Glacier photos illustrate climate change

Glacier photos illustrate climate change
Retreat of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, USA, by ~6.5 km between 2009 and 2015. Credit: James Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey.

Climate is changing—there should be zero doubt about this circa 2017. The outstanding issue for the geoscience community has been how we best portray to this to the public. In their GSA Today article posted online on 30 March 2017, a team of experts in the field—Patrick Burkhart, Richard Alley, Lonnie. Thompson, James Balog, Paul E. Baldauf, and Gregory S. Baker—present an exceptional example.

With contrasting photographs, they document the loss of ice across Earth's surface, an almost assured consequence of anthropogenic carbon emissions. One cannot dismiss it—the photographs don't lie. The real problem for is what we are going to do about, when much of our science and society lies intertwined with .


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Photographer captures world's glacier melt over decade

More information: Patrick A. Burkhart et al. Savor the Cryosphere, GSA Today (2017). DOI: 10.1130/GSATG293A.1
Citation: Glacier photos illustrate climate change (2017, March 30) retrieved 23 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-glacier-photos-climate.html
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Mar 30, 2017
Climate IS changing, just as it has for...well...at least a million years. Lots of warming and cooling recorded in the EPICA ice cores:

https://www.clima...arge.png

These pictures document how much glaciers retreated long before 1975.

http://www.thisis...SGS1.jpg

The 3 pictures were taken in August in 1941, 1950 and 2004. Notice how much they retreated up Muir Inlet in just 9 years from 1941 to 1950, compared to the retreat over the next 54 years. 1950 was during the period that climate scientists admit that human CO2 emissions were negligible and that the primary driver of warming was nature.

https://www.esrl....ull.html

If human CO2 emissions weren't the cause of the earlier glacier retreat, what did cause it? Until that mystery is solved, blaming humans for glacier loss after 1975 is premature, don't you think?

Mar 31, 2017
Hi askdad. :)

The Industrial Revolution ushered in mass mining/burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, syngas replacing wood, animal/plant oils). It also ushered in a population boom and Industrial Chemical Production. All these things started from late 1800s-early 1900s. This accelerated in the lead-up and during/after WWI....and became even more significant during/since WWII.

Which is why, by your quoted 1941-1950-2004 era, the atmospheric CO2 content became obvious/problematic.

Interestingly, the atmospheric CO2 correlation with Global Warming was recognized long before AGW became 'politicized' as it is now. In fact, all across the board, both independent/industry/govt scientists/observers were writing about it and no-one had cause to argue with it!

Then self-interested political/industrial 'lobbies' from fossil mining/power industries realized the solutions would impact on their business models/profits if govts/industry moved to fossil-free power options.

Rethink it. :)

Apr 01, 2017
The 3 pictures were taken in August in 1941, 1950 and 2004. Notice how much they retreated up Muir Inlet in just 9 years from 1941 to 1950, compared to the retreat over the next 54 years.


In the 2004 picture the Riggs glacier has retreated to the point where its grounding line is above water level where the retreat slows as ice ice mass is lost through thinning rather than calving. The Muir glacier is not visible but has also retreated to the point where its grounding line is above water level a further 7 km up river.

https://www.googl...!3m1!1e3

A good example of global warming since 1950

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