have been dying off for millions of years. Climate change is what killed them and it was not man's doing.
Skepticus_Rex_
Apr 27, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skepticus_Rex
1 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2010
Of course you might be wondering why I am recycling my old garbage on acid acidification in a post about glaciers? Well, nobody wants to talk to me...and I'm desperate...someone please respond to my posts....I'm better than my old name dachpyarsewipe...honest :)


Some may not want to talk to me but some sockpuppets sure want to try to imitate me and rant stupidity. :)