Washington Post: Trump Wants Government Climate Scientists to Stop Being Dramatic

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Government Climate scientists are upset that President Trump wants them to avoid using emotive language in their press releases.

Trump official said scientists went ‘beyond their wheelhouse’ by writing climate change ‘dramatically’ shrank Montana glaciers

By Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin March 7

A U.S. Geological Survey study documenting how climate change has “dramatically reduced” glaciers in Montana came under fire from high-level Interior Department officials last May, according to a batch of newly released records under the Freedom of Information Act, as they questioned federal scientists’ description of the decline.

Doug Domenech, assistant secretary for insular areas at Interior, alerted colleagues in a May 10 email to the language the USGS had used to publicize a study documenting the shrinking of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966.

The news release began: “The warming climate has dramatically reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by as much as 85 percent.”

Highlighting that sentence, Domenech wrote to three other Interior officials, “This is a perfect example of them going beyond their wheelhouse.

The USGS, the main scientific arm of Interior, publicly describes its mission as providing “impartial information” about the environment, including “the impacts of climate.” The agency has studied climate change since at least the 1970s.

Andrew Fountain, a geology professor at Portland State University who co-authored the study, said he had heard rumors that Interior officials were unhappy. “In short, they just didn’t like the idea we found yet more evidence of climate warming,” Fountain said.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/03/07/trump-official-said-scientists-went-outside-their-wheelhouse-by-writing-climate-change-dramatically-shrunk-montana-glaciers/

The referenced email is available here (h/t Washington Post).

What a shocking development – government climate scientists are being required to objectively report their findings, instead of trying to influence the political process by publishing emotionally charged official press releases.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of

drama queens…..unprecedented
It about time, they have been an embarrassment


I edit science research papers for a living. Authors are constantly saying that a given set of data “proves” rather than “shows” something. They miss the point that it is the reader who will decide what is proven while all the authors can really do is “show” the reader their results. They so easily lose their objectivity.
It is only when discussing a group of studies and one is arguing for the veracity of a given concept that the authors can argue for something being proven, using the larger context of established data and observations. The single study cannot talk in terms of actually “proving” anything, the belief of proof being up to the reader.


or “suggests”…

Kristi Silber

The whole philosophy of science is based on the idea that nothing is “proven,” i.e., beyond doubt. I would not use the word even in the context of a group of agreeing studies, and I’m surprised that scientists “constantly” use the term (but don’t doubt your word). Nor, in my opinion, should readers be tempted to think research “proves” anything, since that indicates a lack of understanding of the scientific process, and leads too easily to bias and dismissal of other work. “Proof” indicates that there is nothing further to be learned, but science should ALWAYS remain open to examination, correction and improvement, regardless of how well the evidence seems to uphold a case. The best example is Einstein’s improvement on Newton’s work.
The exception is the laws of physics. They are so well-established and form the basis of so much other work that they can be viewed as proved, which is of course why they are called laws rather than theories. (For most macroscopic purposes Newton’s laws are adequate. They are laws with caveats, I suppose.)
However, just because something is not “proved” doesn’t mean that it can’t be taken as so well substantiated that it can be for all intents and purposes regarded as :”settled.” We need to be able to do so in order to make use of scientific findings.. This is partly a social issue, but it also enables the progress of science through building on working hypotheses – this is one way science has of validating them, since the pieces must in the end all fit together, eventually forming theories.
Anyway, that’s how I see it! Maybe I’m idealistic…or maybe it’s the result of quality training and experience working with scientists of high integrity and attention to method, or maybe it’s the field I’m in. .
What field of science do the papers represent?


And yet you keep telling us Man Caused Globall Warmining is a fact because of “consensus”. Get you lies straight. Science is not “consensus”. Humans are not causing climate to change. Humans can not stop climate from changing. Your religion is a lie.


Newton’s Laws were over turned by Einstein.
Regardless, nothing in the realm of climate science rises to the level of commonly accepted.


the laws of physics are called laws because scientist believe there exist an order in the reality, some underlying, hidden, pattern that scientists are looking for. They have a belief, just a belief (no proof), that they exist. They are, actually, attributes of christian monotheist god (immutability etc.) which is why science is linked to christianity.
Sometime, scientists think they got a part of the set. They may be wrong, as Newton was.
Sometime, scientist derive a pattern out of PROVEN mathematics, and they call it law. Their is proof in math, but only as solid as the axioms used. Laws of Newtons are perfectly good in a flat universe with no speed limit; trouble is, we don’t live in such…
The whole philosophy of science is based on doubt indeed, for a very simple reason: pretty much ALL of the science before XV century proved to be utter bullshit, parroted from ancient philosophers without verification. So those people who didn’t called themselves “scientist” turned to “Cogito ergo sum” and replicability to sort out which was false and which wasn’t. And went on, as it worked well.

Mihaly Malzenicky

You do not have to prove anything, you have enough one percent probability, so big a risk.

I don’t think that I have ever used the word, “prove”, in any of my writings, and I’m not even a scientist.
I tend to say things like, “strongly suggests”, “lends support to”, “confirms”, “converges on”, “agrees with”, or “does not support”, “does not agree with”, etc. … generally using terms that indicate resonance or dissonance between various people’s findings. As more resonance or dissonance is uncovered, then I might “favor a claim” or “favor a proposition”.
This proves that I have some measure of intelligence, I guess. (^_^)

MarkW: “Newton’s Laws were over turned by Einstein.”
Not really Mark. Newton’s laws were subsumed into a more complete theory is all and are as valid today as in the time they were formulated.

Curious George

Hollywood actors could be the best climate scientists. Actually, some are already. But not “government climate scientists”. The pay is not attractive enough.


I admit that I missed the “drama” of receding Montana glaciers. Has there been a drought? Extreme Heat wave? Dust Bowl? Flooding from the melting? Mass die-off of flora and fauna? Residents moving out of state? Dogs and cats living together … real wrath of God type catastrophic change? If not, then tone it down and try not to be a hysteric. Oops … that’s and forbidden word … isn’t it ?

Mickey Reno

A Lake Missoula or a Lake Agassiz flood would be an amazing drama to watch. If I had a time machine, those are some events I’d want to check out (from a safe distance). A major impact event would also be amazing to witness, but I’m not sure there ‘d be a safe enough distance (perhaps one could watch from a shielded observation blind on the moon, since we already have science fiction in this post).


I earned a PhD-Geology in 1977 and worked nearly 40 years for USGS as a field geologist, studying igneous and metamorphic petrology, island-arc terranes and continental accretion, granite-hosted tin-tungsten deposits, thrust and back-thrust geometries, foreland-basin architecture and sequence stratigraphy, Basin and Range volcanism and extensional tectonics, groundwater hydrology in fluvial-alluvial basin deposits, fluvial geomorphology, karst hydrology, and Laramide structure and sedimentation in the southern Rockies. Yeah, you could say I was never a “specialist”. Thank God.
My most important lesson learned was “humility”. Geology is the least “hard” of the hard sciences because the geologic record is always incomplete. Always. Geology doesn’t really have experiments (can’t exactly re-run the Cambrian biologic explosion, eh?), and so the study is more like forensic detective work than controlled experiments. T. C. Chamberlain recognized this and stressed the need for embracing “Multiple Working Hypotheses” in the investigation of geologic problems.
Looking back, my most significant research successes began by questioning the “prevailing wisdom” regarding the area/topic under investigation.
I worked with some great colleagues in numerous disciplines and we enjoyed many rousing discussions, debates, arguments, … and beers. We never took anyone at their word – we always wanted to see the evidence in the field together, and then we’d argue/discuss late into the night about what it really meant. And then one last beer and off to sleep.
I would have enjoyed sharing a beer with Hubert Lamb or Bob Carter or Bill Gray and the countless other empirical scientists who shared some humility about Earth history. There are still many of us out there, but our voices are lost in the shrill AGW dogma of the day. And I’m most sorry to see the USGS sliding down that drain, mostly in the climate-change and ecosystems departments.

w p

Thank you and chapeau! I wish all these shrill climate extremists would read your comment and take it to heart – better – to their ‘workplace’.


Ditto, W P
Always admired geologists as super forensic folks.
In aerospace since 1964, and we saw many “windows” open regarding the ” laws” we were taught in undergrad and grad school. Most of the stuff still applied, but we found new “stuff” that made supersonic stability/control possible and increased our planes’ range and speed and….. oh yeah, got to the Moon in short time.
Somehow, the consensus crowd cannot accept an Einstein modification to their “laws”.
Gums sez…


I too am a geologist/mineralogist (retired). One of my colleagues whom I admired most said, “Geologists made the best analysts of military and national intelligence because, they knew they were always dealing with incomplete data.”

Bill Powers

It is hard to beat the dual drums of fear and guilt without drama. These Government Climate Scientists set the stage and then the media and Hollywood take off like chicken little. We are all going to die! in the next 100 years!
Yeah, most of old age..

Old age = oxygen pollution


Bill Powers..
“..dual drums..”
Fear and Greed,those twin Harbingers of Apocalypse driving the ‘spook-easy’ crowd.

If they can’t use alarmism to support their position, what do they have left?

Fudged data, falsified computer models, Holdren’s global warming causes cooling, and Naomi Oreskes.

“Naomi Oreskes”? Did you proof-read that. R?
Last time I checked it was our side, the apathy industry, that used Oreskes as a spokesmodel spokesperson mascot. Doubt may be our product, but it’s a pretty face that sells it.
(Mods: I wrongly posted this further downthread, d’oh!)
[The “apathy industry” ?? .mod]

Brad, ‘a pretty face that sells it’ is your best yet. Beyond sarcastic, downright sardonic. And Oreskes is one (but only one) reason I have rejected all recent major gifts personal overtures from my 3x alma mater moneyngrubbing (aka alumni giving) crew. I tell them come back when Oreskes is gone. They keep coming back when Oreskes is not yet gone. Amazing, always in winter in Fort Lauderdale. I host them to a nice waterfront lunch or dinner as theynthW out, and repeat the message. Starting to feel like pulling wings off flies. But, I get a nice meal that they now more frequently (in growing desparation) treat me to, and considerable personal satisfaction for dessert.

Brad, one other thing. R is for Rud, short for Rudyard. You see, I was named after my fathers WW2 flight instructor, a Battle of Britain survivor. He was named after Kipling. So to this day I have an afinity to RikkiTikkiTave, the cobra killing mongoose of Kipling’s short story in his The Jungle Book.
When next we cross in cyberspace, as we surely will, I would be honored to be addressed by your rapier wit as Rud. Or Rikki the mongoose. Whatever. ‘Climate Science’ is for sure a Kipling Jungle.

Rud, rest assured, I hadn’t forgotten your name! I thirded it just in case you were using the more cryptic ristvan for the sake of anonymity, for whatever reason. Having recently “outed” someone accidentally, I’m probably being overcautious.

Mike ryant

Even a plumber can see the integrity and pure science of ristvan’s posts against the ridiculous meanderings of Brad Keys.

She was noted for defending the bad behavior of Rajendra Pachauri. Did she also defend the sexual misconduct of her brother who was fired from PBR.

Well, removing emotional and non-scientific language removes at least half of manniacal’s words in his papers.
Then, notice the “Andrew Fountain, a geology professor at Portland State University” who “said he had heard rumors that Interior officials were unhappy”; who immediately turns alleged rumors into an indictment against Interior officials.
Mark that ingrate down for never getting another grant or assignment from U.S.G.S.

“ristvan March 10, 2018 at 3:59 pm
Brad, one other thing. R is for Rud, short for Rudyard. You see, I was named after my fathers WW2 flight instructor, a Battle of Britain survivor. He was named after Kipling. So to this day I have an afinity to RikkiTikkiTave, the cobra killing mongoose of Kipling’s short story in his The Jungle Book.
When next we cross in cyberspace, as we surely will, I would be honored to be addressed by your rapier wit as Rud. Or Rikki the mongoose. Whatever. ‘Climate Science’ is for sure a Kipling Jungle.”

Well chosen, Rud! Wear it well!

“Mike ryant March 10, 2018 at 5:23 pm
Even a plumber can see the integrity and pure science of ristvan’s posts against the ridiculous meanderings of Brad Keys.”

Bingo, Mike!
Accurately, spotted and well stated!

Mike ryant,

Even a plumber can see the integrity and pure science of ristvan’s posts against the ridiculous meanderings of Brad Keys.

Well said, and immaculately spelled. I just hope it’s enough. With luck, ristvan and the rest of Brad Keys’ fanboiz will finally get the message that Keys (not to mention Istvan and anyone else who wrongly enjoys Keys’ writing) are outclassed here and should take their traveling Fallacy Showe elsewhere.

Jean Paul Zodeaux

“Even a plumber can see the integrity and pure science of ristvan’s posts against the ridiculous meanderings of Brad Keys.”
Yep. That’s Brad for ya, zagging when everyone else is zigging. His serpentine style is like a sinuous, twisty, winding, curvy, road. Not to mention a windy breath of fresh air. He may be indirect in his own “sardonic” way, but blunt sardonic-ism is just too cynical. I myself prefer a more optimistic sardonic-ism, just the way Brad takes his twisting, turning way to deliver.
That’s not to say I don’t appreciate and even enjoy the pure science that R. delivers with consistent integrity…I just think Mr. Keye’s comments come with their own probity. Brad’s catty hisses in regard’s to Oreskes, I suspect, are due her own lack of rectitude, but I could be wrong.

Michael Kelly

Wow, what a coincidence! I, too, was named after Kipling. 88 years and 4 months after, to be precise.

Eric Stevens

If they have to use alarmism to support their position, what did they have to start with?

Sweet Old Bob

Greed, and a desire for attention ?

A climate sensitivity factor pulled out of thin air whose only requirement that it be large enough to justify the formation of the IPCC and the UNFCCC.


Alarmism is what drives the ‘if it bleeds, it leads’ stories by the rather ghoulish mainstream media, who have sent real journalism into the Outer Darkness. Sensationalism is so common now that it’s akin to being shouted at constantly. The louder someone shouts, the more deaf you become.

Kristi Silber

Eric Stevens: “If they have to use alarmism to support their position, what did they have to start with?”
All they had was theory and data. Ha ha, just kidding, that’s way too dull, not nearly as exciting as greed, desire for attention, a vivid imagination, ability to foresee the formation of international committees, dreams of global conspiracy, socialism, groupthink, political partisanship, fear of being ostracized by the scientific community, general idiocy…um, what am I missing? What else is there to accuse scientists of in the endless drive to ruin their credibility and make it appear ridiculously implausible that they could possibly be simply doing their jobs and pursuing Truth? (Please ignore the fact that few of these things logically apply to start with or even now; and believe it anyway. If you don’t, that shows you’re just another CAGW commie idiot troll like me.) The good, righteous people at WUWT know how valuable it is to trash CAGW climate scientists and their work, constantly reassuring each other that they are right, strengthening consensus not in favor of a hypothesis but in rejection of one and vilification of those who support it.
It is, of course, completely unthinkable that scientists have professional integrity and can think for themselves – scientists who favor AGW theory, anyway. It goes without saying that contrarian scientists are immune to bias, social pressure, egotism, financial conflict of interest, political agenda, error or anything else that might get in the way of the purity of their motives or their scientific excellence and objectivity.
(sarc…just joshin’, ya’ll! Have to get my digs in too sometimes.)


It is, of course, completely THINKABLE that scientists have professional integrity and can think for themselves – scientists who favor AGW theory, anyway.
Indeed, so was my first thought. Trouble is, it proved false, at least for the “scientists” who wrote IPCC reports, and those in support.


Kristi apparently believes that everyone who agrees with her is an angel, and everyone who doesn’t is pure evil.
Then again, that is how leftists are taught to believe.


Most of the failing, agenda-driven, politically-aligned mainstream media who are starving for stories?

Bruce Cobb

They were in the ballpark, but dropped the ball while standing out in left field, and now they’re up sheet creek without a paddle.


Climate change has in fact dramatically shrunk glaciers in Montana. The question is whether climate change is caused by human emissions. I wish Trump would say something intelligent about this but I won’t hold my breath.


Probably the most intelligent thing he could say would be…”it’s been less than one degree, get a f’in grip”

Kristi Silber

Yeah, unfortunately that’s true.

Tom Judd

Too bad Trump isn’t as intelligent as you, Albert. Perhaps you could give him tips about negotiating with North Korea.

R. Shearer

Not my president, Kim Jong Un, that is.


The clash of the funny hairstyles

What climate change? Did somebody assume glaciers were in equilibrium with snowfall? Glaciers shrink every time the temperature is above 0C and that has happened for thousands of summers before the industrial age. In a never changing climate Montana’s glaciers will continue to shrink down to nothing.


You might not believe this but 15000 years ago half of North America was under miles of ice. Imagine the terrible stress that polar bears have been under all that time.

Not to mention all the people that live there now when this occurs again within another 12K years. Perhaps the fake science supporting CAGW is a natural defense mechanism providing the hope that mankind can stop this inevitability. Kind of like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.

As many of us know and I documented in the essay “Why Vanishing Ice Is Likely All Natural? http://landscapesandcycles.net/-vanishing-ice-all-natural.html
The greatest rate of ice loss in Glacier National Park happened between 1850 and 1940.
They cherrypicked their starting date to give a false impression



Gunga Din

And before then, say, 1850?
And what about all the other glaciers out there?
Bottom line.
Whatever they are doing, just how is Man the cause of natural, long term, cyclic events?

Curious George

Ah, how I miss that sweet Ice Age. Laurentide Ice Sheet.


The same for the Columbia Ice Field (Between Banff and Jasper) where it has been declining since about 1840. I remember visiting the Athabasca Glacier in 1965 when it was cold, where the sign near the end of the (new) road up to near the toe of the glacier had been in the late 1800’s, and it had receded almost a full mile from then until I saw it 1965. Since then of course, it has receded more because of a general warming since the late 1970’s. Although it also shrank during the 30 year cool period from the late 1940’s to the 1970’s.
From Wiki… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Icefield “The last major period of advance occurred during the Little Ice Age, which lasted from about 1,200 to 1900 AD. Around 1800, the Athabasca Glacier peaked, then went through a period of recession, and then advanced again until 1840, when it began receding until the present day”.
Obviously, small continental Glaciers and Ice Fields such as the Columbia Ice Field and Glacier National Park are subject to localized continental temperatures, but even then we see they melt even during when the continental temperatures are temporally declining.


I should also point out that obviously, precipitation has as much to do with the life of a mountain glacier as does temperatures, along with a dozen other smaller attributing factors. It could even get the same amount of precipitation as ever, but if it comes with rain in late spring and earlier fall, then a lot of the ice is melted away much faster and just increases streamflows downstream. I believe this very fact (along with reduced precipitation and drought) is what is specifically reducing the glacial mass in Glacier National Park, along with the warmer temperatures since the LIA, when these glaciers last put on a lot of growth. If the precipitation falls as snow, it sticks and grows the glacier, whereas rain at that altitude in the shoulder seasons just erodes the glacier faster. Yes, a function of a warming climate which nobody doubts, but that will counterbalance when temperatures cool a few degrees in the mountainous highlands and the glaciers add mass when the precipitation is more snow. While there are also many other lesser factors too numerous to mention here, to think they would stay exactly the same for long would be more problematic, since glaciers are for the most part, either advancing or receding. It’s what Glacier’s do and reading that activity over time is a clue to the climate that produced that.


So what?
The fact remains that most of the ice loss can’t be attributed to CO2, despite your desperate insinuations otherwise.

Odd! Rob I am not sure what you are trying to say. I certainly did not claim the glaciers have grown.
I only reported that the rate of ice loss was greatest pre-1940. Scientists in the 1930s worried Glaciers in GNP would soon disappear. Since CO2 concentrations were still low and theoretically could only cause insignificant warming during that time, Montana’s shrinking glaciers appear to be the result of natural variability that affected the volume of water being transported to land. Indeed the glaciers have continued to shrink but at a slower rate, and that contradicts the theory that increasing CO2 would increase the rate of ice loss.


And yet they are not disappearing. Glaciers come and go, it almost seems like a cyclical sort of thing. Not a lie spewing, leftist bullsh*t sort of thing. Imagine that. Real human beings, instead of leftist lie spewers.


Rob seems to be convinced that showing that glaciers are shrinking is sufficient to prove that CO2 is the cause.


Rob, Rob, Rob, as a self declared expert in formal logic, I’m sure you are familiar with the term ad ignoratum?
That is, proclaiming that we don’t know what else might have caused it, therefore my theory must be the correct one.
Secondly, a theory can be disproven by showing it doesn’t match the facts. It has never been necessary to provide a better theory first.
Thirdly, I see that my conjecture was correct, Rob actually does believe that all he has to do is show that it has warmed to prove that CO2 caused the warming.


Rob your understanding of science is as bad as your understanding of logic.
No, the best hypothesis does not win. Never has, never will.
All you have to do to disprove a theory is to show that it does not fit the facts, and with your help, we have done that tonight.

Kristi Silber

Jim, this is from your reference:
“Over subsequent periods when drought and snowpack were
generally in opposing phases (e.g., 1850–1910; Figures 6a,b) Glacier NP glaciers
experienced moderate retreat rates (1–7 m yr−1). During the period from 1917 to
1941, however, sustained low-snowpack coupled with extreme summer drought
conditions, in part, drove rapid glacial retreat. The Sperry Glacier, for example,
retreated at 15–22 m yr−1 and lost approximately 68% of its area (Figure 6d). Other
glaciers such as the Jackson and Agassiz Glaciers at times retreated at rates 100
m yr−1 (Carrara and McGimsey 1981; Key et al. 2002; Pederson et al. 2004).
Climatic conditions over the middle of the twentieth century became generally
favorable (i.e., high snowpack with variable summer drought conditions) for stabilization
and even slight readvance at some glaciers (Figures 6a,b). Combined
with changes in the glacier retreat rates due to topography (e.g., increased shading),
retreat rates decreased after the 1940s (11 m yr−1 by 1950; 5 m yr−1 by 1979
for the Sperry Glacier). Since the late 1970s, however, winter snowpack has been
low while severe and sustained summer drought conditions have returned, and
many Glacier NP glaciers are again shrinking rapidly (Figures 6a,b,d). If this
pattern of hot and dry summers coupled with extremely low snowpack continues,
Hall and Fagre (Hall and Fagre 2003) predict glaciers will be largely gone by 2030”
At any rate, it is clear that precipitation plays a major role in glacial flux. No surprise there. Just because temperature is not the sole driver doesn’t mean climate change is not a factor, but neither is it clear based on these observations and data alone that anthropogenic climate change is a greater factor than natural variation in this case. This research is part of the great puzzle, to be combined with other research in the search for the Big Picture, and hopefully something approaching Truth.
That’s as I see it at the moment (not that it matters).


And thus I always question the knowledge of a poster that argues about the growth or shrinking of mountain glaciers based on temperatures alone.

Rob, MarkW nails your wild misunderstanding of how science works.
You do NOT have to provide an alternative hypothesis before you can say the existing hypothesis is wrong. All you need is to show that… well, the existing hypothesis is wrong.
It is perfectly commonplace, and in some cases the only healthy course of action!, to abandon a hypothesis without “replacing” it with anything. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but honesty requires admitting when we’ve got no idea how something or other works.

Kristi Silber

Apparently their starting date in regards to the “dramatically” comment was 1966. They might just have some data you don’t know about, that’s better than your data. You accuse them of cherry-picking a starting date when your own source says the major glacier loss was between 1913-1940 and that glaciers again receded rapidly since 1970.
From an email conversation between two from the Trump admin:
>>>What evidence does USGS have that “The warming climate has dramatically
>>>reduced the size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966.?
>>>This is a perfect example bf them going beyond their wheelhouse.
“Glaciers Rapidly Shrinking and Disappearing: 50 Years
of Glacier Change in Montana
The warming climate has dramatically reduced the
size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by
as much as 85 percent, according to data released by
the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State
University. On average, the glaciers have reduced by
39 percent and only 26 glaciers are new larger than
25 acres, which is used as a guideline for deciding if
bodies of ice are large enough to be considered

Scientists used digital maps from aerial photography
and satellites to measure the perimeters of the
glaciers in late summer when seasonai snow has
melted to reveal the extent of the glacial ice. The
areas measured are from 1966, 1998, 2005 and
2015/2016, marking approximately 50 years of
change in giacier area.
Site visits to glaciers were also made over several
years to investigate portions that were covered by
rock debris that are dif?cuit to see with digital
imagery. The mapped measurements of glaciers
complement ground surveys of glaciers using GPS
along with repeat photography that invoives re-
photographing historic photos of glaciers taken eariy
tast century when there were an estimated 150
glaciers larger than 25 acres in Glacier National Park.”
>>>They probably are relying on the percentages but the more basic point is we need to watch for
>>>inflammatory adverbs and adjectives in their press releases.
>>>Scott J. Cameron

Kristi Silber

Got my dates wrong. 1917-1941. Never was any good at remembering dates.
Sorry about the formatting on the post above.

Use of the word dramatic is subjective. A few weeks ago, the NSIDC, in its Arctic Sea Ice Report spoke of Baked Alaska. Come on, already. Do science, not prose.
As Jack Webb once said, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”


I don’t have to re-invent the wheel to point out that yours don’t roll.


Been done, over and over again.

Neither of these two “hypothesis” have been falsified, and both work. One is better than the other, because Einstein’s can explain the orbit of Mercury, and Newton’s cannot.

Congratulations are in order, I suspect. This must be a land-speed record for self-refutation.
Take a hint from smarter mora than yourself, Rob: try to leave at least a couple of sentences between your pontification and your counter-pontification. As a veteran idiot-smeller pursuivant, that’s my probem with people like you: there’s no real sport in pointing out the incoherence in your thesis when you make no effort to conceal it.


And yet they are STILL THERE. Funny how that works, leftists screech doom&gloom and reality makes them liars.


Sperry Glacier 1913….”The 1912 United States cold wave was one of the coldest periods since 1870 in the northern United States, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. The cold wave started in November 1911 and finally ended in March 1912, with periodic interruptions by milder temperatures.”


I guess…when you cherry pick right after one of the coldest periods in US history

Tom Judd

Rob Bradley:
“Dramatic yes or no?”
It’s hard to tell from the photos but it appears there’s some from of glacial moraine downwards from the 1913 photo. There certainly doesn’t appear to be any glacial moraine in the recent photo indicating where the 1913 glacial terminus would have been. If indeed that 1913 photo shows the only moraine there is then the glacial retreat ‘prior’ to 1913 (and, therefore, prior to large scale fossil fuel use) was comparable to any retreat ‘after’ 1913. In that case the retreat isn’t dramatic at all, and probably natural. BTW: where’s the little lake at the terminus of a rapidly retreating glacier?


Fine…all the glaciers are gone….like I care


Latitude March 10, 2018 at 3:12 pm
“Fine…all the glaciers are gone….like I care”
Pretty much sums up the denial here.

And the result of those few acres of ice on an angled surface at high altitude is ???
See, as recently in June 2014, just the “excess sea ice” around Antarctica at latitude 58-60 was more than the entire Greenland icecap.
Now, that Antarctic sea ice anomaly has gone up and down by that much area (“One Greenland” is more relevant to climate than “an iceberg half the size of Manhattan”, is it not?) several times since the satellite era began in 1979.
So, my answer is, is 10,000 to 30,000 sq kilometers of second and third year sea ice in the Bering Sea, in the Sea of Okhotsk, and the Hudson Bay more important than that picture of one mountaintop snow field?

Depends on the effect one wants to provide his/her audience: Melting land glacier ice can, indeed, raise ocean levels by a little bit. Melting parts of the Greenland or Antarctic icecap are far more important than a millimeter from a mountaintop. Reflecting or absorbing sunlight (to theoretically heat or cool the planet) takes much more than an isolated glacier. That heating or cooling effect from sea ice loss or gain depends on day-of-year, latitude, and solar elevation angles and type of sunlight and clouds.
But the three (glacier mountaintop ice, massive icecaps, and polar sea ice) are very, very often merged into one gloomy scenario of utter horror.


Simon…we don’t suffer fools gladly


Ignoring what doesn’t matter is usually considered a sign of mental health.
Obsessing over things that don’t matter, isn’t.


Rob, why this fascination with meaningless definitions.
The time period around 1913 was either cold or it wasn’t.
Why don’t you deal with the facts for once?


Latitude March 10, 2018 at 4:08 pm
“Simon…we don’t suffer fools gladly”
If you are not concerned by our environment changing quickly, one that has give us life and health, then perhaps the fool is not so far from you.


There you go trying to hide behind false definitions again.
I guess it’s easier than actually trying to deal with facts.


….”The 1912 United States cold wave was one of the coldest periods since 1870 in the northern United States, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. The cold wave started in November 1911 and finally ended in March 1912, with periodic interruptions by milder temperatures.”


I think part of the strategy is to twist the argument in people’s minds. “See, the climate really has changed.” This way we can completely avoid having to prove that CO2 is the cause. The science is completely skipped and we go straight to religion.

“Naomi Oreskes”? Did you proof-read that. R?
Last time I checked it was our side, the apathy industry, that used Oreskes as a spokesmodel spokesperson mascot. Doubt may be our product, but it’s a pretty face that sells it.

Gunga Din

Yes, it is.
Beauty is only skin deep.
She doesn’t show a false face. She shows what she is, integrity through and though.
That is beautiful to behold.
Naomi, on the other hand…………..
(Ever see The Wizard of Oz?)

Gunga +1
One and only one specimen in the set [Judy, Oreskes] can safely be approached without the aid of a painstakingly-polished shield and a vorpal sword.


You can catch a screen cap of anyone looking weird, lets move on.
This ain’t CNN.


You can catch a screen cap of anyone looking weird, lets move on.
This ain’t CNN.

Hear hear. Rise above. Let Climate Nuremberg stoop to having a whole category for posts featuring screen caps of a scientist looking weird.
Well, not a scientist as such, just a psychologist.
Well, not a psychologist as such, just Lewandowsky.
We’re better than that. And less funny.


And to think, the trolls accuse us of bringing in politics.


Angry Feminist. Y’all got no idea how many of them I have had to deal with during the last 40 years. And no, there is no “reasoning” with these “persons”, they have their ideology and NOTHING will move them from it.

This is my first notice of Rob Bradley, but clearly he acts like a low life troll. Does he always engage in such a dishonest manner?


As opposed to a high-life troll ?
Now, that is a distinction I need to learn 🙂

Christopher James Hagan

Yes she is wonderful and intelligent. You could learn some lesson from her Rob. If you really try you might understand the that she uses all the data and you pick a picture and attach a straw man argument.


Jim, yes


Just look at his attempts to support a belief that until someone comes up with a better theory as to what caused the LIA to end, we have to accept his insistence that CO2 did it.

Rob Bradley reminds me of Dave Patterson who haunts the Environmental Consultants forum at LinkedIn despite not having graduated college or having any scientific background or any environmental consulting background. He argued the anthrax outbreak that happened after they stopped vaccinations was due to climate change. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/09/12/daily-kos-eschews-anthrax-basic-epidemiology-embraces-climate-fear-mongering/
He is from the Slandering Sou’s troll factory and uses the very same tactics. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/20/hotwhoppers-miriam-obrien-hoisted-by-her-own-petard/
But maybe the are just twins

“But maybe the are just twins”
That theory has little explanatory power in the case of dizygotic twins. But if you’re suspecting them of being monozygotes then yes, the geminological literature supports your hypothesis in spades. Sou and Rob are each other’s peers (though otherwise peerless) for scientific illiteracy multiplied by scientific self-confidence.
It was amusing, during the early days of the Climate Wars, to be lectured on how science works by individuals (and their twins and triplets) who were just taking an uneducated guess and getting it completely @ss-forwards. 26 years later the joke is wearing thin.

A C, of Adelaide

It become duplicitous of climate “scientists” if they cherry pick a starting date. My point is what a brief look at previous Whats Up With That postings on Montana glaciers suggest that the melting event began much earlier than the atmospheric CO2 rises and therefore.
In 2010 these pages featured a classic USGS map of glacier retreat in Alaska that demonstrated that most of the retreat occurred between 1800 and 1900.
Any “scientists” who prepare a paper on glacial retreat in the USA which fails to feature that map without explanation deserves to be reprimanded.comment image

Gerald Machnee

Re Rob
**Keep in mind that James Watt patented the steam engine in 1781, and the “Industrial Revolution began about 1760.**
And in spite of the industrial period we continued cooling until the 1930’s. See post below.

Tom Judd

C’mon Rob. The Industrial Revolution which began in 1760 was originally confined to England because England didn’t have any trees to burn. From the time of the Romans to the 1800s people lived pretty much as they always had. The prime mover was the horse. The transcontinental railroad wasn’t completed until the 1860s and those steam engines burned wood as did the riverboats. Steamships didn’t appear until the latter 1800s – it was all sail. Even if the theory of CAGW was absolutely true the Industrial Revolution would’ve had no effect – none – on the climate between 1760 and 1920 unless extraterrestrial life forms intervened.


If a rise of half a dozen ppm was enough to cause all the earlier warming, than the 20 times larger increase since then should have caused nearly 20 times as much warning.
Yet the rate of warming has actually slowed.
Ergo, you have just proven that CO2 has little to no impact on temperatures.
Thank you for playing.

About 90 miles north of glacier bay (West Arm) is the largest tidewater glacier in North America, Hubbard Glacier and it has been advancing for about the last 100 years…so there…Where are all the news stories about that glacier?

Glaciers in New Zealand have also been advancing. They thought it was due to warming increasing moisture, but recently have concluded that particular area is getting colder. It is sort of fun to watch the mental gymnastics involved in explaining how cooling temperatures and advancing glaciers are due to a “warming world.”
“Science conducted by press releases.”
Ain’t it wonderful?
I like to thank all who comment by introducing actual facts. It is what makes this site so interesting.


Yes I know that Rob, however the 20:1 ratio is sufficient to over come that impact.
On the other hand, if you are correct, and the 120 ppm increase in CO2 since the 1940s has had less impact than the 6ppm increase prior to 1940, than this proves that a 2400ppm (120*20) increase going forward will have even less impact than the 120 ppm increase since 1940.
Ergo, we have nothing at all to worry about.


As always, Rob gets hung up on a term that he doesn’t understand and then ignores everything else.
Once again, if the power of logarithms was as powerful as you wish to believe, then you have proven that another 100 or 200 ppm increase in CO2 would have no measurable impact on the climate.


And if you believe that the fact that logarithms explain why the 20 times greater increase since the 1940s has had less impact than the much smaller increase before, than that would prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that a 20 times increase from now going forward, would have even less of an impact than did the increase from the 1940s till today.
Thank you for single handedly disproving the AGW hypothesis.


Umm,… the internet never forgets, so there is that.


Thank you for conceding the point so gracefully Rob.
Since you feel the need to change the subject, it’s obvious that even you acknowledge that you can no longer support your original claim.


Now the troll results to insults. I guess he has once again given up trying to defend his original contentions.


Trying to change the subject. Yet more evidence that the troll knows it can’t defend it’s original position.

Points made long ago in petitionproject.org


January 1914; July 2009, (forgot to edit out all the green from additional CO2).
How about those trees in Alaska…
Retreat of the Mendenhall Glacier reveals the remains of trees which grew more than 2,000 years ago.


Rob Bradley – If the trees were around 2000 yrs old then that corresponds with the Roman Warm Period. I would imagine it is very rare for trees to preserved beneath a glacier due to the powerful erosive forces, so it would be no surprise to not find evidence of the MWP.


Unless the trees being exposed were exposed twice, once 2000 years ago and once again 800 years ago.


No!!! You mustn’t show things like that!!!
There’s quite a bit of paleontological and geological evidence that the Alps in Europe were copletely ice-free some 7,000 years ago.
Then the snows returned and Ootzi the Iceman went on a spirit walk to plead with the gods to spare his village. He had everything he needed for a long journey, including an expensive gift: a copper axe head.


Rob, are you really as stupid as you sound? If the area is above the tree line, then trees won’t grow.

@ Bradley…I don’t see anything green in that picture. Yet there that stump sits fully exposed. Now judging by the closeness of the ice fieldIt would be easy enough to guess that more warming time would be needed before anything ever grows there again.

Kristi Silber

There’s lots of green at the top. Plenty of vegetation above the glacier.

Kristi Silber

…Trees even, looks like, in the valley on the left. Unless the photo is taken at an angle such that the slopes in the background are at a lower elevation.
It’s possible that the trees were revealed as glaciers scraped away overlying or surrounding layers that bore vegetation from 800 BP, but that seems very unlikely judging by this tree (if it’s indeed one of the 2000 BP ones). I would expect much more evidence of deterioration is this was exposed or buried in soil for an appreciable time. Hard to tell much of anything from one photo, though.
At any rate, I personally wouldn’t say this is proof of anything, as climate patterns might have been quite different then (through changes in land use, for instance). It could have been warmer but with more winter precipitation and less glacial retreat.
Nice photo.


Which logically proves CO2 has a time machine, for how else could it possibly have been even hotter 2,000 years ago? Ockham’s Razored! So CO2 is even worse than we’d imagined … and it’s been really rather imaginative too. Well, now we know what causes palaeo warming and cooling, CO2 is temporally screwing with us! … evil.


The tree line can move over time poor Rob. Is that another thing you are ignorant of?


There may be trees from the MWP.
“A protective tomb of gravel likely encased the trees more than 1,000 years ago, when the glacier was advancing, Connor said, basing the date on radiocarbon ages of the newly revealed wood”
Connor is Professor Cathy Connor, one of the scientists studying the Menedenhall Glacier.

John Bell

But if the glacier grows they claim that is because more moisture in air, as they predicted, so everything counts against C02.

Zurab Abayev

These scientists are so horrible that reality TV star (Donald J Trump) thinks that they are overly dramatic….
Interesting twist…

Gary Pearse

POTUS you mean and he is correct on this one.

Vic Pearson

Well,there are 60 named glaciers in Montana
for a start so what has hapenned to the other
21 ? They must at least be the same size ?
So already the scientists report is biased.
The climate has changed for centuries due to
Changes in solar, orbit,volcanoes and there is
Then a change in C02 as a result not vice versa.Sadly some people will not admit this
As it does not support their green funding

Fred Harwood

What months were the above photos?


Andrew Fountain, a geology professor at Portland State University who co-authored the study, said he had heard rumors that Interior officials were unhappy. “In short, they just didn’t like the idea we found yet more evidence of climate warming,” Fountain said.

What a juvenile comment. Government scientists aren’t supposed to be making the case for CAGW. Grow up Andrew.


Looks like the photos were taken in debt fferent seasons. The second picture shows the light topical snow melted away as it does every summer


MarkW said,
“2) THe world has been warming up since the bottom of the Little Ice Age (thank God)”
I’ll second that (thank God). Can you imagine the body count if it hadn’t warmed from the depths of the LIA?


1) 1914 was 30 years before the big rise in CO2 levels.
2) THe world has been warming up since the bottom of the Little Ice Age (thank God)
3) What time of year were the two pictures taken?
4) Do you have any evidence that CO2 has anything to do with the changes you believe you have documented.


I didn’t say there was no increase in CO2 prior to 1914. Your reading comprehension remains as poor as ever.
The cause of both the Little Ice Age and our recovery from it is not known at present.

In a classic non sequitur, alarmist Andrew Foutain says

“In short, they just didn’t like the idea we found yet more evidence of climate warming,”

No one criticised the report that glaciers are retreating (D’oh) during this Interglacial.
The suggestion was to not use generally accepted information as propaganda intended to alarm citizens.
Your role is to report, not to editorialize.

Another classic case; this time ships passing in the night. (smile)

Kristi Silber

It’s less likely a non sequitur than a reporter taking a sentence out of context. Based on the way his statement is worded and on the emails in question, my guess is that Fountain has good reason (from experience) to say what he did.
Many here have argued that scientists like Dr. Ridd should be free to disparage entire scientific organizations to the media and call into question the validity of their research. Is there not a disjunct here, a double standard?
“Propaganda intended to alarm citizens”? If this stuff is meant to alarm citizens, the numbers are enough. How is this propaganda when it’s just reporting? One word, “dramatically,” and it’s propaganda! If you are that sensitive, then it must eat you alive to see how much propaganda is distributed through this site.
Any little excuse to trash scientists! They don’t even have to be climate scientists. Any of the thousands of people working on anything related to climate change is a legitimate target.
To me “dramatically” seems perfectly appropriate:
“The warming climate has dramatically reduced the
size of 39 glaciers in Montana since 1966, some by
as much as 85 percent, according to data released by
the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State
University. On average, the glaciers have reduced by
39 percent and only 26 glaciers are new larger than
25 acres, which is used as a guideline for deciding if
bodies of ice are large enough to be considered
glaciers.” (etc.)


“Many here have argued that scientists like Dr. Ridd should be free to disparage entire scientific organizations to the media and call into question the validity of their research. Is there not a disjunct here, a double standard?”
Ridd didn’t disparage anyone. He criticized the conclusions of certain research. That’s his right and duty as a scientist. The double standard is the university championing academic freedom on one hand, then denying that freedom to voices ideas they disagree with on the other.


typo clarification: “then on the other hand, denying that freedom to voice ideas that they disagree with.”


Tell me Kristi, is it always wrong to disagree with prior research?

I like drama, too. And gosh! Montana sure has had a dramatic winter this year! The Blackfoot Reservation had snowfall over fifty inches above normal by the start of March, and was cut off for days at a time. Gosh! And records were set in parts of Montana for both cold and for amounts of snowfall! Drama! Drama! Drama!
Anyone up there checking to see if the glaciers are still retreating? (Cue the dramatic PBS background music.)

Kristi Silber

Dr. Ridd said the science coming from two institutions was untrustworthy.
““The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific organizations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies ,,, … the science is coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated and this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more”
The university has policies about not harming the reputations of fellow scientists.
I don’t know the whole story, but I personally don’t think it was appropriate to say what he did on the news. It’s one thing to identify particular problems that need to be addressed and another to say organizations are generally scientifically untrustworthy. What does it even mean that the science is not properly “checked” or “tested”? Science isn’t normally replicated even before it’s published. Saying these things on TV makes it sound like normal steps are being skipped, but what he’s saying is too vague to mean anything.

Kristi Silber

Mark W
“Tell me Kristi, is it always wrong to disagree with prior research?”
Of course not! It’s part of science.


I 100% agree, cut out the histrionics and return to actual, factual SCIENCE. Take their leftist crap and ram it back up their a$$es, where it came from. And STOP STEALING MY TAX DOLLARS, f*cking lie spewing f*cks.

Gary Pearse

Here’s a recent webcam from Logan Pass, in the park visitors parking lot:
The photo in the Global Warming report was probably taken in September of south facing slopes. This is dry country and is susceptible low precipitation. Remember the hype over the end of days for the glaciers of Kilimanjaro over a decade ago? Never mentioned anymore:

Gary Pearse

l climbed Kilimanjaro in (IIRC) 1987. Jimmy Carter had just climbed it ahead of me. I unhappily had to turn back only a couple of hundred metres from the summit volcanic crater rim in the snow above the 3rd and final camp because of a gut problem. I had had bad diarrhea the day before the climb and a Norwegian companion gave me two tiny pills (prednisone?). It bound me up so chronically that I was constipated for the three days of the climb, getting relief only near the end of the one day descent!

WOW, that’s the longest URL I have ever seen. Maybe that’s why the Logan Pass camera is down so much…


I have to agree. It’s a long one. 🙂

Here’s another Logan Pass camera that seems to be working:comment image
There seems to be a lot of snow up there this winter. We’ll find out when their plowing season starts.


They are so triggered right now, they can’t help it. Their TDS cycling up and down, and is hitting level 11 about every other week now. EE analogy: Bang-bang control eventually leads to actuator failure or surface attachment.


The glaciers are smaller. It’s been 100 years. We know it was colder in the 1800’s. It would be surprising (but not shocking, since glaciers change size for many reasons) if they hadn’t shrunk.
The extent of how much the glaciers have shrunk glaciers is data. It’s only data.

Walter Sobchak

Cut-off their funding.


“Christ almighty”, was my parents go-to phase, near as I remember.
Yet here I am.

Wait some years, the “scientists” will moan about sinking temperatures and the consequences for the earth if this goes on another 10000 years.And they will make computer models to show how much the temperatures will fall in the next 1000 years, and that the earth will be damaged And the will make mankind accountable for the sinking temperatures. we will all be dead!
(in fact we will be dead,but for other reasons)


🙂 so any more recent than 2009 around? could be a good laugh

Bruce Cobb

The use of the word “dramatically” by so-called “scientists” raises a red flag. It imparts nothing more than emotion, and that is its purpose. They need people to be emotional about some glaciers shrinking, because without emotion, they’ve basically got nothing but a slight warmup since the LIA, which is somehow “bad” and somehow our fault, because “carbon”. But all they really have is a weak correlation – rising temps and rising CO2 levels. The link is extremely weak, as is “the science”, which is why they need to try to sway people using emotions. It’s the oldest trick in the book.

Kristi Silber

Yeah, skeptics would never stoop to such ploys.


Do you have evidence? Or are you just assuming that the skeptics must be bad again?

2nd photo from 2009, wasn’t that 9 years ago? And the top photo looks like winter, while the bottom photo looks like Spring/Summer to me.

Philip Schaeffer

Trump complaining about people being too dramatic???
Now I really have heard everything. How about leading by example if you really care Mr Trump.

It was about 10 years ago when first mass analysis by satellite of glaciers became available. Prior to that individual “scientists” had gone to glaciers around the world and measured melting. They went to the most dramatically melting glaciers of course and then extrapolated to all inland glaciers.
When the satellite data came in we found that the individual scientists had obviously been biased. The result showed that they had overestimated glacier melting by 900% worldwide. The flow from inland glaciers was grossly misestimated from the obvious “dramatic” feeling these researchers had by looking at individual hand picked glaciers.
We see the errors of climate scientists being the same errors other scientists have made. This is why we have double blind studies in pharmaceutical testing. This is why we require 6 sigma before we say we “discovered” something in physics. Climate scientists here in Montana doing the same thing that they have erred on before egregiously. No correction.