By Steven Goddard
Now that Arctic ice area is normal, Antarctic ice area is normal, sea level rise is failing to accelerate, temperatures are below all of Hansen’s scenarios, and the IPCC has proven itself to be untrustworthy – where can the CAGW religion go? Simple … Montana!
According to Dan Fagre if the melting continues at its present rate then towards the end of another decade therewould be no more glaciers left in the Glacier Park. The glaciers of the park have been melting since 1850. The Glacier National Park at the beginning boasted of 150 glaciers of which 37 glaciers were eventually named.
You can’t currently get into much of Glacier National Park because there is too much snow, but if you could you would see something like this.
Later in the year you would see this :
Note the steep sided cliffs, formed by glaciers thousands of feet deep. Is it possible that glaciers thousands of feet thick melted since 1850, as the news stories claim? Of course not. The USGS has a good article titled “History of Glaciers in Glacier National Park” :
The history of glaciation within current Glacier National Park boundaries spans centuries of glacial growth and recession, carving the features we see today.
They suggest that the current glaciers mainly formed during the LIA (Little Ice Age)
These modest glaciers varied in size, tracking climatic changes, but did not grow to their Holocene maximum size until the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) around A.D. 1850. While they may not have formed in their entirety during the LIA, their maximum perimeters can be documented through mapping of lateral and terminal moraines.
The size of the glaciers in 1850 was an anomaly during the Holocene :
Climate reconstructions representative of the Glacier National Park region extend back multiple centuries and show numerous long-duration drought and wet periods that influenced the mass balance of glaciers (Pederson et al. 2004). Of particular note was an 80-year period (~1770-1840) of cool, wet summers and above-average winter snowfall that led to a rapid growth of glaciers just prior to the end of the LIA. Thus, in the context of the entire Holocene, the size of glaciers at the end of the LIA was an anomaly of sorts. In fact, the large extent of ice coverage removed most of the evidence of earlier glacier positions by overriding terminal and lateral moraines.
The current glaciers started to recede long before the invention of the SUV.
Tree-ring based climate records and historic photographs indicate the initiation of frontal recession and ice mass thinning between A.D. 1860 and 1880.
“Dramatic recession” occurred between 1917 and 1941. This was before the invention of the Hummer and the Soccer Mom. Hansen wasn’t even born yet.
The coupling of hot, dry summers with substantial decreases in winter snowpack (~30% of normal) produced dramatic recession rates as high as 100 m/yr from A.D. 1917-1941 (Pederson et al. 2004). These multidecadal episodes have substantially impacted the mass balance of glaciers since A.D. 1900.
Summer temperatures in Montana have not changed for over the past 80 years. Summer is when the snow melts.
Winter precipitation has not changed in Montana since 1930. Winter is when the snow falls.
Conclusion: there is little if any evidence tying the changes in Montana glaciers to CO2. Glaciers were a mile deep there during the last ice age, and have been receding and growing in cycles ever since. They may have been completely gone after the MWP and reformed during the LIA. Once again, climate alarmists have chosen a flawed poster child.
This pattern is similar to what was seen at Glacier Bay, Alaska, where most of the glacial melt occurred between 1850 and 1900.
Montana is the location of the latest CAGW pilgrimage, after Copenhagen got snowed out. Where next?