Climate of Smear: Global Warming Misinformation

Scientists surprised to find new, advancing glaciers in Rocky Mountain National Park
Copyright 2001 Associated Press
October 4, 200
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colorado - Geologists exploring the rugged Continental Divide say they discovered more than 100 additional glaciers here in a single summer, a surprising find since glaciers around the world are shrinking in warmer temperatures.
The results dramatically change the map of one of the nation's oldest and best-known national parks, along with the knowledge of weather and water cycles at high elevations.
Previously, officials believed the park 60 miles (96 kilometers) northwest of Denver included 20 permanent ice and snow features, including six named glaciers. The new survey by geologist Jonathan Achuff shows there are as many as 120 features. Most are located in cold, north-facing pockets on the east side of the Divide at elevations above 12,000 feet (3,600 meters).
Most of the newly discovered glaciers are covered with rocky debris; continuous freezing and thawing splinters the brittle granite that forms some of the park's majestic peaks. Park officials say comparisons with historical photos suggest that at least some of the glaciers are expanding.
Glaciers are barometers of climate change, and researchers said the survey results here contradict global warming trends.
In Antarctica, the Pine Island Glacier thinned by 36 feet (10.8 meters) in eight years; the rate of ice-thinning is 10 times greater than the rate of snowfall there.
In Africa, the famous white mantle of Mount Kilimanjaro has shrunk by 82 percent since 1912. A survey by Ohio State researcher Lonnie G. Thompson predicts the equator-straddling glacier will vanish entirely by 2015. Already, some rivers in Tanzania have dried up as a result, he said.
Similar icy retreats have been measured in the Andes of Peru and the Himalayas of Tibet. Aerial photos over the past three decades show the number of named glaciers in Montana's Glacier National Park has dropped from 83 to fewer than 65.
Perhaps the only major glacial system that is increasing in size today is in Norway. Coastal glaciers are more complicated, and some global warming models predict increased snowfall there as precipitation patterns change.
In Colorado, park officials said subtle climate changes may be helping the formation of glaciers or at least reducing their retreat.
The Divide already funnels snow from the West up and over ridges, where it settles in eastern basins just below the tallest peaks.
Also, expanding development near Denver is sending hot air that helps to form additional cloud cover over the mountains in the summer. While precipitation hasn't changed much, temperatures have been slightly cooler in the past several years.
"We're not running quite in synch with global warming here," park spokeswoman Judy Visty said.
Achuff and others are preparing expanded studies that would begin next summer, including the possibility of drilling core samples to the bottom of large ice features, using satellites to measure the glaciers' movements and seismic testing to determine how much ice and rock the features contain.

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The general pattern is that glaciers are receding Jim, as much as I would like it the other way.

www.worldviewofglobalwarming..../glaciers.html (external - login to view)
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

First of all, we do not have even a hundred years supply at current consumption rates. Secondly, consumption rates are growing exponentially. I doubt there is thirty years supply out there. Meanwhile btw, the title of this topic is "Climate of Smear: Global Warming Misinformation (external - login to view)
relating to how people who have an ax to grind over global warming are attempting to sabotage efforts to mitigate that same global warming by spreading misinformation.

More rubbish for Juan to read.
Posted: 05/24/2004 | Author: H. Sterling Burnett (external - login to view)
We Are Not Running Out of Oil

Every time oil prices rise for an extended period, the news media issue dire warnings that a crisis is upon us – it’s not! Many factors are contributing to the currently high gas prices: limited refining capacity, political restrictions on development of new domestic sources of oil, reduced supply from several oil exporting countries due to political conflicts, limited supplies due to the actions of the oil cartel, OPEC, and finally, increased demand for oil in China. Dwindling supplies of oil is not a factor in the current price at the pump.
New technologies continually increase the amount of recoverable oil, and market prices — which signal scarcity — regularly encourage new exploration and development.
The history of the petroleum industry is one of predictions of near term depletion, followed by the discovery of new oil fields and the development of technologies for recovering additional supplies. Before the first U.S. oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, petroleum supplies were limited to crude oil that oozed to the surface. In 1855, an advertisement for Kier’s Rock Oil advised consumers to “hurry, before this wonderful product is depleted from Nature’s laboratory.” Indeed, seven oil shortage scares occurred before 1950.
Predictions of an oil famine during the Arab Oil embargo in the 1970s were followed by a glut of cheap oil. World oil production continued to increase throughout the 1990s. While prices have periodically spiked oil prices fell to a inflation-adjusted 30-year low in 2001.
Estimates of the world’s total oil endowment have continually grown faster than humanity can pump petroleum out of the ground. In 1920, the U.S. Geological Survey announced that the world’s total endowment of oil amounted to 60 billion barrels. By 1950, the estimate had increased to around 600 billion barrels. The most recent estimate was of a 3,000-billion-barrel endowment.
By 2000, 900 billion barrels of oil had been produced. If world oil consumption continues to increase at an average rate of 1.4 percent a year, and no further resources are discovered and no improvements are made in the technology used to recover oil, the world’s supply will not be exhausted until 2056.
These estimates do not include unconventional oil resources that require additional processing to extract liquid petroleum. Oil production from tar sands in Canada and South America would add about 600 billion barrels to the world’s supply and rocks found in the three western states of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone contain 1,500 billion barrels of oil. Worldwide, the oil-shale reserves could be as large as 14,000 billion barrels — more than 500 years of oil supply at year 2000 production rates.(Walter's emphasis)
It is true that in the long run, an economy that utilizes petroleum as a primary energy source is not sustainable. However, sustainability is a chimera. Every technology since the birth of civilization has been replaced as people devised better and more efficient technologies. The history of energy use is largely one of substitution. From wood and whale oil in the 19th century, to coal by the 1890s. Coal remained the world’s largest source of energy until the 1960s.
No one can predict the future, but the world contains enough oil to last beyond 2100. Only fools would try to anticipate what energy sources our descendants will utilize that far in the future. Over the next several decades the world likely will continue to see short-term spikes in the price of oil, but these will be caused by political instability and market interference — not an irreversible decline in supply.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have hundreds of years of reserves.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have hundreds of years of reserves.

Still rubbish. If the above were true it would be bad news because the oil companies would want to use it up as fast as possible. In just twenty years, how many cars do you think there will be in China, and India?
My understanding is that conventional oil is drying up, but there is a glut in non-conventional sources like the tar sand and oil shale. Premium prices make non-conventional sources look quite juicy to the big wigs.

Big wigs with rigs, big wigs on digs. The dangers of pot smoking...
Here's a (partial) list of the
specific glaciers that are growing:
  • NORWAY Ålfotbreen Glacier
    Briksdalsbreen Glacier
    Nigardsbreen Glacier
    Hardangerjøkulen Glacier
    Hansebreen Glacier
    Jostefonn Glacier
    Engabreen glacier (The Engabreen glacier
    is the second largest glacier in Norway. It is a
    part (a glacial tongue) of the Svartisen glacier,
    which has steadily increased in mass since the
    1960s when heavier winter precipitation set in.)
  • Norway's glaciers growing at record pace. The face of the Briksdal glacier, an off-shoot of the largest glacier in Norway and mainland Europe, is growing by an average 7.2 inches (18 centimeters) per day. (From the Norwegian daily Bergens Tidende.) See (external - login to view)
    Click here to see mass balance of Norwegian glaciers: (external - login to view)Choose "English" (at top of the page), choose "Water,"
    then "Hydrology,"then "Glaciers and Snow" from the menu.
    You'll see a list of all significant glaciers in Norway.
    (Thanks to Leif-K. Hansen for this info.)
    Helm Glacier
    Place Glacier
    Antizana 15 Alpha Glacier
    Silvretta Glacier
<UL type=disc>RUSSIA
Maali Glacier (This glacier is surging. See below)

GREENLAND See Greenland Icecap Growing Thicker (external - login to view)
Greenland glacier advancing 7.2 miles per year!<SPAN style="mso-bidi-font-size: 9.0pt">The BBC recently ran a documentary, The Big Chill, saying that we could be on the verge of an ice age. Britain could be heading towards an Alaskan-type climate within a decade, say scientists, because the Gulf Stream is being gradually cut off. The Gulf Stream keeps temperatures unusually high for such a northerly latitude.

All 48 glaciers in the Southern Alps have grown during the past year.
The growth is at the head of the glaciers, high in the mountains, where they
gained more ice than they lost. Noticeable growth should be seen at the
foot of the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers within two to three years.(27 May 2003)
Fox, Franz Josef glaciers defy trend - New Zealand's two best-known
glaciers are still on the march
- 31 Jan 07 - See Franz Josef Glacier (external - login to view)

    Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier (the largest glacier in Patagonia)
    is advancing at the rate of 7 feet per day. The 250 km² ice formation,
    30 km long, is one of 48 glaciers fed by the Southern Patagonian Ice
    Field. This ice field, located in the Andes system shared with Chile,
    is the world's third largest reserve of fresh water. (external - login to view)

    - Chile's Pio XI Glacier (the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere)
    is also growing.

    - Colorado (scroll down to see AP article)
    - Washington (Mount St. Helens, Mt. Rainier* and Mt. Shuckson)
    (scroll down to see photo of Mt. Baker)
    - California
    (Mount Shasta - scroll down for info) - Montana (scroll down for info)
    - Alaska (Mt. McKinley and Hubbard).
    (scroll down to see article on Hubbard Glacier)
  • Mount St. Helens glacier (Crater Glacier) growing 50 feet per yearSeptember 20, 2004 - See Mount St. Helens (external - login to view)
  • Glaciers growing on California's Mount Shasta!
    12 Oct 03 - See Mount Shasta Glaciers Growing (external - login to view)
  • Geologists Unexpectedly Find 100 Glaciers in Colorado
    7 Oct 01 See Colorado Glaciers Growing (external - login to view)
  • Washington's Nisqually Glacier is Growing
    See Nisqually Glacier (external - login to view)
  • Glaciers in Montana's Glacier Park on the verge of growing
    5 Oct 2002. See Glacier Park (external - login to view)
  • Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing thicker
    Antarctic Icecap Growing Thicker (external - login to view)See construction crane buried in the Antarctic Ice Sheet (external - login to view)
* * *
Himalayan Glaciers Not Shrinking
Glacial Experts Question Theory of Global Warming

15 Feb 07 - See Himalayan Glaciers Not Shrinking
(external - login to view).
Many people have asked why some glaciers in South America are melting. I think it is perfectly understandable. Remember, we have had two of the strongest El Ninos on record during the past 21 years. During an El Nino, a narrow band of the Pacific Ocean warms by as much as 14 degrees. This band of warm water travels east essentially along the equator until it slams into South America.
It seems logical that the increased rainfall caused by El Nino, plus the warmer winds blowing across the warmer water, could hasten glacial melt. But let me say it again. I do not believe that this is caused by humans, I think it is caused by the El Nino phenomenon, which is caused by underwater volcanism, which is increasing due to the ice-age cycle.
With this said, let me point out many glaciers in South America remain stable, and some - including the Pio XI Glacier and the Perito Moreno Glacier - are growing. The Pio XI Glacier is the largest glacier in the southern hemisphere. The Moreno Glacier is the largest glacier in Patagonia.
I find it curious that news reports do not mention these two glaciers.
* * *
Contrary to previous reports, Arctic ice did not thin during the 1990s, say researchers at the Department of Oceanography at Göteborg University in Göteborg, Sweden. (external - login to view)
. Alaska Glacier Surges-17 Mar 06
McGinnis Glacier (external - login to view)
Look at what's happening on Mt. Baker, in Washington State.
(Mt. Baker is near Mt. Shukson, where glaciers are now growing.)

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?
Click here to read this in Espanol: (external - login to view)
Thanks to Eduardo Ferreyra, who translated this material into
Spanish for the Argentinean Foundation for a Scientific Ecology.)

Photo by Mazz Terrell
19 July 2000

See also Growing_Glaciers (external - login to view)
See also Greenland Icecap Growing Thicker (external - login to view)
and Antarctic Icecap Growing Thicker (external - login to view)
Whatever anomalies we find out there, the trend, worldwide, is that glaciers are melting....or have melted.

Most of Earth's 160,000 glaciers have been slowly shrinking and thinning for more than a century as the climate warms up from both natural causes and human activity.
But scientists say the melt rate has accelerated dramatically since the mid-1990s, which was the hottest decade in a thousand years, according to data from ancient ice cores and tree rings. (external - login to view)
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

...the mid-1990s, which was the hottest decade in a thousand years, according to data from ancient ice cores and tree rings. (external - login to view)

If it was warmer before why do you and all the other scaremongers insist it's us humans causing it? If warming had never occurred before you would have an arguement, but as it has happened many times before the scaremongering is just another way to control the masses.
Who decides how much oil is still under ground?
Would they alter those numbers to provide a favourable outcome when they are announced?
Does Big Oil have enough control over government to provide the leverage needed to pass favourable laws to their industry?
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

If it was warmer before why do you and all the other scaremongers insist it's us humans causing it? If warming had never occurred before you would have an arguement, but as it has happened many times before the scaremongering is just another way to control the masses.

It has been warmer before, but that means nothing for the current trends. For the most part, Milankovich cycles have been the drivers of earth's climate. Examining the climate record there are three aberrations which cannot be explained by those cycles. They are found at geological boundaries, and date back 55, 34 and 22 million years. For our purposes the 55 million year anomaly is the interesting one because it was a period of rapid warming, a great extinction event.

Commonalities to todays science, at that geological boundary, sediment in the ocean tells us that the ocean was very acidic, a trend we can observe today with increasing CO2 concentrations. This warming event is marked by a sudden increase in GHG concentrations. Norwegian scientists believe they know where the gas came from. A great reserve of hydrocarbons on the sea floor were released, as the crust cracked, magma flowed forth and ignited the gas, mostly methane. This is a fairly new finding.

Differences between then and now, Earth was already warm, and warmed further still, we are not so warm, and warming further still. We have more to lose as there are more cold-adapted species which we depend on.

If you want to examine more recent warming trends, like the warming which brought us out of the last ice age, that was a warming of 5 degrees in ten millenia, the fastest in recent history, that is until the last 200 years. Comparing the warming now to then, we are warming 30 times faster than the warming which started the glacial retreat.
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

If it was warmer before why do you and all the other scaremongers insist it's us humans causing it? If warming had never occurred before you would have an arguement, but as it has happened many times before the scaremongering is just another way to control the masses.

Walter, do some serious reading about global warming. It is obvious you don't know the first thing about it. Meteorologists from a hundred and thirty countries worked for years studying the global climate situation. The results of those studies suggested that the Earth was warming up and that the seven or eight trillion tons of carbon that we have dumped into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution is the likely culprit. No politics. No scaremongering. Just the hard, cold numbers. There can be no doubt that the Earth is warming up, nor can there be any doubt that that warming is accelerating. Among the predictions made by the scientists was that there would be more severe storms and extreme weather. That prediction is being confirmed almost every day since there are storms and flooding all over the continent. If you want to discuss this in a reasonable way, fine. If not, find another topic.
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

If you want to discuss this in a reasonable way, fine. If not, find another topic.

Does reasonable mean agreeing with you? What kind of a discussion would it be if everyone was of the same mind? Sounds like a union meeting.
Last edited by Walter; Jun 20th, 2007 at 06:21 AM..Reason: typo
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Does reasonable means agreeing with you? What kind of a discussion would it be if everyone was of the same mind? Sounds like a union meeting.

Not at all. A reasonable discussion is one where you do enough research to know what you are talking about and present your argument in a reasonable manner without the name calling. The idea is for everyone to enjoy the experience.
Phil B
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Differences between then and now, Earth was already warm, and warmed further still, we are not so warm, and warming further still. We have more to lose as there are more cold-adapted species which we depend on.

Surely most species that we rely on are more moderate temperature adapted species rather than cold adapted - I assumed you meant land species that we in the Western Hemisphere use for food, cows, sheep, chickens etc.- or have I misunderstood you Tonington?
Quote: Originally Posted by UnforgivenView Post

Who decides how much oil is still under ground?

Nobody decides. It is a geological fact.


Would they alter those numbers to provide a favourable outcome when they are announced?

To the upside if they did, as Shell did, because it helps their stock price to do so.


Does Big Oil have enough control over government to provide the leverage needed to pass favourable laws to their industry?

Big Oil has lobbyists? I didn't know that!
Quote: Originally Posted by Phil BView Post

Surely most species that we rely on are more moderate temperature adapted species rather than cold adapted - I assumed you meant land species that we in the Western Hemisphere use for food, cows, sheep, chickens etc.- or have I misunderstood you Tonington?

I guess I should explain myself a little better. Colder in relation. I'd say species arriving after the heat wave 55 million years ago would be better equipped to handle the cool climate in comparison to the large reptiles.

Our species goes back 2.4 million years, but we only started to really populate and change the face of our planet 10-12,000 years ago. Until that point we were trying to survive by hunting and gathering food. We didn't evolve anymore, we just had a climate where leisure and a full belly could lend themselves to innovation and baby making.
Quote: Originally Posted by ToroView Post

Nobody decides. It is a geological fact.

It's estimated. While it's literally true that "what is, is" the question is whose estimate is taken as gospel?


To the upside if they did, as Shell did, because it helps their stock price to do so.

Shouldn't that sort of thing be considered bad?


Big Oil has lobbyists? I didn't know that!

Lobbyists are one thing, but do they have a government to control the people, and perhaps even more importantly, the law?

Behavior of World's Glaciers Fails to Prove Global Warming Theory

by John Carlisle

Global warming theory proponents have resorted to the politics of fear to drive their point home. They argue that man-made greenhouse gases are already causing the world's glaciers to melt, causing sea levels to rise and threatening humanity with a multitude of economic and environmental calamities. A recent Smithsonian Institution exhibit on climate change, for instance, included a depiction of the Washington Monument partially submerged in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving visitors with the distinct impression that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions now if we want our descendants to be able to visit the famous monument. But such scenarios belong in the realm of science fiction, not science fact.

Glaciers Are Inaccurate Barometers of Climate Change
Global warming theorists argue that examples of receding glaciers, primarily those located in the mid-latitude regions of the planet, provide evidence that climate change caused by human activities is underway. But glaciers are poor barometers of global climate change.
Glaciers are influenced by a variety of local and regional natural phenomena that scientists do not fully comprehend. Besides temperature changes, glaciers also respond to changes in the amount and type of precipitation, changes in sea level and changes in ocean circulation patterns.1 As a result, glaciers do not necessarily advance during colder weather and retreat during warmer weather.
A major obstacle to linking glacial behavior to global warming is that mountain glaciers, the types of glaciers found in places like Switzerland and the United States, are especially difficult to understand due to the complex topography of mountain areas. Furthermore, Global Climate Circulation Models (GCMs) used by global warming theory proponents to forecast future climate, including the climate's effect on glaciers, have been notoriously inaccurate. NASA scientist James Hansen, the man who helped ignite the global warming debate in the United States in the late 1980s, admitted last year that it was impossible to come up with reliable climate models because there is too much about the climate that scientists don't understand.2
Those same inaccurate GCMs have been even less reliable when it comes to assessing the impact of warming on mountain glaciers. According to Professor Martin Beniston of the Institute of Geography at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, "Numerous climatological details of mountains are overlooked by the climate models." This makes it difficult to predict the consequences of global warming on glaciers. Beniston says it is "difficult to estimate the exact response of glaciers to global warming, because glacier dynamics are influenced by numerous factors other than climate, even though temperature and cloudiness may be the dominant controlling factors. According to the size, exposure and altitude of glaciers, different response times can be expected for the same climatic forcing."
That may explain why there are several Swiss glaciers that are advancing even though Switzerland has experienced a decade of mild winters, warmer summers and less rainfall.3
Other scientists agree that it is unwise to look to glaciers for evidence of global warming. Keith Echelmeyer, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute, says, "To make a case that glaciers are retreating, and that the problem is global warming, is very hard to do... The physics are very complex. There is much more involved than just the climate response." Echelmeyer points out that in Alaska there are large glaciers advancing in the very same areas where others are retreating.4
Dr. Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University agrees that the response of glaciers to global temperatures can be difficult to predict. "Glaciers do odd things sometimes," observes Alley. "They flow fast, then slow down... You could anthropomorphize [apply human characteristics to] them and say they have a mind of their own."
Vice President Al Gore would have done well to remember this point before he held a major press conference in 1997 announcing that the century-long retreat of the Grinnel Glacier in Montana's Glacier National Park was caused by global warming.
Size appears to be one of the most significant determinants in the response time of glaciers to climate change. Basically, the larger a glacier, the longer it takes to be affected by climate change. For example, it would take a polar ice sheet 10,000-100,000 years to respond to any global warming that might be occurring now. A large mountain glacier would take 1,000 to 10,000 years to respond to warming today, while a small mountain glacier would take 100 to 1,000 years to respond.5 Thus, one explanation for some glaciers retreating today is that they are responding to natural warming that occurred either during the Medieval Warm Period in the 11th century or to an even warmer period that occurred 6,000 years ago.
Global warming theory proponents point to the retreat of glaciers in the mid-latitude regions of the planet - areas where the United States, Europe and Africa are located - as evidence of human-induced global warming. As mentioned above, these mid-latitude glaciers cannot be used as reliable indicators of global climate change given that they are affected by a complex mixture of local and regional phenomena. By focusing so much attention on these glaciers, however, one gets the distinct impression that global warming theory proponents are deliberately picking glaciers to analyze that support their thesis that global warming is underway while ignoring those glaciers that don't support their theory.
In May 1998, for example, scientists at the University of Colorado at Boulder released a study purporting to show that glaciers are in headlong retreat due to global warming. According to one of the study's authors, Professor Mark Meier: "In the last century, there has been a significant decrease in the area and volume of glaciers, especially at mid- and low-latitudes... The disappearance of glacier ice is more pronounced than we previously had thought." To support this claim, Meier noted that Africa's Mount Kenya had lost 92% of its mass over the last 100 years while Spain's glaciers had fallen in number from 27 in 1980 to just 13 today.6
Because glaciers respond to a variety of phenomena and glaciers in warmer regions tend to be more susceptible to these phenomena, it is unwise to point to a loss of ice volume in vulnerable mid-latitude glaciers to draw ambitious conclusions about alleged warming worldwide.
More important, any melting of mid-latitude glaciers that has occurred has had little effect on sea levels. This is because mid-latitude glaciers represent a mere 6% of the world's total ice mass while Antarctica and Greenland glaciers represent the other 94% of the ice mass. As even the University of Colorado study noted, there is no evidence that
the glacial ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland are melting. Nevertheless, the study suggested that alleged melting of the mid-latitude ice was enough to cause a major sea level increase because the water from mid-latitude glaciers would be "recycled more quickly" than water from polar glaciers.7 This conclusion is suspect, however, since some of the glaciers in the mid-latitude region are advancing and glaciers currently in retreat could very easily start advancing again. The fact that mid-latitude glaciers are not uniformly retreating coupled with the fact that they represent only 6% of the world's glacial ice strongly argues against the claim that these glaciers are contributing to a rise in sea level. If there is going to be any major sea level increase, it is going to have to come from the melting of the Antarctica and Greenland ice sheets.

Although the Colorado study did not allege that the Antarctic ice sheets are in retreat, other global warming proponents have made such claims. This is understandable from their perspective since a theoretical meltdown of the world's ice caps has the potential to scare the public into supporting major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Study, a project of the National Science Foundation, if all of the world's ice melted, the sea level would rise by 235 feet.8 NOVA, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's science program, estimates that the melting of the Antarctic ice sheets alone would raise the oceans by 187 feet. One hundred seventy feet of this rise would be caused by the melting of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet while just 17 feet of this rise would be caused by melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. But the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is considered stable and not threatened by warming because it rests on land above sea level, making any significant sea level rise unlikely.9 The West Antarctic Ice
Sheet, however, has attracted the attention of global warming theory proponents because it rests mostly below sea level where it is allegedly more sensitive to any global warming that may occur.10 The balance of scientific evidence suggests that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet isn't melting either.
To begin with, the Antarctic is extremely cold with a high average temperature of just -56°F. Even if the Antarctic temperatures did rise a few degrees, they wouldn't be high enough to melt the glaciers as the temperatures would still be well below - 87°F below - freezing. The latest GCMs predict warming of just 1-3°F by 2100, still leaving the Antarctic bitterly cold. Furthermore, the Antarctic ice sheet is very large, and thus it takes a long time for the ice sheet to respond to warming. For instance, it would take the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 50,000 years to react to any warming that may be occurring now - so the world is not in any imminent danger of a catastrophic flood.11
So what does the scientific evidence say about a human-induced shrinking of the Antarctic today?
In December 1998, an international team of scientists announced that after analyzing five years of satellite radar measurements, they concluded that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is not melting rapidly. The scientists determined that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has actually been stable for the last 100 years - precisely when global warming theory proponents insist human-induced warming should have been causing the glaciers to retreat. Dr. C.K Shum, an Ohio State University professor who participated in the study, said that while the team assumed that global warming was underway, they found no evidence that this purported warming was affecting the Antarctic ice sheet.12
In October 1998, the British Antarctic Survey also announced that it had found no evidence of global warming on the continent. The study noted that it did find 3-4°F of warming on the Antarctic Peninsula over the last 50 years, but that there was no evidence that this localized warming was the result of global warming. The scientists believed it more likely that the origins of the warming "could be found in regional mechanisms."
The survey also analyzed the behavior of two major ice shelves, the Ross and Filchner-Ronne shelves, for any retreat. Again, the study concluded that "it is no longer clear that the small warming that is predicted to result from anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases is likely to cause a retreat" of those ice shelves. On the more vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet, scientists likewise concluded that the "dramatic vision of a rapid collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet resulting from atmospheric warming is becoming less acceptable."13
The Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre, a scientific union of the Australian Antarctic Division, the Bureau of Meteorology, the Australian Geological Survey Organization, and the University of Tasmania, released a position statement in April 1997 announcing that it is "very unlikely" that the Antarctic ice sheet will melt enough to cause a significant rise in sea level. Even more interesting, the report stated that over the next one to two centuries, "it is probable that greater snowfall on Antarctica" will outweigh any loss of ice due to warmer ocean water - thus causing the Antarctic ice sheet to expand.14
The prospect that the Antarctic ice sheet is expanding was also noted by the British Antarctic Survey. The British scientists concluded that it is possible that the Antarctic expansion was actually counteracting a rise in sea level.15 Indeed, many other scientists have concluded that even if the world continues to get warmer, whether human-induced or naturally, the Antarctic ice sheet would grow because warming increases the amount of precipitation which leads to increased snowfall in the polar regions.
Indeed, it seems that historically the Antarctic glaciers have frequently expanded during warm conditions. A study by E.W. Domack, A.J.T. Jull and S. Nakao on the history of glacial expansions in Antarctica found that over the past 10,000 years, several glaciers expanded during conditions that were a lot warmer than today.
This uncomfortable fact has not escaped the attention of environmentalists, some of whom are now arguing that glacial expansion supports the global warming theory. Greenpeace's Climate Impacts Database now cites the Domack study in an effort to link the expansion of the Antarctic ice cap with man-made global warming. The summation of the study notes that "the new data suggest strongly that Antarctica's response to future warming will be an increase in mass balance."16 Of course, now they can't claim that the sea level is rising since expansion lowers the level. Nevertheless, environmental groups still make contradictory claims about apocalyptic sea level rises in their haste to mobilize public opinion to stop greenhouse gas emissions.

Like the Antarctic, the Greenland ice sheets show no evidence of receding due to alleged global warming. The record shows that the Arctic region where Greenland is located is cooling despite the fact that, under global warming models, it should be the first area of the planet to show significant temperature increases. According to these models, the polar regions should have warmed 2-5°F since 1940. But between 1955 and 1990, the Arctic cooled by 1°F and Greenland's glaciers actually expanded. According to the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters, the West Greenland Ice Sheet, the largest mass of polar ice in the Northern Hemisphere, has thickened by up to seven feet since 1980.17
Furthermore, some scientists believe that atmospheric circulation, not temperature, has been the greatest influence on the accumulation of snow and ice in central Greenland for the past 18,000 years. In an article that appeared in Nature magazine in 1995, the authors explained that changes in the way storms move across the island play the key role in how glaciers will thicken or recede.18

There is no indication that the world's glaciers are melting significantly due to global warming and, thus, there is little to fear from sea level rises in coming decades. Proponents of the global warming theory have been irresponsible in attempting to use glaciers as barometers of global temperatures since glaciers respond to a range of natural phenomena that have nothing to do with global temperature changes. In addition, the advance of the Antarctic and Greenland glaciers, which contain more than 90% of the world's glacial ice, completely contradicts previous predictions that warming would cause these glaciers to retreat. Far from providing scientific proof of global warming, the behavior of glaciers represents yet another powerful indictment of the already controversial global warming theory.

John K. Carlisle is director of The National Center for Public Policy Research's Environmental Policy Task Force.


1 Dr. Martin Beniston, "Climatic Change and its Consequences for Mountain Regions," Institute of Geography, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, 1996.
2 "NASA's Hansen Recants on Warming," Electricity Daily, November 19, 1998.
3 Beniston.
4 "Gore's Defense of Glacier Tourism Trivializes Global Warming Debate," press release, Science and Environmental Policy Project (external - login to view), September 2, 1997.
5 "How Do Glaciers Deal With Environmental Change?" article downloaded January 21, 1999 from the GLACIER web site of the National Science Foundation at (external - login to view).
6 "World's Glaciers Continue to Shrink," press release, University of Colorado at Boulder, May 26, 1998.
7 Ibid.
8 "What is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," article downloaded January 19, 1999 from the GLACIER web site of the National Science Foundation.
9 "Water World," NOVA Online, Warnings From the Ice, downloaded January 19, 1999 from (external - login to view).
10 "What is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet," article downloaded January 19, 1999 from the GLACIER website of the National Science Foundation at (external - login to view).
11 Ibid.
12 "West Antarctic Ice Sheet Not In Jeopardy," Environmental News Network, December 1, 1998.
13 "Antarctica: Climate Change and Sea Level," Ice and Climate Division, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, October 1998.
14 "Global Change, Antarctica and Sea Level," Position Statement, Antarctica Research Centre, April 1997.
15 "Antarctica: Climate Change and Sea Level," Ice and Climate Division, British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK, October 1998.
16 Advance of East Antarctic Outlet Glaciers during the Hypsithermal," E.W. Domack, A.J.T. Jull and S. Nakao, Summary downloaded January 6, 1999 from Greenpeace Climate Impacts Database, (external - login to view).
17 Patrick Michaels, "Post Fans Administration's Pre-Kyoto Fires," World Climate Report, December 13, 1997.
18 "Dominant Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on Snow Accumulation in Greenland over the Past 18,000 Years," W.R. Kapsner et. al., Summary downloaded on January 21, 1999 from the web site of the Global Change Research Information Office at (external - login to view).
www.worldviewofglobalwarming..../glaciers.html (external - login to view)

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