The Portland State University study of shrinking Mt. Adams glaciers—a good example of bad science.

English: Mount Adams, Washington, United State...

Mount Adams, Washington, United States, as seen from Hood River, Oregon. - Image via Wikipedia

By Don J. Easterbrook, Dept. of Geology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

The recent Portland State University study of glaciers on Mt. Adams by is a good example of bad science, i.e., how a dogmatic bias and selectively leaving out contrary factual data can lead to bad conclusions. As an exercise in critical thinking, I used to have my graduate students take a paper like this apart, piece by piece, to show any scientific errors. Here is an analysis of bad assumptions and errors in the Mt. Adams study.

First, what are the basic contentions in this study?

  1. Washington’s gradually warming temperatures have caused Mount Adams [glaciers] to shrink by nearly half since 1904.
  2. The Mt. Adams glaciers are receding faster than those of nearby sister volcanoes.
  3. The glacier recession is another sign of gradually warming temperatures.
  4. The study lends urgency to an earlier federal report that shows the water content of Cascade Mountain snowpacks could dwindle by as much as 50 percent by the 2070s.

Let’s take a careful look at each of these. Have the Mt. Adams glaciers indeed shrunk by nearly half since 1904? How do we prove such a statement? The best way is to have photographic evidence of where the glacier termini were in 1904 and where they are now. For the moment, let’s assume they have shrunk significantly since 1904. But the rest of the conclusion (gradually warming temperatures have caused them to shrink) isn’t a logical consequence of smaller glaciers. Two important aspects of this question are (1) has the climate gradually warmed over the past 100 years and (2) what were the glaciers doing before 1904?

The answer to the question, has the climate gradually warmed over the past 100 years, is no, the climate has not gradually warmed—it has oscillated back and forth between warm and cool periods four times during the past century (Figure 1), and the glaciers have fluctuated back and forth with the climate changes. The inference that the Mt. Adams glaciers began to retreat near the turn of the past century and have gradually shrunk because of gradual warming due to increased CO2 is false.

image

Figure 1. The climate during the past century has fluctuated through two periods of global warming and two periods of global cooling. Each time the climate cooled, the glaciers advanced; each time the climate warmed, they retreated.

The answer to the question, what were the glaciers doing immediately prior to 1904 is that they were strongly advancing during the 1880 to 1915 cool period, and many reached terminal positions close to their maximum extent during the Little Ice Age (1300 AD to this century) (Figure 2). Most of the subsequent retreat of the glaciers occurred during the following warm period from 1915 to 1945, well before CO2 began to rise sharply after 1945.

image

Figure 2. Position of glacier termini of the Easton and Deming glaciers on Mt. Baker (another Cascade volcano similar to Mt. Adams). The glacier termini in 1906 were close to their maximum Little Ice Age extent because of 30 years of strong climatic cooling from 1880 to about 1915. The recent glacier termini are at their minimum extent because of the preceding 20 years (1978 to 1998) of climatic warming.

image

Figure 3. Successive positions of the terminus of the Deming glacier on Mt. Baker from the Little Ice Age to 1979. Each of these terminal positions corresponds to strong readvances of ice during periods of climatic cooling, separated by periods of glacial recession. The climate has been generally warming for 500 years coming out of the Little Ice Age, well before atmospheric CO2 began to rise after 1945, and has been characterized by alternating periods of warming and cooling to the present, not gradually warming because of increased CO2. The glaciers on Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams show similar fluctuations.

Let’s look at the second contention–Mt. Adams glaciers are receding faster than those of nearby sister volcanoes. The advance and retreat of glaciers on two of those sister volcanoes, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier, has been well documented (Figure 4) (see references in Easterbrook 2011 and 2010).

image

Figure 4a. Advance of more than 1 km of the Emmons glacier terminus on Mt. Rainer glacier from 1956 to 1979.

image

Figure 4b. Advance of the Easton from 1958 to 1984.

Glaciers on Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker advanced strongly during the 1880 to 1915 cool period, retreated strongly during the 1915 to 1945 warm period, advanced again during the 1945 to 1977 cool period, and retreated during the 1978 to 1998 warm period. The contention that Mt. Adams glaciers are retreating faster than those on nearby volcanoes and that they have been retreating gradually since 1904 is false. Glaciers on Mt. Adams have not been gradually retreating and are ‘not retreating faster than the others’–all of these volcanoes have fluctuated strongly back and forth during each period of warming and cooling.

The third contention of the study, that glacier recession is another sign of gradually warming temperatures is only partially true. Although climatic warming does indeed cause glacier recession, the inference that gradual warming has caused gradual glacier retreat since 1904 is not true. The glaciers have clearly been periodically advancing as well as retreating.

The fourth contention of the study, that the study lends urgency to an earlier federal report that shows the water content of Cascade Mountain snowpacks could dwindle by as much as 50 percent by the 2070s is totally unfounded. It assumes (1) that gradual climatic warming dating back to 1904 will continue at a constant rate until 2070, (2) that the supposed warming is continuous, (3) that the climate will continue to warm, and (4) that it is caused by increasing atmospheric CO2. The first assumption of gradual warming since 1904 has been shown above to be incorrect—there have been warming and cooling periods that have caused glaciers not only to retreat, but also to advance during this time. The assumption that the climate is presently warming is also not true–in fact, the climate has been cooling slightly since 2000, not warming, so projecting continuous gradual warming into the future is not warranted.

image

Figure 5. Winter temperatures in the US over the past decade. Note that temperatures in the Pacific NW have cooled at a rate of 2.22° F per decade, not warmed.

The assumption that CO2 is causing climatic warming is also not true. Much of the glacial retreat was caused by climatic warming that occurred from 1915 to 1945, well before atmospheric CO2 began to rise sharply, so this warming cannot be attributed to rising CO2. In addition, the glacier re-advance from 1945 to 1977 was caused by climatic cooling during the same time that CO2 was rising most rapidly, just the opposite of what should have happened if CO2 caused climatic warming.

So what credence can be given to the contention that Cascade Mountain snowpacks could dwindle by as much as 50 percent by the 2070s? Temperatures in the Pacific NW have been cooling over the past decade, not warming (Figure 5, 6) and the snowpack in 2010 was about 70-200% above normal. In the late summer of 2011, some areas normally snow-free were still covered with 30 feet of snow. Thus, the conclusion of Cascade snowpacks declining by 50% by the 2070s is not credible.

image

Figure 6. The trend of global temperature since 2001 has been cooling at a rate of -4.0°C (-7°F) per century. Computer models had predicted a 1°F rise in temperature during this same period—that did not happen, showing that the computer models are invalid.

Summary

  1. Rather than glacial retreat since 1904 due to gradual warming, glaciers have advanced and retreated four times in the past century.
  2. Glacier termini advanced from 1945 to 1977 during the time of most sharply rising atmospheric CO2,. showing that rising CO2 does not cause climatic warming.
  3. Glacier recession on Mt. Adams does not prove a gradually warming temperature.
  4. No climatic warming has occurred during the past decade. Instead a cooling trend of -7° F per century has occurred.
  5. Cooling during the past decade is not consistent with a claim of 50% reduction of Cascade snowpack caused by climatic warming.
  6. The 1904 position of glacier termini resulted from strong cooling from 1880 to 1915. Comparing the position of recent minimal glacier termini following 20 years of warming from 1978 to 1998 with 1904 maximum glacier termini gives an exaggerated view of glacier recession.
  7. Because glaciers on Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker advanced and retreated four times in the past century, there is no basis for assuming that glaciers on Mt. Adams are retreating faster than those on nearby volcanoes.

References

Easterbrook, D.J., ed., 2011, Evidence-based climate science: Data opposing CO2 emissions as the primary source of global warming: Elsevier Inc., 416 p.

Easterbrook, D.J., 2011, Geologic evidence of recurring climate cycles and their implications for the cause of global climate changes: The Past is the Key to the Future: in Evidence-Based Climate Science, Elsevier Inc., p.3-51.

Easterbrook, D.J., 2010, A walk through geologic time from Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay, WA: Chuckanut Editions, Bellingham, WA, 329 p.

==============================================================

Addendum:

Something’s odd here. I tried to find the paper, and found references to AP news articles like this one:

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2012/01/glaciers_shrinking_on_mount_ad.html

From that article:

In the first comprehensive study of its kind, a Portland State University study has found Mount Adams’ 12 glaciers have shrunk by nearly half since 1904 and are receding faster than those of nearby sister volcanoes Mount Hood and Mount Rainier.

The link in that AP story on OregonLive.com is to a paper,  Sitts Et Al 2010 …and it’s a dead link.  (It was dead at about midnight last night, it has since been restored)

Found it here: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3955/046.084.0407

And… no mention of a 2012 study in Portland State University news:

http://www.pdx.edu/news

Its like AP recycled old news from a 2010 paper or something.  The closest thing I could find was this on PSU news site from December:

http://www.pdx.edu/news/node/16390

I’m thinking perhaps the reaction in the NW press is to a presentation by Fountain, and not a new paper. If readers can find a more recent 2011/2012 paper that I’ve missed, please leave links in comments. – Anthony

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UPDATE: Don Easterbrook responds to comments, I’ve elevated his response here:

Easterbrook writes: A couple of points of clarification—

1. We’ve been warming up from the Little Ice Age for several hundred years but not at a continuous rate. The figure of the series of moraines in front of the Deming glacier was meant to point out that glaciers have been see-sawing back and forth for centuries but present glaciers are well upvalley from their Little Ice Age maximums as we ‘thaw out’ from the colder climate. Thus, the idea that glaciers have gradually retreated in response to gradual warming the past century and that it will continue until the 2070s is nonsense. Yes, it’s warmer now than during the Little Ice Age, but because CO2 could not have been a factor hundreds of years ago, the warming must be due to natural causes.

2. I agree that projecting a temperature history of one decade 2070 would be ridiculous (actually we can use a much longer historic record to project to 2070). The point here is that the 1978 to 1998 warming trend is over and cannot be projected indefinitely into the 2070s. The cooling experienced over the past decade began with the switch of the eastern Pacific Ocean from its warm mode to its cool mode in 1999. This mode switch, known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has happened four times during the past century and every time the global climate has remained warm or cool for three decades (depending on whether the mode switch was to a warmer or cooler mode). We have been entrenched in a cool PDO mode for the past decade and temperatures have cooled slightly. What we know from this is that we have several more decades of cooling to go before the Pacific switches back into its warm mode. Thus, predicting 50% reduction in Cascade snowpack in the 2070s due to global warming is ridiculous.

3. The main point of my comments is that you can’t look at glacier termini in 1904 after 30 years of cooling and glacier expansion, compare it with present termini after 20 years of warming, and extrapolate that as ‘gradual warming’ over the past century as a continuous process that didn’t begin until CO2 began to rise.

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125 Responses to The Portland State University study of shrinking Mt. Adams glaciers—a good example of bad science.

  1. Les Johnson says:

    Don: I had been replying much the same on the papers website. I used NOAA data just for Washington state, and the temperatures and precipiataions are worse than we thought (TM the Team).

    From my first post, edited slightly for clarity:

    Checking the NOAA records, I see that precipitation, both annual and in the winter, has increased in Washington state since 1895.

    Temperatures are up slightly, about 0.5 deg F per century since 1895, but have been falling at over 17 deg F per century since 2001.

    They may soon start worrying about the glaciers getting longer.

    I thought I should look at 2001-2011 precipitation as well.

    Annual – increasing at about 44 inches per century.
    Winter – increasing at about 22 inches per century. This translates into an increase of about 18 feet of snow.

  2. izen says:

    @ -Don J. Easterbrook,
    Summary
    1) Rather than glacial retreat since 1904 due to gradual warming, glaciers have advanced and retreated four times in the past century.

    But the retreats have all been greater than the advances, therefore the net effect is an overall retreat.

    2) Glacier termini advanced from 1945 to 1977 during the time of most sharply rising atmospheric CO2,. showing that rising CO2 does not cause climatic warming.

    Rising CO2 does cause global warming, but it is not instant or very great for the amount of CO2 rise from 1945-1970 and this is easily offset by natural local variations and changes in rainfall/snowfall patterns that it also causes

    3) Glacier recession on Mt. Adams does not prove a gradually warming temperature.
    No climatic warming has occurred during the past decade. Instead a cooling trend of -7° F per century has occurred.

    A decade is too shaort a time to establish a trend, and quoting a ‘trend’ for around ten years as being a trend of 7 degrees per CENTURY is ridiculous.

    4) Cooling during the past decade is not consistent with a claim of 50% reduction of Cascade snowpack caused by climatic warming.

    But the climate warming (globally not just locally) over the last several decades IS a factor in the reduction in snow pack; irrespective of what has happened in the last decade.

    5) The 1904 position of glacier termini resulted from strong cooling from 1880 to 1915. Comparing the position of recent minimal glacier termini following 20 years of warming from 1978 to 1998 with 1904 maximum glacier termini gives an exaggerated view of glacier recession.

    Have you ANY geological evidence the glacier termini was ever LESS advanced during past warm periods?

    6) Because glaciers on Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker advanced and retreated four times in the past century, there is no basis for assuming that glaciers on Mt. Adams are retreating faster than those on nearby volcanoes.

    Same error as point 1. The relative spread of retreat of the glaciers at different sites may be of local interest. But the bottom line is that all are shrinking faster than at any time on record.

  3. DEEBEE says:

    Two perhaps minor nits. I would have expected a local phenomenon to be compared to local weather, instead of global temperatures. Also since the contention is from 1904 (one can attack the spremacy of this year), going inside the periods factually correct is moving the goalost in terms of criticism.

  4. The Black Adder says:

    How many more times do we have to shout it from the rooftops ??
    Aaaargghh, God, it`s so frustrating!

    AGW is dead in the water.
    Happy New Year y`all !

  5. richard verney says:

    Don J. Easterbrook

    I have only quickly looked at this but why are we looking at global rather than local temperatures?

    What were the local temperatures in and around Mt Adams for the 20th century (preferably as from 1850 onwards so that we can see what may have been happening prior to 1904)?

  6. Mark Smith says:

    It links correctly to the paper. What matters is Washington’s temperatures not Global temperatures (whatever that is). The paper does have a rediculous long gap betwen observations something like 1904 to 1996 and correlate between them ignoring any patterns of nearby mountains. It has some funny average temperatures rather than actual measurements- which beggers the questions why include not the measurements.

  7. David in Georgia says:

    Your comment about the advance of the glacier from 1880 leading to an exaggerated measurement is similar to the problem that I have of warmists always measuring temperature rise from the coldest readings they can find.

    If they want to claim warming from CO2, then they should be able to use the rate of warming from 1910 to 1940 and use the rate of increase in CO2 that we were experiencing at the time as a base. We’d need to gauge current warming against that base to determine if there was any acceleration in the rate of warming compared to the rate of increase in CO2 levels. From what I’ve seen the CO2 levels are climbing more quickly, but the rate of warming is much less.

    The only conclusion I can make from this discrepancy is that additional CO2 has even less effect on temperature than we (the climate scientists) thought. Either that, or the rise in temperature was not caused by the rise in CO2 after all.

    Several online personalities have consistently told me that we’ve warmed by 0.9C due to an increase in CO2. My contention is that either the early increase in CO2 should not have been able to have that much effect, or the latter increase in CO2 should have had much more effect.

    Mostly, people just tell me, “you don’t understand,” and insist that I go back and re-read the published science. I’m getting really tired of that response. They refuse to look logically at the issue, and continue to appeal to authority as if “peer reviewed research” published by the right individuals is the gospel truth, and cannot be questioned.

  8. Girma says:

    Here is how your Figure 1 looks like:

    http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

    Which shows the two global coolings and the two global warmings, including the most recent warming.

  9. John Marshall says:

    Interesting post.

    Nothing is fixed in nature and glaciers are no exception. Warming will cause glacier shortening but also important is precipitation. No snow, no glacier.

    Glaciers do give a steady supply of water from melting but this melting is below at the ice/surface interface and due to geothermal heat. Water needed to top up aquifers for the summer comes from snowmelt not the glacier.

  10. FergalR says:

    Seems to be this:

    http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.3955/046.084.0407

    REPLY: Yes, that’s a 2010 paper, so why all the AP and newspaper stories about it now? – Anthony

  11. A physicist says:

    Anthony, by far the most comprehensive, up-to-date source for data relating to PNW glaciers is the 25-year North Cascade Glacier Climate Project.

    Who would have thought glacial ice-worms are real, for example?

    Comprehensive data sets describing both glacier area and glacier mass can be found on this massive set of pages, which are warmly recommended to everyone who wants to look at all the Pacific Northwest glacier data, and think for themselves about what it means.

    These North Cascade Glacier Climate Project pages are recommended too for everyone who cares to hike in the beautiful PNW and see for themselves what’s happening to the ice… the members of the 104-year-old Seattle-based Mountaineers — who intimately know and love the local mountains — think very highly of these web pages, and often volunteer to help scientists in compiling this data.

    So visit the Pacific Northwest, and see for yourself what’s happening! :)

    REPLY: That’s fine but it isn’t the impetus for the blitz of news articles I’m seeking. -A

  12. So its a natural advance and retreat and yet another newspaper derived “science” report?
    Tail wagging the dog methinks.
    Observation – Glaciers are retreating + polar bears like to slide down slopes.
    Supposition: Friction from errant polar bears is warming the glaciers and causing the retreating glaciers.
    Conclusion: We should immediately shoot all polar bears to stop them from destroying the glaciers.

    That fits very neatly together now where do i go for research grant?

  13. higley7 says:

    “before CO2 began to rise sharply after 1945.”

    However, direct chemical bottle CO2 data clearly shows that CO2 was as high or even much higher in the 1940s following the late 1930s warm peak. The assumption that it was consistently low until 1950 is false. Cherry-picked data by the IPCC propagandists produced a 280 ppm “historical average” 1800s CO2 value and the dishonest merging of indirect ice core data with direct Mauna Loa volcano data produced the CO2 hockey stick graph. There is no validity to this graph, particularly as they had to advance the ice core data 84 years to make it merge with the volcano data = patently fraudulent.

    It is important to note, however, that the temperature crashed in the i940s while CO2 was still high, showing clearly that CO2 cannot maintain warm temperatures let alone create them.

  14. Martin Hall says:

    Um. I don’t agree with the author that the temperature “has oscillated back and forth between warm and cool periods”. The sections of Figure 1 that are labelled ‘cool period’ would be better termed ‘coolING period’ – for example, the section 1999-2012 may be cooling (or not – it’s more like a plateau to my eye), but the temperature is higher than the rest of the graph.

    Overall, the temperature has risen over the period shown; in fits and starts, to be sure, but it has slowly risen.

  15. txmichaelaal says:

    Mr. Watts:

    First, let me say that I love your site an read it daily . . . however, I believe your efforts in the current regard are somewhat misplaced. The real problem with this paper lies in the implications, rather than in the assertions.

    As characterized in your post, the assertions are:
    1) Washington’s gradually warming temperatures have caused Mount Adams to shrink by nearly half since 1904.
    2) The Mt. Adams glaciers are receding faster than those of nearby sister volcanoes.
    3) The glacier recession is another sign of gradually warming temperatures.
    4) The study lends urgency to an earlier federal report that shows the water content of Cascade Mountain snowpacks could dwindle by as much as 50 percent by the 2070s.

    You did an excellent job of contesting both Mr Adams’ assertion that the change was “gradual” and that it was unique. Bad Mr. Adams.

    Ultimately, however, it is hard to dispute that the earth is a bit warmer than it was in 1904, as it oscillates its way out of the Little Ice Age at the rate of 1.0 C / century. Unfortunately, the real problem with a paper like this is the implication that such a journey has anything to do with CO2. Based upon your account, it appears Adams did not say that. Instead, he let the unspoken allegation hang in air. You seized upon it, as will so many others.

    I fear we are moving into a land of quasi-truths. Where scientist can avoid the actual allegation, knowing that the media and public will complete the sentence for them. It is a land of implication an innuendo, better occupied by politicians and charlatans than be scientist. Such will be the next five years of this debate.

    REPLY: I never understand how people can miss the author of the post when it isn’t me – Anthony

  16. Nick says:

    Glacier termini advanced from 1945 to 1977 during the time of most sharply rising atmospheric CO2,. showing that rising CO2 does not cause climatic warming.

    ============

    Unless there is a lag.

    However, I don’t believe that there is a massive lag.

  17. James Sexton says:

    Don, thanks for this. I don’t understand the obsession with the remnants of the last ice age. Glacial retreat is a good thing.

    If I had a criticism of the post, it would be the use of HadCrut global temps in a post specific to Washington state. If you were to go here—–> http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/wa.html, you could have a graphic more specific to the location.

  18. Max Hugoson says:

    Fix figure 6 by adding PPM of CO2. Thanks!

    Max

  19. Bernie says:

    Nice critique. If the original article was published in a peer reviewed Journal will they publish this critique?

  20. NetDr says:

    The claim that Mt Adams glaciers have receded faster than surrounding glaciers seems to indicate that global warming is not the cause. Possibly the air is drier or some other cause but since all have been subjected to similar warming the shrinkage should be similar !

  21. climatebeagle says:

    Just curious if figure 1 is relevant to local events, since it represents a global view of temperature shifts? If one plots temperatures from stations local to Mt. Adams how does it compare to glacier loss? I had the same thoughts when visiting Glacier National Park and the claims of warming causing retreat. How does the local climate look over the time period, since (maybe naive) it seemed to me that local events would dominate any global effect. I never found the time to look at the sites around Glacier National Park though.

  22. Juraj V. says:

    The same for Swiss glaciers.

    There was a study published last year, linking their variation to AMO index.

  23. Peter Miller says:

    In ‘climate science’ there is probably a strong correlation between bad science content and the amount of grants received.

    In ‘climate science’ practice, the scarier the story, the worse the science and the greater the grant amounts.

  24. steveta_uk says:

    Not very impressed.

    a) The assertion do not refer to CO2 so why go on about it? Perhaps it’s in the paper referred to, but we have no reference so how could we know.

    b) Figures 4a and 4b have caoptions with dates that to not match the figures.

    c) Figure 6 has a CO2 axis but no corresponding data.

    I think this should be withdrawn and reworked.

    REPLY:
    item B was my fault, not Don’s due to the way the paper was formatted in word it stripped captions from the figures when I imported it, and I accidentally reversed them. Fixed. I’ll leave your spelling error ;-)

    – Anthony

  25. Matt Skaggs says:

    Izen asks:
    “Have you ANY geological evidence [that] the glacier termini [were] ever LESS advanced during past warm periods?”

    Did it occur to you that since photodocumentation only goes back to the late 1800s, the evidence would be, um, under the current glaciers? Those would be cruel working conditions, even for a grad student!

  26. A physicist says:
    A Physicist says: Anthony, by far the most comprehensive, up-to-date source for data relating to PNW glaciers is the 25-year North Cascade Glacier Climate Project.

    Anthony replies: That’s fine but it isn’t the impetus for the blitz of news articles I’m seeking.

    That’s fine too, but strong skepticism always focuses on strong science, while weak skepticism always focuses on weak science.

    Regrettably, there is no shortage of weak science and weak skepticism — on that everyone on the WUWT forum can agree.

    Conversely, any kind of strong skepticism, that seeks to illuminate the effects of climate change upon glaciers in the Pacific Northwest, has to grapple with the strong science of the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project. And we all benefit when strong skepticism grapples with strong science.

    That’s just plain common-sense, right?

    REPLY: From your limited vision, I’m sure your position seems perfectly fine. But Easterbrook isn’t grappling with what you wish, but rather one paper, and a strange two year later media blitz on it. Rather than point away from the article above, why don’t you address it first. So far you’ve only done hand waving to say “look, over here!”

    As we know from experience, consensus heard mentality science doesn’t always mean correct science. Plate tectonics, gastric ulcers, and all that. – Anthony

  27. More Soylent Green! says:

    Is the first graph (historical climate, beginning in 1880) for the Mount Adams region, the USA or is it global?

    We don’t have global data going back that far, and the climate data for the USA shows 1934 as the warmest year on record.

  28. Jim G says:

    The most often cited critique above is lack of “local temperature/ weather conditions” data. I agree. In the end neither the paper nor the response here necessarily has much relevence to climate but rather local conditions and all of the variables which may have influenced that.

  29. “1) Rather than glacial retreat since 1904 due to gradual warming, glaciers have advanced and retreated four times in the past century.”

    Don starts the month with a thousand dollars in the bank
    Don adds 100 dollars four times and Dons wife withdraws 200 dollars 4 times

    Question:is the balance declining?

    Only a thief would say… ‘no.. its advancing and declining….’

  30. More Soylent Green! says:

    Is the first graph (historical climate, beginning in 1880) for the Mount Adams region, the USA or is it global?

    We don’t have global data going back that far, and the climate data for the USA shows 1934 as the warmest year on record. Please clarify.

  31. Jason says:

    Another point I would add to the critique of this paper, is that these kinds of predictions/projections have largely (if not completely) crashed and burned over the last 30 years.

    So what makes this one, or any other new paper any different?

  32. harrywr2 says:

    Yes, that’s a 2010 paper, so why all the AP and newspaper stories about it now?

    That’s a good question, 2011 in the PNW was pretty close to ‘the year without summer’ and the current winter running cooler then normal.

  33. izen on January 11, 2012 at 4:33 am said:

    Izen. Who are you quoting??

  34. Jim Carson says:

    Anthony, why do you let such sloppy science be presented under your name? As others have noted, comparisons of local phenomena with global temperatures are absurd, as is an assertion of -7 degrees F per century from a cherry-picked starting point. And the omission of CO2 data in the graph that purports to show it is childishly sloppy.

    Had this been presented to me for publication, I would have sent it back to Mr. Easterbrook for revision after only a cursory review.

    Like others, I am deeply appreciative of your efforts, especially those that popularize and explain the weaknesses of CAGW. But this post damages, rather than enhances, those efforts.

    REPLY:
    Question for you Jim, did you note the Pacific NW decadal trend map? If so, how is it not relevant to a study done within the scope of the time period (2010) presented in the paper? Every paper cherry picks something. For example, Sitts, Fountain, and Hoffman paper starts at 1900 in their graphs. Why start there?

    My personal view is that glaciers are a much better proxy for rainfall and overall atmospheric moisture than temperature. Just look at the deforestation > evapotranspiration issue around Mt. Kilimanjaro that translates to sublimating glaciers there. I would not be surprised to find such an issue at Mt. Adams.

    What Don is pointing out is that the Mt. Adams glacier response doesn’t seem locked in to temperature trends.

    Here’s a photo of the Mt. Adams glacier taken Thursday, July 09, 2009 (summer)

    Curious that there doesn’t seem to be meltwater streams coming from it. It suggests sublimation.

    – Anthony

  35. Steve Keohane says:

    steven mosher says:January 11, 2012 at 7:56 am

    “1) Rather than glacial retreat since 1904 due to gradual warming, glaciers have advanced and retreated four times in the past century.”

    Don starts the month with a thousand dollars in the bank
    Don adds 100 dollars four times and Dons wife withdraws 200 dollars 4 times

    Question:is the balance declining?

    Only a thief would say… ‘no.. its advancing and declining….’

    As if glaciers were something we have been accruing. Steven, they have been melting since the last glacier maximum, concurrent with the advancement of civilization.The only cause and effect is that the glaciers got out of the way so we can live where we are. I prefer it sans ice, thank you.

  36. crosspatch says:

    Glacial changes are often more linked to changes in precipitation than temperature. At the altitude of those glaciers, the number of days below freezing probably hasn’t changed much. The glacier doesn’t care much about exact temperature, it mostly cares about just above or below freezing and precipitation. If they get a lot of winter precipitation, the glacier will grow. If they get a lot of rain in summer, it can shrink rapidly with little change in temperature at all.

    This winter, for example, will likely result in further retreat of the glacier because it has been dry. The winter storms are being pushed through British Columbia while the Cascades and Sierra Nevada are being left dry.

  37. Juraj V. says:

    Another thing, even steady but warmer climate will cause the glaciers shrink, until a balance is restored. The same is valid for gradually cooling last interglacial (google GISP2 core) and rising sea level (google post-glacial sea level rise).
    The fact is, that cold AMO phase in 70-80ties caused stop of Swiss glaciers retreat, even in some years the advancing ones prevailed. With AMO now heading down, the inevitable will happen again.
    Present glaciers are still a remnant from the LIA. Here is Sussen pass in European Alps during the Hannibal times and today.

  38. Shanghai Dan says:

    The assumption that CO2 is causing climatic warming is also not true. Much of the glacial retreat was caused by climatic warming that occurred from 1915 to 1945, well before atmospheric CO2 began to rise sharply, so this warming cannot be attributed to rising CO2.

    Don, Don, Don… Clearly you do NOT understand the power of CO2 and climate, or of modeling and complex systems! The climate started pre-warming in anticipation of the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere – the climate system was using a pre-emptive move to moderate the warming we’ve experienced, in an attempt to help us puny, misunderstanding homo sapiens out…

    /sarc

  39. A physicist says:
    A physicist says: Any kind of strong skepticism, that seeks to illuminate the effects of climate change upon glaciers in the Pacific Northwest, has to grapple with the strong science of the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project. And we all benefit when strong skepticism grapples with strong science.

    That’s just plain common-sense, right?

    Anthony replies: From your limited vision, I’m sure your position seems perfectly fine. But Easterbrook isn’t grappling with what you wish, but rather one paper, and a strange two year later media blitz on it. Rather than point away from the article above, why don’t you address it first. So far you’ve only done hand waving to say “look, over here!”

    Anthony, as for a “strange media blitz”, there ain’t none … because “glacier melting” stories aren’t news up here in the Pacific Northwest. Heck, everyone can *see* that the glaciers are melting. That’s why, if it weren’t for your own WUWT post, no-one up here in the Pacific Northwest would ever have heard of the Fountain paper at all.

    As for the scientific merits of the Fountain paper, please let me say that it *is* a weak paper, and therefore, it provides an excellent example for teaching students how to recognize weak research.

    But that doesn’t mean the mountain glaciers up here in the Pacific Northwest aren’t melting (as some posters on WUWT have inferred). Because the evident fact is, our glaciers are melting d*mn fast.

    REPLY: “Anthony, as for a “strange media blitz”, there ain’t none” Jeez you are such a waste of effort.

    Search Results

    Researchers: Mount Adams’ glaciers half gone

    The Seattle Times – 2 days ago
    A Portland State University study has found Mount Adams’ 12 glaciers have shrunk by nearly half since 1904 — another sign of gradually warming temperatures …
    Shrinking glaciers on Mount Adams signal growing water problem‎ Yakima Herald-Republic
    all 20 news articles »
    Yakima Herald-Republic
    Mt. Adams Glaciers Are 50 Percent Smaller

    OPB News – 1 day ago
    New research shows that glaciers on Mount Adams are shrinking at a faster rate than those on neighboring peaks. Over the past century the glaciers have …
    Disappearing glaciers in the Pacific Northwest: Science run amuck

    NewsNet5.com – 6 hours ago
    The report claims 12 glaciers on Mount Adams, near Yakima, Washington, have declined by a whopping 50-percent since 1904. The study also claims the glaciers …

  40. Studies in Alaska suggest glaciers began retreating around 1780 and that the rate of retreat then was similar to now, with the exception of a expansion around 1880.

    Also tree logs dated to around 1300AD are reappearing as glaciers retreat now, confirming MWP glaciers must have smaller than now.

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/the-truth-about-alaskan-glaciers/

  41. Andrew says:

    As a Washingon State resident I hereby declare myself an EXPERT on Mt Adams…hah, well at least I know a few things that have not been addressed here. (Full disclosure…WWU class of ’91, go Vikings…mild sarc)

    @whoever will read this:

    Regarding the 4 points mentioned by Dr Easterbook and a few more thoughts on this study and other possible causes, my thoughts:

    Mt Adams is about 30 miles due east of Mt St Helens. The prevailing winds in this region are from west to east. Right?

    Have the ash deposits from St Helens played any role in the glacier shrinking since 1980?

    Think Kilimanjaro’s snow issues… Has the massive logging activities had any impact? Did the deforestation of pretty much EVERYTHING living on May 18, 1980 to the immediate west have any long term impact on the amount of snow falling on Adams?

    Anybody ever been to the top of Mt Adams? There is an old mine at the top, a sulfur mine I think. The miners would use pack mules to bring stuff up and down. Has the Donkey Crap Heat Absorption Index (DCHAI) been properly factored in? Yes, poor attempt at humor, however, I am sure ice core samples would reveal many tons of sequestered carbon for miles approaching the summit. That must have had come impact on the heat absorbed by the glaciers.

    Is it even valid to compare glaciers of active volcano’s to non volcano’s? I have pictures of people swimming in a lake at the top of Mt Rainier at 14,000 feet. The lake is caused my steam vents. Almost all of the big peaks in the PNW are active, right Professor?

    Pacific (Multi)Decadal Oscillation?

    Andrew

  42. Jim Carson says:

    Anthony, how does one give you constructive criticism?

    For the record, I agree with everything you’ve said here (except maybe the hyperbolic statement that ALL papers cherry-pick data points). I also agree with Dr.(?) Easterbrook’s conclusions that the Mt. Adams paper is seriously flawed.

    But right answers aren’t enough. We must get there via scientific rigor. I’m not asking you to fall on your sword, retract the post, or even admit that you didn’t give this enough review. I’m just hoping for better next time.

    How about just fixing Figure 6 by adding the CO2 data that is supposed to be there, and let’s call a truce?

    REPLY: I’ll ask Don about Figure 6, as for the statement about cherry picking, I was drawing from your inference, but basically what I’m saying is that any paper with a time series has to pick a period. By picking a period, some data is left out. That data may/may not be useful – Anthony

  43. A couple of points of clarification—

    1. We’ve been warming up from the Little Ice Age for several hundred years but not at a continuous rate. The figure of the series of moraines in front of the Deming glacier was meant to point out that glaciers have been see-sawing back and forth for centuries but present glaciers are well upvalley from their Little Ice Age maximums as we ‘thaw out’ from the colder climate. Thus, the idea that glaciers have gradually retreated in response to gradual warming the past century and that it will continue until the 2070s is nonsense. Yes, it’s warmer now than during the Little Ice Age, but because CO2 could not have been a factor hundreds of years ago, the warming must be due to natural causes.
    2. I agree that projecting a temperature history of one decade 2070 would be ridiculous (actually we can use a much longer historic record to project to 2070). The point here is that the 1978 to 1998 warming trend is over and cannot be projected indefinitely into the 2070s. The cooling experienced over the past decade began with the switch of the eastern Pacific Ocean from its warm mode to its cool mode in 1999. This mode switch, known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has happened four times during the past century and every time the global climate has remained warm or cool for three decades (depending on whether the mode switch was to a warmer or cooler mode). We have been entrenched in a cool PDO mode for the past decade and temperatures have cooled slightly. What we know from this is that we have several more decades of cooling to go before the Pacific switches back into its warm mode. Thus, predicting 50% reduction in Cascade snowpack in the 2070s due to global warming is ridiculous.
    3. The main point of my comments is that you can’t look at glacier termini in 1904 after 30 years of cooling and glacier expansion, compare it with present termini after 20 years of warming, and extrapolate that as ‘gradual warming’ over the past century as a continuous process that didn’t begin until CO2 began to rise.

  44. Don B says:

    Glacier National Park’s Sperry Glacier area had shrunk 81% of its 1850-2003 shrinkage by 1945, Don’s date of the beginning of rapid CO2 growth.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/cirmount/wkgrps/ecosys_resp/postings/pdf/pederson_etal2006.pdf

  45. Tim Folkerts says:

    I would have been much more impressed if their critical analysis had been done better — particularly their figures.

    “it has oscillated back and forth between warm and cool periods four times during the past century (Figure 1)”.

    No — it has it has oscillated back and forth between WARMING and COOLING periods four times during the past century. I don’t know anyone would call the last 10 years a “cool period”.

    Figure 6. The trend of global temperature since 2001 has been cooling at a rate of -4.0°C (-7°F) per century.

    This is at the very least misleading. The graph itself is the warming rate (averaged over a 10 year period). At the very beginning of the graph there was a cooling rate of about -0.1 C/century. At the very end there was a cooling rate of about -0.7 C/century. For almost all of the time, there was a strong warming trend. THERE WAS NEVER A COOLING RATE OF -4 C/century.

    If they want to speak specifically about a trend, then the RATE is -4 C/century over the course of ~ 10 years, or a rate of ~ -0.4 C/(century*year).

    The colors reinforce the misconceptions. Most of the “blue arrows” actually correspond to a decade of WARMING. They simply mean the warming is not as fast as it had been the year before. (Only the last arrow or two indicate a 10-year cooing trend. And even these would of course some a warming trend for the century.)

    I can’t comment on the glacier parts, but this much is just sloppy — especially in a report calling out someone else for being sloppy.

  46. JimF says:

    Nick says:
    January 11, 2012 at 6:34 am

    “…Unless there is a lag.

    However, I don’t believe that there is a massive lag….”

    Well, Nick, do you think there is a tiny lag? Or maybe a small lag? Or perhaps a middling lag?

  47. davidmhoffer says:

    NetDr says:
    January 11, 2012 at 6:52 am
    The claim that Mt Adams glaciers have receded faster than surrounding glaciers seems to indicate that global warming is not the cause. Possibly the air is drier or some other cause but since all have been subjected to similar warming the shrinkage should be similar !>>>>

    That was my first thought too. If the surrounding mountains are receding slower than Mt Adams, then the only logical conclusion is that there is some set of factors unique to Mount Adams that cause its glaciers to retreat faster than the trend in the climate.

    Apparently Global Warming is now exhibited by warming to one mountain but not any of the nearby mountains? How do they do that? Special training for the photons?

  48. A physicist says:

    Anthony, regarding the “strange media blitz”, you don’t imagine (do you?) that the links you provided mean that our local newspapers actually printed that story?

    Providing internet links to UPI stories is cheap, but printing stories on paper costs money! What our reporter friends tell us is that if it weren’t for the (immensely profitable) business of printing obituaries, even flagship newspapers like Seattle Times would have to fold. The result is that more-and-more stories are appearing on the internet, that *never* make it to ink-and-paper.

    Now, what folks up here *do* care about is the mountain snowpack, which varies considerably: it was heavier than usual last winter, but (so far) is lighter than usual this year. Because whenever snow doesn’t fall in the winter, farmers can’t irrigate in the summer.

    So as our mountain glaciers disappear, folks up here *are* feeling uneasy (and rightly so).

  49. John F. Hultquist says:

    A physicist says:
    January 11, 2012 at 5:28 am

    “Who would have thought glacial ice-worms are real, for example?

    http://www.robertwservice.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=306&page=1

    “The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail”

    Sorry, Anthony, I realize this has nothing nothing to do with the question you are asking and nothing to do with dbunny’s post.

    But because he (A physcist) did ask, only someone that has never been on a glacier nor read about them would question their existence. Wikipedia claims they were “discovered” in 1887 – probably in the same context that North America was “discovered” by Columbus.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_worm

    ————————————
    In the “weather is not climate” department: Local temperatures are in the low ‘teens’ (F) this morning in central Washington State.

  50. Andrew says:

    Do lahars play a role in glaciers retreating and advancing?

    What about earthquakes?

    What about erosion on a massive scale? I am thinking of Little Tahoma 1963. How is it possible to compare active volcano glaciers with the glaciers in Greenland or in the Himalayas?

    Anthony mentions sublimation; That would vary based on temp, altitude and humidity right? It seems to me that comparing ‘glaciers’ world wide as a indicator of anything substantive is a total Red Herring.

    Which does seem to be a species thriving due to climate change…

    But I digress…

    Andrew

    ps, did anyone ever ask you to teach part of ES 201? You could have taken Dr Clarks spot!

  51. Peter says:

    In response to Black Adder, yes it is so very frustrating.
    How can you state that there is no warming trend when Figure 1 shows a very clear warming trend that even Baldrick would recognise?
    Your cunning plan has a monumental hole in it, Black Adder. The globe is warming, glaciers in general are in retreat and the Arctic ice is thinning and disappearing.
    THESE are the inconvenient truths that sceptics won’t face.

  52. Paul Linsay says:

    I visited Mt. Saint Helens four years ago during a trip to Seattle. It was vey striking that the summit had two new glaciers growing on it twenty five years after the volcano exploded. Global warming sure is melting everything in sight.

  53. What we expect from anything Portland Oregon. Another example of the crap coming out of our universities. I quit gifting them my money and time a long time ago.

    Funny, how during the time period since Mount St Hellens ( http://neogeo.kent.edu/munro/glacial/reading/Schilling_Steve_P.pdf ) blew off that all this new ice is forming. Especially in the face of a warming period. How can that be overlooked in their glacier cherry picking assuming science opinion paper?

    As for the greeners who hoof it through the cascades, many have personally reported that recent snow and ice levels are blocking many popular treks. Nothing scientific about my comments, but at least it is an actual observation that does not wonder off into some politically driven its all are fault mantra.

  54. crosspatch says:

    And South of Mt. Adams, the glaciers on Mt. Shasta, California have been GROWING.

    Shasta’s glaciers have nearly doubled in size since 1950 and this is likely due to changes in precipitation patterns, not any great changes in temperature:

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Glaciers_growing_on_Mt_Shasta.htm

  55. Smokey says:

    Peter,

    The inconvenient truth that you refuse to accept is the fact that the globe has been warming along the same trend line since the LIA – and the natural warming is not accelerating, as had been universally predicted by the alarmist crowd. They were flat wrong.

    The current warming is simply a continuation of the reversion to normal Holocene temperatures from the depths of the LIA, when CO2 levels were steady and very low. Occam’s Razor says: take the simplest explanation, because it is by far the most likely. And the simple explanation is that CO2 is not causing any measurable, testable global warming. AGW is still at the conjecture stage because it is not testable. If AGW becomes testable and quantifiable, it will then become a hypothesis. But so far, the evidence points to natural causes for the warming since the LIA.

  56. Rob Crawford says:

    “The globe is warming, glaciers in general are in retreat and the Arctic ice is thinning and disappearing.”

    So? How is this bad?

  57. Pete H says:

    REPLY: I never understand how people can miss the author of the post when it isn’t me – Anthony

    Its [the] cross you have to bear Anthony! I understand but anyone that cannot check the author is not worth your comment! Time and again it happens but they hit the man instead of the ball! Sad but it shows how narrow minded they are. Ignore and keep up the site that gets hits beyond comprehension! By the way, just been watching BBC with people in Alaska moaning about huge snowfalls! Winter! Who would have thought our kids would see snow again!

  58. Billy Liar says:

    Peter says:
    January 11, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Steven will love the fact you’re likening yourself to Baldrick!

  59. James Sexton says:

    REPLY: ……… basically what I’m saying is that any paper with a time series has to pick a period. By picking a period, some data is left out. That data may/may not be useful – Anthony
    =======================================================
    Thank you. One can even legitimately state the 1904 period was cherry picked.
    Maybe this would be more useful than the bickering about HadCrut and periods of global temps……

  60. Josh C says:

    Don,

    Thanks for the write up, I have read your past studies as they have popped up in research. I have to remind my daughter to take one of your courses here in the future, since she started at Western last fall.

    That being said, how do you keep your job there? B’ham is a fun little town, but there are plenty here who would love to Tar and Feather your heretic self. :)

    Thanks again,

    Josh

  61. AnonyMoose says:

    “Although climatic warming does indeed cause glacier recession”

    Sometimes. Warming from -10 to -9 might not cause glacier recession. A decrease in snowfall during warming might cause glacier recession due to less ice. A decrease in humidity might cause glacier recession due to sublimation.

  62. OSUprof says:

    What about the Crater Glacier on Mt. St. Helens? It seems that the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project based in New England, not in the Pacific Northwest, has not “grappled” as the Physicist put it, with the expansion of this low elevation glacier since 1980. I suppose that one could retort that there are special conditions responsible for the rapid advance of this glacier and that it’s not located in the “North Cascades”. But then again, Mt. Adams is not in the “North Cascades” either. Perhaps, they’re not the best source of information on the topic after all.

    As a plant scientist with training in geology, I have an interest in the subject of glaciers and their action on the landscape and plant communities although it’s not my professional field of study. I’ve seen the advances and retreats of glaciers in the Cascades of Washington and Oregon over the past 30 plus years of hiking and climbing to the same spots and watching the changes. These observations lead me to believe that the factors influencing the behavior of glaciers in the region, including Mt. Adams, are far more complex in nature than those investigated in the study and merit additional scrutiny as Dr. Easterbrook has done here.

    More on Crater Glacier:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crater_Glacier

  63. Jim Carson says:

    REPLY: I never understand how people can miss the author of the post when it isn’t me – Anthony

    Missing the author’s identity is the least egregious lapse of reading skills in the comment. He is literally arguing with a mountain:

    You did an excellent job of contesting both Mr Adams’ assertion that the change was “gradual” and that it was unique. Bad Mr. Adams.

  64. Andrew says:

    @ A physicist

    A challenge for you to consider.

    Please use the following words in a sentence.

    Straw Man(n)
    Logical Fallacy
    plurium interrogationum

    I am just saying…

  65. Andrew says:

    @ A physicist

    You said:

    “Now, what folks up here *do* care about is the mountain snowpack, which varies considerably: it was heavier than usual last winter, but (so far) is lighter than usual this year. Because whenever snow doesn’t fall in the winter, farmers can’t irrigate in the summer.

    So as our mountain glaciers disappear, folks up here *are* feeling uneasy (and rightly so).”

    I say:

    How do these points you make have anything to do with the point of this thread?

    Your points may be 100% accurate or not. Are they relevant to this discussion?

    Do they somehow prove an assertion you have made? Because I am confused.

    Also, the farmers you are concerned about have been irrigating their farms for the last 160 years approximately. They have diverted rivers and streams. Dammed rivers and blocked salmon and steelhead runs, causing extinction of a number of species. Billions of dollars of tax payer money is being spent every year in mitigation cost to protect the surviving endangered stocks. Not to mention the additional billions of dollars that are passed on to the utility customers of the Western United States and Canada to pay for the same issues.

    What was your point?

    Andrew

  66. SteveSadlov says:

    Figure 5 is concerning.

    I note that cooling in the areas previous covered by continental glaciers is severe. That could be a real precursor. This interglacial will not last.

  67. Andrew says:

    @ Jim Carson

    Your egregious lapse of reading skills is the assumption that he had in fact been arguing with a mountain. He could actually been arguing with Mr. Adam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Adams_(film)

  68. Zeke says:

    I wish these warmists would not tempt and taunt Mt Adams to errupt like that.

  69. Allencic says:

    Back in 1957 I visited Glacier N.P. for the first time as a sixteen year old. At the vistors center up on Logan Pass I bought a little booklet about the park’s glaciers. It was full of pictures taken every five years or so, starting around 1900, that showed how much the glaciers had shrunk over time. Pretty dramatic reduction in ice size but not a whisper about global warming.

  70. mkelly says:

    Paul Homewood says:
    January 11, 2012 at 8:58 am
    Studies in Alaska suggest glaciers began retreating around 1780 and that the rate of retreat then was similar to now, with the exception of a expansion around 1880.

    Also tree logs dated to around 1300AD are reappearing as glaciers retreat now, confirming MWP glaciers must have smaller than now.

    Paul remember “Iceman” the mumified 5000 yr old guy found under a retreating glacier in Italian or Swiss Alps depending on who you listen to. They find all kinds of things under them.

  71. rw says:

    Some of the comments on this thread assume that the glaciers in question are holdovers from the last glacial period. However, in his Climate, History and the Modern World (2nd ed., 1995), H. H. Lamb mentions (unfortunately only in a brief comment) a developing consensus (at that time) that the present mountain glaciers have appeared during the current interglacial period. Which, of course, would mean that they had disappeared in this same period. I haven’t had a chance to track down what the present views are on this point, but if it hasn’t been refuted then this puts the whole issue of mountain glacier retreat in a somewhat different light.

  72. Joe Prins says:

    “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.” From: http://www.nrmsc.usgs.gov/research/climate_glaciers.htm
    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).
    Just to put in some facts from another paper.
    James Sexton of 6:44 am: Using your same link but using the month of May, instead, produces .03 degrees per decade. That is a whopping .3 degrees the last 100 years!

  73. Doug Cotton says:

    A good article including that plot which just can’t help showing a 60 year cycle.

    Unless and until someone can produce EMPIRICAL proof that thermal energy can be transferred from a cooler body to a warmer one by radiation, then there is absolutely no empirical evidence for any atmospheric greenhouse effect because the “explanation” of such depends upon the critical assumption that backradiation from a cooler atmosphere somehow warms the Earth’s surface.

    Bear in mind that it has been shown that the atmosphere at night is colder than the surface and is COOLING FASTER than the surface all through the night. Just click the ‘experiments’ link on this page of my site for further details on this point http://climate-change-theory.com/RadiationAbsorption.html

  74. federico says:

    This may be of interest to folks with limited glacier-time horizon:

    “The Coming and Going of Glaciers – A New Alpine Melt Theory”

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,357366,00.html

    The abstract:
    “The Alpine glaciers are shrinking, that much we know. But new research suggests that in the time of the Roman Empire, they were smaller than today. And 7,000 years ago they probably weren’t around at all. A group of climatologists have come up with a controversial new theory on how the Alps must have looked over the ages”.

    Reminds me of “Green”land.

  75. Taliesyn says:

    If Mt. Adams is loosing it’s glaciers faster than other Cascade volcanoes, especially considering that the nearby Crater Glacier on Mt Saint Helens is growing, may indicate a non-atmospheric cause… remember, these are VOLCANOES. Has anyone correlated the ground temperature under the glaciers? Is there a growing magma chamber under Mt Adams?

    Mt. Saint Helens lost it’s glaciers very quickly in 1980. Rainier will lose it’s very quickly during it’s next eruption, pushing a lahar into Tacoma. Measuring glaciers on a chain of active volcanoes and trying to tie it to the atmosphere seems a little dodgy.

  76. DesertYote says:

    A half physicist
    January 11, 2012 at 9:31 am
    ###

    Your comments remind me of the contortion of logic my son used to try, when he was 10, in order to get out of trouble.

  77. Peridot says:

    This report in the Daily Mail here in the UK (Dr Michael Gottfried, from the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (Gloria) programme),

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2083967/Edelweiss-plants-A-risk-extinct-summers-gets-warmer.html

    is a similar scare-mongering bit of fluff. It is saying that cold-loving plants in the mountains are being forced upwards and will “run out of mountain” to climb to e.g. Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum). Also that the beautiful alpine meadows will disappear because, due to warmer summers, they will be gradually invaded by small shrubs.

    The meadows are, of course, man-made and if they were no longer maintained by the farmers for grazing and winter hay they would become forest again as they were originally.

    The alpine flowers are not so much cold-loving as winter rain-hating. Most of them, including Edelweiss. grow quite happily in this country at sea-level, provided they get sharp drainage.

    Temperatures vary in the mountains enormously swinging from 70-80F to below freezing – all on one summer’s day. All the plants have come though much warmer times in any case.

  78. Capo says:

    How were the data points in Fig.6 calculated?
    Why does Fig.6 show a -4°C per century cooling??

  79. Rex says:

    I ‘love’ this term ‘warming’ that’s being tossed about :
    fractional increases in temperature that humans would not even be
    able to discern

  80. 1DandyTroll says:

    Well, of course, sound the alarma! ! !

    The glaciers are “melting” at mountains where the trees are a advancing.

    What do they want, really?

    Mild winters and less energy used or colder winter more energy used?

    Growing forests and more fresh water and less CO2 in the air or advancing glaciers and and less renewables to burn and a bunch of thirsty folks?

    Greener deserts or advancing deserts by a drier colder climate?

    One less growing season or one extra?

    But I digressed from the real issue since the deranged environmentalists just want the environment to adapt to the their need instead of the human need for adaptation to it’s surrounding.

    The environmental socialists are like children: Oh no, now the water is too warm, BUUUH, fix it. Oh no, now the water is too cold, BUUUH, mommy you’re evil!!!

  81. Mac the Knife says:

    A physicist says:
    January 11, 2012 at 7:53 am
    “A Physicist says: Anthony, by far the most comprehensive, up-to-date source for data relating to PNW glaciers is the 25-year North Cascade Glacier Climate Project.”
    Anthony replies: That’s fine but it isn’t the impetus for the blitz of news articles I’m seeking.
    “A Physicist says:That’s fine too, but strong skepticism always focuses on strong science, while weak skepticism always focuses on weak science. Regrettably, there is no shortage of weak science and weak skepticism — on that everyone on the WUWT forum can agree.”

    Couldn’t agree more, with that “no shortage of weak science” observation! For more examples of ‘weak science’ and error riddled ‘calculations’, see ‘A Physicist’ posts on http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/10/theres-a-reason-the-modern-age-moved-on-from-windmills/ .A plethora of responses to his increasingly flawed and acerbic posts there provide clear illustration of his classic ‘weak science’. If any Iowa farmers relied on those multiply misleading and error riddled calculations, they’d lose the family farm in a New York minute. Fortunately, most Iowa farmers are considerably better at basic math… and common sense.

    The author of those pathetically bad calculations should be too embarrassed to return to these pages without first humbly acknowledging his errors and with even greater humility, vowing to achieve more accurate and less misleading results. Alas, to the great detriment of real science and the profound embarrassment of real physicists, humility… like honesty and integrity, are seldom found in the science and communications from believers of the ‘man made global warming’ meme.

  82. A physicist says:

    Folks, when Anthony calls the Fountain study “a good example of bad science”, he doesn’t mean “a good example of typical science.”

    When we look at the most complete available studies of glacier mass here in the NW, we can plainly see a substantial and accelerating rate of mass loss over the last 25 years.

    The point being, that what we need is more and better science, for the common-sense reason that the best science we have, tells us this melting trend may well be pretty darn serious. Because a whole lot of folks depend on the snow that falls in those mountains.

    It seems to me that two opposite points-of-view, that we should focus our understanding upon the weakest science, or that what we need is less science, both may qualify as skepticism, but they are not any kind of rational skepticism, eh?

    REPLY: You can’t even get the attribution right, that’s Don Easterbrook’s essay and title – Anthony

  83. DesertYote says:

    A half physicist
    January 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    You need to learn the difference between science and propaganda.

  84. M.A.Vukcevic says:

    crosspatch says:
    January 11, 2012 at 9:58 am
    ……………….
    Your post on another blog has been noted by:

    Washington, District of Columbia, United States
    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (204.87.16.4) [Label IP Address]
    Referring URL: http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/17710
    Visit Page: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NVa.htm

  85. agfosterjr says:

    The Jorge Montt glacier of Patagonia has been advancing at record pace lately, with the rate being governed primarily by the bathymetric properties of the fjord under the ice–the deeper it is, the greater the thermal circulation. As it melts it reveals remnants of a forest that was covered during the LIA (see http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/7/3131/2011/cpd-7-3131-2011.pdf
    –Section 3.5).

    The Frias glacier in Patagonia shows an inverse correlation between advance and temperature (http://www.glaciares.org.ar/upload/MasiokasEtAlGPC085.pdf), the increased precipitation overwhelming increased melting in warm periods.

    The Chaqaltaya glacier in Bolivia preserved a 50 foot ice cave as late as 1970, which has since disappeared. It was only a few hundred feet higher than the snow line, which boasted the worst skiing in the world. Dust from the dirt road built to gain access to the ski slope certainly hastened its demise. –AGF

  86. Jim Carson says:

    Mauri, could you please update the NCGCP pages and graphs to show us the actual size of the glaciers you studied? Without this information, it is impossible for a layman to verify your claim of “significant” glacier loss.

    If it’s there and I just missed it, my apologies.

  87. A physicist says:
    A physicist says: Folks, when Anthony calls the Fountain study “a good example of bad science”, he doesn’t mean “a good example of typical science.”

    And when we look at the most complete available studies of glacier mass here in the NW, we can plainly see a substantial and accelerating rate of mass loss over the last 25 years.

    The point being, that what we need is more and better science, for the common-sense reason that the best science we have, tells us this melting trend may well be pretty darn serious. Because a whole lot of folks depend on the snow that falls in those mountains.

    It seems to me that two opposite points-of-view, that we should focus our understanding upon the weakest science, or that what we need is less science, both may qualify as skepticism, but they are not any kind of rational skepticism, eh?

    REPLY: You can’t even get the attribution right, that’s Don Easterbrook’s essay and title – Anthony

    That link is fixed now (I hope) … for which, thank you Anthony.

    Ordinary citizens in the local Mountaineers club have been hiking these North Cascades glaciers for the past 105 years, and the Mountaineers hope to still be hiking the North Cascades glaciers in another 105 years. At a fundamental level, sustaining that hope is an important part of what the science is all about.

  88. crosspatch says:

    M.A.Vukcevic says:
    January 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Well, that could be a little scary for AJ these days considering how politicized our Dept. of Energy has become and the fact that he contracts to the US Government. Or maybe they are trying to figure out why the climate response has been so steadily diverging from the AR4 model projections and are looking at other possibilities. AR5 looks to be worse, by the way, as apparently those models have dialed in even greater CO2 sensitivity while climate continues to diverge in behavior from atmospheric CO2 levels.

  89. Dave N says:

    I am amused by the “net effect” arguments flying around; it would be impossible for Don not to acknowledge that the net effect is negative, given the start and end points.

    To use those banking analogies, the article fails to mention that deposits have been made as well as withdrawls during the term. You’d fail accounting and/or be in trouble with the tax department if you wrote the kind of report that is being analyzed. That is totally Don’s point.

  90. agfosterjr says:

    Excuse me, make that RECEDING at record pace! –AGF

  91. Jimash says:

    “Taliesyn says:
    January 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm
    If Mt. Adams is loosing it’s glaciers faster than other Cascade volcanoes, especially considering that the nearby Crater Glacier on Mt Saint Helens is growing, may indicate a non-atmospheric cause… remember, these are VOLCANOES. Has anyone correlated the ground temperature under the glaciers? Is there a growing magma chamber under Mt Adams?”

    It may seem obvious but… do people really think that glaciers on top of Volcanoes are permanent
    geological features that are supposed to last forever or more to the point, were always there at all ?
    Sometimes I wonder.

  92. Andrew says:

    @ Jim & @ Anthony

    YOU GUYS SAY:
    “January 11, 2012 at 9:11 am
    Anthony, how does one give you constructive criticism?

    For the record, I agree with everything you’ve said here (except maybe the hyperbolic statement that ALL papers cherry-pick data points). I also agree with Dr.(?) Easterbrook’s conclusions that the Mt. Adams paper is seriously flawed.

    But right answers aren’t enough. We must get there via scientific rigor. I’m not asking you to fall on your sword, retract the post, or even admit that you didn’t give this enough review. I’m just hoping for better next time.

    How about just fixing Figure 6 by adding the CO2 data that is supposed to be there, and let’s call a truce?

    REPLY: I’ll ask Don about Figure 6, as for the statement about cherry picking, I was drawing from your inference, but basically what I’m saying is that any paper with a time series has to pick a period. By picking a period, some data is left out. That data may/may not be useful – Anthony”

    I SAY:

    You gentlemen are making great points. My point in this thread, and how it relates to the bigger Universal Debate, is this.

    Finally, there seems to be a growing debate in which academics are beginning to question the ‘consensus’, growth spurred on by the Climategate emails. I think we need to focus on how to communicate this ‘growing debate’.

    The ‘scientific’ debate in this forum does not always capture the indirect cost we pay for the outcomes of these debates. Politicians and the media have decades of ‘muscle memory’ and ‘Pavlovian’ type issues that need to be worked out. We all spend to much time indoors these days. When bad things happen outside, we ask the experts. The ‘experts’ are not the same people they were in 1947. “His Master’s Voice” does not arrive the same way it does today. Yet, JVC makes MP3 players, I think.

    Anyway, I am not sure what my point in all of this rambling is about, I have had tons of interruptions since I began writing this. I think we need to make sure antiquated methods of knowledge distributions continue to evolve.

    I think WUWT is the ‘Missing Link’ or something…

    @everyone else…pay no attention to the Mann behind the curtain…

    Andrew

  93. Dave says:

    Having spent a lot of time around the area, I wonder if the deforestation is preventing moisture/snow accumulation? It could well be another Mnt Kilimanjaro situation?

  94. It appears to me that in the HadCRUT3 plot, the slope line drawn for the 1999-2012 stretch is about right for 1998-2012 inclusive. For 1999-2012 HadCRUT3, the linear trend appears to me roughly level slightly upsloping, but only slightly. One could say the linear trend is close to level. The big El Nino spike ended before 1998 did.

    Otherwise, the slopes appear roughly correct to me. However, for the 1880 to 1915 cooling period, it looks to me that it was warmest around 1879 and coolest around 1914. Also, since this is divided into periods with linear trends, I would call these “warming” and “cooling” periods as opposed to “warm” and “cool” ones. I would not call 1999-2012, the warmest of these periods, a “cool” one. I would call it “cooling” if that period includes the 1998 spike, otherwise I would say “warming largely levels off”.

    As for falsifying the claim of “gradually” increasing temperature since 1904: As I see it, the report being criticized should have said that the temperature increased but unsteadily, with temporary stoppages and reversals of the longer term trend of gradual temperature increase.
    As you show, HadCRUT3 has a noticeable periodic component with a period around 60-64 years.

    Also, your map showing the retreat of the Demiong Glacier does not show it to be doing so in an oscillatory fashion, but more continuously and somewhat accelerating after 1890, especially after 1977. Although you show 2 other glaciers advancing from the late 1950’s to around 1980 – good work!

    As for one volcano thawing out twice as fast as two others – I think it ios proper to consider the trend on all 3 of them, as well as on other glacier-bearing mountains worldwide. Basing a report on the fastest-thawing one in a neighborhood having 3 glacier-bearing ones risks accusations of cherrypicking, if indeed the reported one is thawing faster and/or more steadily than the trend among its neighbors.

  95. timg56 says:

    Anthony(or Jim Carson – I’m not sure who to address this too),

    Is the photo Adams or St Helens? Looks like the latter to me.

  96. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” OPB News – 1 day ago
    New research shows that glaciers on Mount Adams are shrinking at a faster rate than those on neighboring peaks. Over the past century the glaciers have …
    Disappearing glaciers in the Pacific Northwest: Science run amuck “””””

    Not really; obviously the evidence indicates the phenomenon has NOTHING whatsoever to do with local or state, or usa or global climate, since the nearby baseline peaks aren’t receding glacier wise as fast.

    Suggestion. Go look up some of those volcano papers; the post Mt St Helens ones, that suggested that Mt Adams may be the next one in the cascades to blow its top.

    When a phenomenon occurs inside a guard ring that shields the site from peripheral influences; then one should look INSIDE the guard ring for a cause; not OUTSIDE.

    Just remember you read it here first; Mt Adams is getting ready to blow, and the rising magma under it, is slowly melting back the glaciers.

  97. Jim Carson says:

    @timg56

    Anthony put the picture up, and I wouldn’t know either mountain from a molehill, but if that’s St. Helens, the crater is much smaller than I would have thought.

  98. James Sexton says:

    For all those whining about the temp trend, I’ve just compiled the true decadal temp anomaly! And boy howdy, its a shocker! It took me a while, and I had to borrow some methodologies from CU sea level research group, but I think I’ve finally got a handle on this climatology stuff! I’ll probably be busy with publishing and whatnot, but I just thought I’d give the good people here @ WUWT the preview! I was inspired by the conversation here an the previous one about the windmills. And even SkS! The true trend is ~ -90°C/century!

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/the-true-decadal-temp-trend/

  99. James Sexton says:

    Oops, correction -9°C

  100. Andrew says:

    mkelly says:
    January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am

    “Paul remember “Iceman” the mumified 5000 yr old guy found under a retreating glacier in Italian or Swiss Alps depending on who you listen to. They find all kinds of things under them.”

    Yeah like when the glaciers a hundred miles north of Mt Adams they found Seattle. Further south about 25 miles the glaciers dumped a bunch of gravel. So a bunch of concerned ‘green’ American companies decided it would be a great idea to help ‘clean up the mess’…so then some other eco friendly companies decided to partner with the local politicians and do their best to make the place look pretty. They got the best experts in the world to solve the problems.

    I don’t think this ‘green’ project cost the taxpayers much…certainly not as much as Solyndra…thats just bad Karma or something…I think Tesla might be part of it too…I can’t always misremember stuff.

    Oh…the Links…

    http://www.chambersbaygolf.com/chambersbay.asp?id=232&page=7996

    http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/chambers-bay-host-2015-us-open

  101. Chad Jessup says:

    It seems that quite a few posters have not picked up on the point mentioned that glacier increases and decreases do not correlate with CO2 levels. We all know that the climate has been warming since the LIA and that, also, most of the world’s glaciers have been receding along with the overall temperature increase.

  102. Brian H says:

    Edit note, re point #1:
    “have caused Mount Adams to shrink by nearly half since 1904.”
    Doubt it!
    “have caused Mount Adams’ glaciers to shrink by nearly half since 1904.

    [Fixed. Thank you, Robt]

  103. CodeTech says:

    There’s a giant elephant in this room, and although it’s been mentioned in passing a few times, we all seem to be steadfastly refusing to look it in the eye… er, trunk.

    The long, long term gradual warming temperature trend IS a continuation of the recovery from the LIA. But why? Clearly, CO2 has nothing to do with it, easily demonstrated by extrapolating the trendlines backward… you’d have to start with negative CO2 levels for it to be any kind of contributing factor.

    So why DID the LIA happen, and what changed to cause this long term gradual warming, and WHY ARE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS GETTING BIG $$$ TO RESEARCH CLIMATE if they refuse to even research the one most important aspect? Understanding what is causing the gradual warming we are observing, the long-term trend behind the clearly visible oscillations, SHOULD BE the only thing Climate Science even remotely cares about.

    Instead, “mainstream” climate science completely ignores the glaringly obvious to chase rainbows and unicorns (aka CO2) and be pretend-activists. It’s pathetic, actually, and is probably the main reason I have absolutely ZERO respect for the majority of people calling themselves Climate Scientists.

    Science wants to know, to understand, to quantify and qualify. The Team wants to score cheap, useless points while defending a hypothesis that is repeatedly proven, not just wrong, but devastatingly wrong. CO2 is not a factor. So why are so few people asking: WHAT IS?

  104. Andrew says:

    @ Doug Cotton

    You said: “Unless and until someone can produce EMPIRICAL proof that thermal energy can be transferred from a cooler body to a warmer one by radiation, then…” and “Bear in mind…”

    I says: I always love a good challenge, bare in mind, I was a Pol Sci student where Professor Eastbrook teaches…and I bearly past my logic class…probably because I could beerly get up some mornings for class, but I digress…

    Since philosophers have pondered for ages questions about Bears. I believe it was Sir Keanu Reeves, in his epic role as “Ted”, asked Socrates something about Bears defecating in the woods…I think…but the more I know the less I understand.

    But I did hypothesize earlier in this thread that mule dung on the glacier might play a roll. At night, it gets colder…the poop freezes. I don’t have empirical proof you request but I am thinking maybe, because the poop is more dense than the ice…(don’t nobody go confusing glacier ice 1,000 from the surface with the slushy stuff was glasading on, when I was going down on Mt Adams…good thing I can outsmart Freud huh txmichael…with all due respect to Mr. Adams…I just know that I know nothing.

    But back to my challenges, which is staying focused…so the sun comes up, the air warms, the crystalline structure of the ice allows its temp to rise above the temp of the frozen poop. So the sun warms the poop, but it is still colder than the slushy ice. Debris on snow causes funny melting pattern. I first observed this hiking up Mt Rainier in the summer of 1980…the snow was really dirty for some reason…I even have some old pictures…on paper…a Kodak moment…Think Progress…who needs those old memories with my day…digital is so much better!

    Oh…I am not sure about green house gases and back-radiation and stuff…but mules emit methane and so does poop during anaerobic decay I think so maybe…maybe not.

    At the very least I had fun hiking around the mountains…and learned few very painful lessons about how thinner atmosphere allows more ultra violet rays to radiate off the snow onto my face…

  105. Andrew says:

    @timg56

    Neither, that is Mr Baker, I mean Mt Baker. Note the Deming glacier, which was named after a legendary tavern that once served huge steaks on paper plate…so the legend goes…

    Oops…the pic in the Jim/Anthony comment…that is Adams…ironically that is the view you would see if you were looking at it from Rainier. Lots more glaciers on Rainier, but very similar shape.

  106. Larry in Texas says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    January 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    George, you said the exact same thing I was thinking as I began to get into this post. Especially since it doesn’t look like the other glaciers are retreating as much as what Mt. Adams is indicating. That said, I also think the possibility of sublimation, similar to Mt. Kiliminjaro, is still valid. But I will keep my eyes on the news over the next couple of years to see if Mt. Adams blows its top. Geologists, be on the alert!

  107. geography lady says:

    My curiosity is how much does the volcanic action (we are talking about glaciers on volcanoes) have to do with the warming of the material in the volcano and the melting of the glaciers? There is more than just the simple temperature vs. precipitation involved with glaciers on volcanoes. The Cascade volcanoes are very active.

  108. A physicist says:

    Regarding sublimation in the PNW, as we clamber over the rough rocky scree at the terminus of our glaciers, we can hear the meltwater loudly gurgling through the loose rocks underneath our feet, but we can’t see that meltwater. So even when a visible stream isn’t evident on a photo, there still can be one  and in the PNW typically such streams are present.

    A PNW rule of thumb is, glacial streams emerge from under the rocks at just about the same place that the mountain soil becomes deep enough for wild blueberries to grow. So when we stop hearing water running under our boots, that’s when we start keeping an eye out for bears.

  109. JPeden says:

    A physicist says:
    January 11, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Because the evident fact is, our glaciers are melting d*mn fast.

    Yes, according to what the study site says, it looks to me like El Nino/ENSO has done it again!

    However, the study’s altitude legend locating the 10 ~”regional, April 1 measured ablation temperature dependent” low altitude coastal Pacific Northwest glaciers just off the main body of Washington State also makes it look like a large amount of the “region” is now located at about “6000 m” elevation!

  110. harrywr2 says:

    A physicist says
    has to grapple with the strong science of the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project

    So Nichols College, a small east coast private college that specializes in ‘business degrees’ has something called the ‘North Cascade Glacier Climate Change Project’.

    It sounds like an excuse for a ‘paid vacation’ to me as the National Park Service monitors the glaciers as a matter of ‘park management’.

    http://www.nps.gov/noca/naturescience/glacial-mass-balance1.htm

  111. John Andrews says:

    “Girma says:
    January 11, 2012 at 5:07 am
    Here is how your Figure 1 looks like:

    http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

    Which shows the two global coolings and the two global warmings, including the most recent warming.”
    ==========================================================
    Yeah, but you can’t do that. You must use the raw data, not the means. If you do, then the variance it much larger. Sorry.

  112. Thanks for this information. I will be following from now on. I am working on a master’s in environmental science and just started a Policy class with a professor who’s doctoral work was on climate change it should be interesting. But this will be good fodder for the gun as it were. Thanks!

  113. Andrew says:

    @ A physicist…

    You say:”…we can hear the meltwater loudly gurgling through the loose rocks underneath our feet…”

    I say…I totally agree…I have also found that half eaten rotting salmon carcasses laying 20 feet above high water mark…is when we start keeping an eye out for bears too…even during winter steelhead season…because here is a little secret…all bears don’t hibernate

    …and if anyone wants to peer review a picture of my hand next to a very fresh bear track in January let me know…or the one where I slipped on a half eaten rotting salmon, fell on my butt and slimed my entire back and then puked my guts out because I stunk so bad…it was a great day!

  114. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” Larry in Texas says:

    January 12, 2012 at 2:16 am

    George E. Smith; says:
    January 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    George, you said the exact same thing I was thinking as I began to get into this post. Especially since it doesn’t look like the other glaciers are retreating as much as what Mt. Adams is indicating. That said, I also think the possibility of sublimation, similar to Mt. Kiliminjaro, is still valid. But I will keep my eyes on the news over the next couple of years to see if Mt. Adams blows its top. Geologists, be on the alert! “””””

    Yes Larry, I am not dismissive of the Kilimanjaro sublimation model; just suggesting another reson for Mt Adams to out retreat its neighbors.
    I have climbed Mt Adams in mid summer, and on that hike, I made the serious misteak of taking my boots off and stepping out into the moraine lake at the end of one of those glaciers, which had many floating ice chunks in it. Bad move; hell no, a really bad move. My legs instantly went totally numb and unsupportive, and I fell back on my arse. Luckily, I landed on the rock I had just stupidly stepped off, rather than in the lake. My climbing chums likely could have dragged me out in the latter case; but I don’t know that my heart would have survived the shock, if I had gone full body into that icy water.

    So that water was pretty close to zero C, even though the nearby air Temperature and rocks were toasty in the summer sun.

    Did I say, it is traditional to have moraine lakes at the bottom end of glaciers, rather than the top end, so presumably the glacier Temperature was actually colder at higher altitudes, and we were only about half way up the mountain (1963).

    Now Mt Adams is somewhat Eastwards, as the Cascade volcanos goes. Well it is just behind White Salmon, WA, which is across the Columbia from Hood River OR, which is the river wind surfing capital of the world. Spokane is towards the north of Mt Adams, and is somewhat of a deserty area, much like Bend OR. so a low humidity sublimation mode is a pretty good likelihood.

    I’ve been on both the Fox, and Franz Joseph glaciers of the Southern Alps in New Zealand. These are a bit unusual, in that they basically come down to sea level. Well no the terminus is way up the valley from ancient times, but not much altitude. I believe they wax and wane, but also follow the escape from ice age scenario.

    If I was back in shool, I would try to find a more meaningful (and interesting) subject to do “research” on, than to find out whether some particular patch of ice somewhere was currently melting or freezing. That’s only marginally better than getting a degree in “education”.

    When I was working on an (unfinished) Masters in Physics, I designed and built the electronics for, and the entire project for a Tissue Equivalent Neutron Monitor, to monitor ambient neutrons, from thermal (really bad s***) to 14 MeV for safety monitoring in an accelerator lab that was doing double scattering of beams of polarized protons and neutrons, from 600kV accelerated Deuteron-heavy ice collisions. Second part of the project , was to design a very high efficiency Stilbene Scintillation counter (Photo-multiplier) for 14 MeV neutrons to replace proportional (sub-Geiger threshold) gas counters, for the above experiments. The Scintillation counter was about 10^4 times as efficient in detecting fast neutrons, than the gas counters, so accelerator operating times could be reduced. Unfortunately my stilbene crystal also detected gamma rays, which the gas countered were completely blind to, so I had to discriminate on every pulse between what was a neutron, and what was a gamma ray, using clever electronics, and the basic physics of the scintillation process. It could sort out alpha particles as well. The detector was built and functioned, but never put into a practical device, as I ran out of money, and had to go to work.

    Somehow that seems more meaty than watching ice melt.

  115. Anders L. says:

    It’s funny, though, how each new “cool” period is a lot warmer than the previous one… I also cannot understand the argument that since there are natural climate variations, CO2 cannot influence climate. Isn’t that just like saying “you have a monthly salary, therefore you cannot have won the lottery”? To me, this article is just a bag of … well, hot air.

  116. Andrew says:

    @George E. Smith

    A fantastic read! On so many levels, for me at least. As I carefully redd your first paragraph I thought…”George lives by me. Nope, tourist but serious climber…from the UK, likely…”

    As I continue to read…”I want to blurt out a few things…like oh…New Zealand, maybe…”

    But in the end I realized I should make the time later in the day…after the sun goes down…it’s a sunny 35 degrees F, the water out side is about the same temp as your lake, and I do believe in solar power…I just don’t believe in paying for it! (I had better right that one down, lol…write away)

    http://www.highestlake.com/highest-lake-usa.html

    I have a lot of info to add to your comment, but only 3 hours of sun. So “I shall return…” later tonight I hope and comment further. Or perhaps some other way, I dont want to hijack the thread, but it does seem to have calmed down a bit.

    I grew up fishing, hiking, hunting, climbing and living in Washington, and sometimes I pay attention to stuff…when I first heard this…”“It had two l’s, which is how she thought she was supposed to spell Hillary,” Mrs. Clinton said at the time, after meeting Sir Edmund. “So when I was born, she called me Hillary, and she always told me it’s because of Sir Edmund Hillary.” I immediately knew she was lying cause as a kid I loved looking at the Sir Edmund display and I knew the dates he climbed Rainier. Clinton lied.

    Oh, I also have the unpublished family photos of the highest lake in the USA…with people swimming in it during the 1973 National Geographic exploration led by Bill Lokey.

    But I am out of time for now.

  117. George E. Smith; says:

    Well Andrew, that Hillary quote of Mrs Clinton is a true gaff; she stated in public she was named after him.
    Ed Hillary climbed Mt Everest in March of 1953, after Hillary Clinton was born. Prior to that he was an entirely unknown bee keeper in New Zealand; what a pick for the Rodham parents to choose to name their daughter after. Actually Ed Hillary the bee keeper was fairly well known and respected in New Zealand alpine circles for his climbing skills, which is what brought him to the attention of Colonel John Hunt in setting up the expedition. He married the daughter of the New Zealand Alpine Club President, so he wasn’t quite a nobody.

    The news of the climb brought sadness to New Zealanders.

    I remember it well, because I had just helped my mother install new carpetting on the floor in her living room, from which all the furniture had been removed. So we had tossed some matresses down on the newly installed carpet and were spending the night listening to the radio broadcast from London of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth the Second (wee hours of the morning in Kiwiland).

    And then they broke into the broadcast to give us the terrible news, that only one New Zealander had climbed Mt Everest, even though there were two of them on the 1953 expedition The other chap I believe was George Lowe, who was one of the expedition photographers, and never intended for any summit attempt.
    Sadly, Sir Edmund Hillary never climbed Mt Everest, but his son did, and of course bee keeper Ed Hillary did. He was knighted twice, first was a KBE for the Everest climb., and later on he was elevated to a Knight of The Garter, the highest order of Knighthood in Britain (Winston Churchill was one). I think only 20 may coexist. That rare distinction was because of his extensive humanitarian efforts on behalf of the people of Nepal, building schools, and I think hospitals up there in cloudland. He is clearly the most revered of NZ’s sons. His mad dash across Antarctica (first crossing) was both lauded, and also somewhat criticised. Ah well that’s Kiwis for you, damn near as brash as the Aussies.

  118. JPeden says:

    Anders L. says:
    January 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    …I also cannot understand the argument that since there are natural climate variations, CO2 cannot influence climate.

    Anders, that’s not “the argument”. CO2 cannot drive the climate because CO2 = CAGW “Climate Science” cannot derive even one relevant correct empirical prediction based on the hypothesis that it does drive the climate. And as an additional but not necessary feature of its “science” which also helps to prove Climate Science’s failure as judged by the principles of real science, Climate Science cannot “explain” even the climate’s most recent past.

    Therefore, “mainstream” CO2 = CAGW “science” has proven itself that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are essentially irrelevant to both explaining and predicting “climate”, and as compared with natural variations, which are still holding sway. With the proviso, of course, that CO2 = CAGW “Climate Science” is intentionally not practicing real science to begin with and therefore hasn’t proven anything – but with the note that other climate mechanisms based upon natural forces, and upon even purely “empirical” models and the practice of real science already do a better job of it.

    And the invocation of CO2 concentrations is unnecessary especially since there is nothing demonstrably [new] in climate that even needs an added overall factor such as CO2 concentrations to explain it. [Although other Anthropogenic factors such as land use and carbon soot are certainly not out of the question as possibly significant factors more locally and maybe even more generally at some point.]

    Anders, “mainstream” Climate Science is nothing but a gigantic Propaganda Op., which you are at least falling prey to yourself by using such weaselly vague terms as are involved in your idea that real scientists would claim that CO2 “cannot [possibly] influence climate”. But just who is it who would affirm the applicability of that condition as a component of the usual definition of a truly “empirical” statement – one defining what is empirically/observably/factually possible in the real world? No one, except perhaps the kind of people in Climate Science who have even manipulated the term “climate change” itself to now come to mean that the “climate” can’t “change” unless humans do it: according to them, the term “climate change” itself now means, “CO2 = CAGW”!

    The thing to realize is that Climate Science’s alleged or implied “hypotheses” are not really empirical statements at all about the real, factual world which real science deals with instead. In Climate Science’s world of purely unhinged propaganda verbiage and propaganda’s related “methods”, nothing whatsoever can challenge or falsify Climate Science’s merely apparent statements of fact. Its world simply won’t allow it. But its world makes no sense.

  119. C3 Editor says:

    Regarding Esterbook’s Fig. #6: Not at all sure why he is using this ‘C3′ chart for a glacier story, but the chart was created for this ‘C3′ article during May 2011 – http://www.c3headlines.com/2011/07/latest-global-temperature-data-confirms-that-unequivocal-global-cooling-is-accelerating.html

    Besides removing the ‘C3′ watermark from the chart image, Esterbook also removed both the CO2 plot line from the chart and the text explanation box that the original ‘C3′ chart included.

  120. Capo says:

    @ C3 Editor

    In your link is proposed a cooling of -0.67°C per century assumed the trend of May 2011 remains constant. Easterbrook instead concludes a cooling of -4°C per century regarding the same graph. I would say Easterbrook failed, your opinion?

  121. nc says:

    Just saw a cbc news report about a researcher at the University of Northern British Columbia mention how the glaciers are melting from man caused warming. He had some nice time lapse video showing a glacier flowing by. Now is that not what a healthy glacier does, flow. It was just a short news clip so not covering all his information by any means. He mentioned being a skeptic until he started studying glaciers. Guess he figured out skeptics are not actually in the money.
    In the short clip it mentioned BC’s source of Hydro power will be threatened if the glaciers melt. Well after 35 years of uneducated keen observation as a power system operator in BC our reservoir water levels depended on snow melt and rain. Some but very little from glacier melt.

  122. John F. Hultquist says:

    The following is from a local newspaper this week:

    Fountain presented his findings during an inaugural conference in Trout Lake late last year entitled ‘Mount Adams in a Warming Climate’.
    “The event was co-sponsored by the Yakama Indian Nation, the U. S. Forest Service and private groups.

    Search on the phrase: inaugural conference in Trout Lake

    The source is the Associated Press; many MSM outlets picked it up.

    Here is the
    ”inaugural confeence” First paragraph is below this link.

    http://skamanianewsportal.blogspot.com/2011/11/conference-on-mt-adams-in-warming.html

    On November 11, 2011, the Friends of Mt. Adams hosted their first, annual science-based conference on “Mt. Adams in a Warming Climate,” in Trout Lake, Washington. They partnered with the Friends of the White Salmon River, the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, The U.S. Forest Service (Gifford Pinchot National Forest), and the Yakama Nation.

  123. Galane says:

    The 2010/11 northern hemisphere winter was especially nasty, so was the winter before. Both set many thousands of new records for coldest daily temperatures, lowest maximum daily temperatures and record snow and rain. The same happened in much of the southern hemisphere. But all we heard from the media was “global warming” while people and animals were freezing to death in places such had never been reported to happen.

    I went on a trip in late July 2011 that took me through parts of Colorado and Utah. I saw snow on many mountain peaks where in a normal year it would all be gone months earlier. Several ski resorts (in places where they can stay open as long as they have enough snow, unlike Bogus Basin and some others on federal land) had their latest closing dates ever in 2011.

  124. Brian H says:

    Galane;
    But this year, not so much! Very anomalous; my 2-year trend line definitively showed the glaciers would be on the march by now.
    Error bars? We don’t need no steenkin’ error bars!

    >;p

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