Trouble On ‘Lonnies Mountain’

Looks like serial non-archiver Lonnie Thompson ran in to some “Climate Communication” issues of his own~ctm

From the Peruvian newspaper “El Comercio”

Áncash: scientists withdrawn from Mount Huascaran at the request of community members

People of the town of Musho, in Yungay, demanded that the researchers come down from the mountain because they were told that they went to exploit minerals. 

Laura Urbina, 07.08.2019 / 05:05 pm

Scientists who had been studying Mount Huascaran for a month, located in the Ancash region, had to withdraw to avoid a conflict with the people of the local community of Musho, Yungay province, who argue that they will cause damage to the mountain.

The expedition, made up of 8 Peruvian, American, Italian, French and Russian scientists, and led by the renowned glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, was transferred from the base camp of Huascarán to the town of Musho last Monday at 10 pm

The researchers, who carried drilling rigs and portable radars to monitor rocks, went to the mountain to collect ice cores samples in order to study the effects of climate change on the planet and to obtain information on the eco-diversity of the Andes and the Amazon of Peru, and to perform other important analyzes, as reported at the time by the National Institute of Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM).

In this regard, the prefect of the Ancash Region, Eunice Dextre Castillejo, explained that last Saturday at a meeting the community demanded the removal of the scientists because they had not asked permission to execute that study, and the scientists had informed them that they were going to dig a mine on Mount Huascarán, located 6,768 meters above sea level, in the province of Yungay.

“The importance of the study has been explained to them, but they say the scientists do not have permission, despite the fact that the Huascarán National Park is managed by the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SERNANP) and this is who has issued the permits. In addition, the people have been wrongly informed that Mount Huascarán has been sold to exploit its minerals, and that is not true. They say the scientists are damaging their mountain, but we know that the studies will help us to design public policies at national and international level on climate change, the El Niño phenomenon and global warming,” he told El Comercio.

Dextre Castillo confirmed that last Thursday a group of community members went to the area to ask that the researchers and their teams withdraw within 12 hours, and after discussion, they were giving them two days to leave.

We have complied with their request, seeking the safety of scientists and social peace. Scientists have been removed to safety, they are calm and waiting for the population to understand the importance of the study,” he said.

The politician remarked that the dialogue with the local population will be resumed so that the scientists can return to the mountain to finish their work.

We are going to talk and urge the population to understand the importance of the study and let them know that they have been poorly informed,” he added.

For its part, the president of INAIGEM, Guisella Orjeda, said that the project has not been interrupted and that the ice cores necessary for the study have been obtained.

We have obtained the necessary samples. It has been a great expedition. We have achieved all that was proposed. I will just talk with the scientists about what happened,” he said in a brief telephone interview.

The ice cores will be transferred to Lima and then to Ohio State University where they will be analyzed. 

Meanwhile, the head of the Macro-region in Ancash, PNP general Héctor Petit, reported that the transfer of the scientists was carried out peacefully and without confrontations between the police and the community members.

For security reasons, we have moved the scientists, at this time they are no longer on the mountain. There were threats that could jeopardize their safety. At the moment there is no one working,” he told reporters.

Officer Petit asked the Musho population to get the real facts and not to get carried away by ill-intentioned people. “Some have said that these works are mining excavations and that they are going to take water from glaciers and other things that lack any truth,” he said.

FOOTNOTE: (by Anthony Watts)

Mount Huascaran:

Mount Huascaran (public domain – Wikipedia)

WUWT readers may recall that OSU’s Dr. Lonnie Thompson was single-handedly responsible for Al Gore making the claim in his movie An Inconvenient Truth that Mt. Kilimanjaro was losing it’s ice-cap due to “global warming”. The ever wrong Guardian esposed this in 2009 and the NYT attributed Thompson to saying that “global warming” is the cause. That was entirely false, and Thomspon knew it. Here you see a photo of Thompson standing next to ice spires on the top of Kilimanjaro. Note the lack of meltwater.

Dr. Lonnie Thompson on Mt. Kilimanjaro (OSU photo)

The real reason for ice loss? Poverty.

People around the mountain stripped the forest for firewood. No trees meant no evapotranspiration into up-slope winds, and without that additional moisture, the ice began to sublimate due to lack of additional snowfall.

Climategate revealed that behind the scenes, “climate scientists” didn’t believe the melting was due to warming at all, but they let it slide for “the cause”.

Climate science is morally and factually bankrupt when they allow things like this to happen.

Gore subsequently and quietly removed Kilimanjaro claims from his presentations. Kilimanjaro is now regaining its ice-cap.

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August 9, 2019 10:51 am

“… but we know that the studies will help us to design public policies …”

One of the things that disturbs me about IPCC reports, and especially the next one, are the many implicit and explicit inferences about how policy goals are influencing how climate science is interpreted and disseminated by the IPCC. Given the IPCC’s charter to identify science to support the UNFCCC, it’s clear that the policy goals of the UNFCCC are the explicit policy goals of the IPCC and represents a conflict of interest that should have never been allowed to exist. The specific conflict is that the scientific truth deprecates their reason to exist while they will do whatever it takes to preserve their existence.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
August 9, 2019 8:29 pm

That ice spire on Kilimanjaro could disappear without ever shedding liquid water. It’s called sublimation, and we see it frequently here at high altitude in Nevada when the sun shines brightly in temperatures well below freezing.

Reply to  brians356
August 10, 2019 2:12 am

Sublimation is also what happens to any data collected by Dr Loonie Thomoson, whilst working on tax payers’ money.

Robert W Turner
August 9, 2019 11:04 am

I bet they don’t like it when a group of Loraxes gets together and halts their work based on idio…err misunderstanding. Now just imagine if their paychecks actually depended on getting the work done versus getting paid with tax dollars regardless.

Bruce Cobb
August 9, 2019 11:05 am

I mean, really, what part of “saving the planet” do these numbskulls people not understand?

August 9, 2019 11:06 am

Why not help the Venezuelan refugees on their exodus roads to neighboring countries.

Lewis p Buckingham
August 9, 2019 11:19 am

Whatever the endeavour things always end up as a problem of trust.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Lewis p Buckingham
August 9, 2019 6:34 pm


That’s because honesty is the foundation of all virtues.

Reply to  Lewis p Buckingham
August 10, 2019 2:10 am

and when you flatly refuse to publish you data paid for they tax dollars, no one will trust you.

Presumably Dr Loonie Thomson will delete all his data just before retiring just to make sure they don’t get into the “wrong” hands.

August 9, 2019 11:24 am

Climate skeptics are constantly smeared with the accusation they are in the pay of “Big Oil”.
Allow me to advance a hypotheses.
The Thompson team was secretly in the pay of Big Mineral. Apparently they were prospecting under the glacier to locate sites for what is known as Extreme Alpine Mining.
Trouble started when the townspeople discovered the true nature of the expedition.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Reply to  TonyL
August 9, 2019 11:48 am

Note also this dichotomy:

Officer Petit asked the Musho population to get the real facts and not to get carried away by ill-intentioned people. “Some have said that these works are mining excavations and that they are going to take water from glaciers and other things that lack any truth,” he said.

For its part, the president of INAIGEM, Guisella Orjeda, said that the project has not been interrupted and that the ice cores necessary for the study have been obtained.

“We have obtained the necessary samples. It has been a great expedition. We have achieved all that was proposed. I will just talk with the scientists about what happened,” he said in a brief telephone interview.

The ice cores will be transferred to Lima and then to Ohio State University where they will be analyzed.

And just what do you think the renowned glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is going to find in those ice cores?

And what about those “other things that lack any truth?” I really want some of them for my FaceBook postings.


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ric Werme
August 9, 2019 3:50 pm

Whatever he finds, he’ll be sure not to archive the results, for, you know, science and stuff.

Reply to  Ric Werme
August 9, 2019 7:13 pm

Not mentioned the their statements:
comment image?zoom=2&resize=960%2C675&ssl=1
Our Mt. Huascaran Expedition takes us to the highest southern summit of Huascarán, Huascarán Sur, which is the highest point in Peru and the sixth highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, at an elevation of 6,768 meters (22,205 feet). Huascaran gives its name to Huascarán National Park, which surrounds it and is a popular location for trekking and mountaineering. Huascarán is normally climbed from the village of Musho to the west via a high camp in the col that separates the summits, known as La Garganta. The ascent normally takes 6–7 days, the main difficulties being the large crevasses that often block the route.

Brief Synthesis
Situated in the aptly named Cordillera Blanca (“White Mountains”), Huascaran National Park
protects the heart of the World’s highest tropical mountain range in the central Peruvian Andes. The property of 340,000 hectares covers a diverse mountain landscape from around 2,500 m.a.s.l. and culminating in 27 snow-capped peaks above 6,000 m.a.s.l. It includes the spectacular Nevado Huascaran (Mount Huascaran), Peru’s highest peak at 6,768 m.a.s.l., as the property named after the 16th Century Inca leader Huascar. The snow-covered peaks, the numerous tropical glaciers and glacial lakes, the high plateaus intersected by deep ravines with torrential creeks and the variety of vegetation types form a spectacular landscape of rare beauty.

Appreciating the geomorphology and striking landscape beauty it is easy to overlook that the property also boasts noteworthy ecosystem and biodiversity values. The wide range of ecosystems and vegetation types includes small pockets of montane tropical forests in some of the lower elevations and valleys. Diverse types of Paramo and Puna grasslands and scrublands are the dominant vegetation types in the property, at higher elevations transitioning into tropical tundra.”

“To this day there is strong seismic activity in the area, major earthquakes, such as in 1945, 1962 and 1970 serving as cruel reminders. Glaciation is a major element in the geomorphology and hydrology of the property. It is estimated that as much a quarter of the volume of glacial ice in the Cordillera may have disappeared since the late 1960s, a process which is likely to further change the visual face of Huascaran National Park”

An excellent description that fails to mention that between Mount Huascaran and the Pacific is the very arid Sechura Desert.
The coast and its long desert
Submitted by Staff writer |
The Peruvian west coast bordering the Pacific Ocean is a long desert strip that stretches from the departments of Tumbes in the north bordering Ecuador, to Tacna in the south bordering Chile for a total length of 1,555 miles or 2,500 km. The average temperature from December to April is 25 to 28C or 53 to 59F and the average temperature from May to November is 12 to 15C or 53 to 59F.

The coast covers about 10% of the territory but is home to more than 50% of the population.”

Usually deserts are places blasted by sun but not in the coast of Peru . In the winter months it is covered with a thick fog or mist called garua which prevents the sun from penetrating and makes everything look gray. This is the result of the Humboldt Current, discovered in 1802 by scientist Alexander von Humboldt. He found that the temperature of the sea along the coast measured -13F or 8C lower than in similar latitudes elsewhere and that the air over land was warmer than over the sea. When the flow of cold water along the Pacific coast comes in contact with the dry desert air it forms a dense fog. Vegetation is also very diverse because of the different microclimates created by sea currents.

The dryness of the dessert makes agriculture a difficult task. Pre-Columbian civilizations such as Chimu, Lima, Paracas and Nasca flourished in small areas and were supported by rivers coming from the mountains. They were able to channel the water from the rivers that created the valleys that we know today. This source of water relies on rain in the Andes and makes these valleys subject to drought or flood. Other than these valleys most of the coastal landscape is dry and dusty.”

• Located in a very arid area.

• Lost a quarter of glacial moraine since the 1960s.

• Populated for over a thousand years.

• A 22,200 foot (6,768 meters) tall mountain that requires technical climbing gear at the higher levels; and serious acclimation to work at altitudes over 10,00 feet.

• 6-7 days to ascend the mountain with technical gear. Yet, I suspect Lonnie walked up to his work area.

• Plenty of seriously dry area to sublimate ice.

• Determining ages of ice sounds impossible. Especially ice drilled from small areas at lower elevations. Ice that likely receive regular avalanches…

Archive his data? And expose all of these weaknesses? Not a chance.

John M. Ware
Reply to  ATheoK
August 10, 2019 9:05 am

Average Dec to Apr temp, listed as 25 to 28 C, is actually 77 to 82 F, not what is shown in the paragraph about midway above.

Kurt in Switzerland
August 9, 2019 11:42 am

I think they could have continued their studies on the mountain in peace had they thought in advance and made a generous donation to the local town for the sake of good will prior to beginning the expedition.

Apart from that, Lonnie must have one helluva carbon footprint.

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
August 9, 2019 6:25 pm

Also known as “greasing the palm.” Sometimes a little good will spread around the community can work wonders.

August 9, 2019 12:18 pm

…but we know that the studies will help us to design public policies at national and international level on climate change, the El Niño phenomenon and global warming,

So, climate change and global warming are two separate subjects now? It’s hard to keep up with the shifting terminology. At least they “know” that their “studies” will help. Yeah, right.

August 9, 2019 12:19 pm

Technically speaking (pedantly speaking?), drilling of ice cores IS “mining”.

(But this is GOOD mining, like digging up cobalt & rare earth minerals for batteries to power our sacred EVs, not that horrible practice of digging up coal to burn for affordable electricity)

Reply to  Mr.
August 9, 2019 1:31 pm

And, pedantically, removing the ice cores to Ohio is to “take water from [the] glaciers”.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Mr.
August 10, 2019 5:18 am

No, taking ice cores is never “mining” when mining always means excavate / take minerals, ore:

obtain (coal or other minerals) from a mine.

August 9, 2019 12:27 pm

“And just what do you think the renowned glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is going to find in those ice cores?”

Who knows? He won’t publish the data, he never does.

And I can understand that the locals are jumpy about any interference with the mountain. Huascarán is highly unstable. There have been a number of huge slides that have killed tens of thousands.

Reply to  tty
August 10, 2019 2:01 pm

“And just what do you think the renowned glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is going to find in those ice cores?”
Anything he wants.

John Tillman
August 9, 2019 12:29 pm

The economy of Ancash Department relies heavily on gold, copper and zinc mining, plus fishing and farming.

Robert of Texas
August 9, 2019 12:35 pm

Ah heck…I was hoping we could start sending all the loonies up that mountain and then “Build The Wall” around it to keep them in!

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
August 9, 2019 12:51 pm

I would have nothing but admiration for anyone who could dig a mine shaft at 6,768 meters (22,204 feet) above sea level. Last month, my wife and I did three days of hiking in Yellowstone National Park. The average altitude was 7,800 feet, and I had a tough time of it.* Just taking core samples at 22,000 feet would be way beyond my capabilities.

* Of course, I’m 65 and out of shape due to 6 months of convalescence from bilateral total knee replacement – and have never hiked at that altitude in my life.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
August 9, 2019 1:20 pm

And don’t tell me – you weren’t scared of bears, because you didn’t have to outrun the bear, you only had to outrun your wife.

* and she didn’t have 2 new knees.

Boom boom.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  Mr.
August 9, 2019 5:10 pm

Nope, I was scared of bears (we saw 4 black bears, including one HUGE one the first night – right outside our lodge). So I rented bear spray for the one hike we took where a grizzly had been sighted. Fortunately, there were so many others on the trail that day that it would have been unlikely to encounter one.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
August 9, 2019 2:12 pm

Not 6,768 m, but the highest mine (and town) in the world is La Rinconada at 5,100 m (16,700 feet) in Peru, and there is at least a dozen mines over 15,000 feet in Peru, Bolivia and Chile.

Of course it helps having high-altitude adapted aymaras for miners. And, yes they are really adapted to high altitudes. I remember the aymara guide I had the first time I visited the altiplano back in the eighties. He was studying to be a veterinarian in Lima, and he told me how miserable he always felt in the lowlands, and how often he was ill there.

August 9, 2019 12:52 pm

We have these ‘community members’ who can stop anything. I’ll bet they’re some kind of ragged self-defined community of partially pre-European descended people. It’s the same kind of people who can cite the anger of the gods to prevent another telescope on Mauna Loa. Conrad Black addressed the problem with this all-guns-blazing broadside.

Our ancestors knew that it was evil to have an aristocracy based on inherited rights. Nobody should have special rights just because they were born into the right family.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  commieBob
August 9, 2019 1:22 pm

“Our ancestors knew that it was evil to have an aristocracy based on inherited rights. ”
…so they established one based on inherited money instead.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 10, 2019 2:04 am

Inherited money tends to be a temporary problem. link

We can rail about income inequality but equality of outcome is much much worse. Inequality of income can result in a stable society. Equality of outcome is a disaster for the economy and results in everyone eventually being reduced to misery.

Income inequality provides the motivation for people to work hard to get ahead. That promotes the economy and everyone benefits. The problem is to make sure that those who can’t do useful work still get to live a reasonable life.

The SJW insistence on equality of outcome removes the motivation to work hard. It removes what Talib calls ‘skin in the game’. Nobody gets to lead a reasonable life. It’s why the Soviet Union collapsed.

Reply to  commieBob
August 9, 2019 2:21 pm

Highland people in Peru/Bolivia are more than “partially pre-European”. They are pretty pure quechuas or aymaras. Hardly anybody else cares to live at those altitudes.

Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 1:11 pm

When my friend needed life-saving surgery, the 22 mile helicopter ride cost $44K US. I wonder how many gidas it took to evacuate and house these scientists because of disseminated misinformation.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 1:57 pm

I was going to suggest it was all a clever ploy to avoid having to hike down the mountain, but that would have been disingenuous of me. 🙂

Next time they’ll have to invite gov’t monitors and try to wrangle the flight up.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 4:28 pm

Gidas is incorrect on my part. Nuevo Sol is the Peruvian currency unit.

August 9, 2019 2:18 pm

I’m about ready to tell our scientists to leave. Let me grab a pitchfork an few thousand of my neighbors, and I’ll get right on that.

August 9, 2019 2:20 pm

A serial fake-newsie has his work interrupted because of…wait for it…fake news! The irony is rich. But probably lost on him.

R Shearer
Reply to  stinkerp
August 9, 2019 3:47 pm

Jazz hands, jazz hands!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  stinkerp
August 9, 2019 4:13 pm

Is refined irony called steely? 🤔

Pop Piasa
Reply to  stinkerp
August 9, 2019 4:19 pm

Oops, I forgot about pig irony.

August 9, 2019 2:26 pm

Mount Huascaran was the source of a deadly Joküllhaup in the early 1960’s, which destroyed the town of Yungay. The left hand peak in the wikipic above had developed a giant ice cornice which just fell off. It looks like the cornice may have reformed. When it falls off again….,

Reply to  Mike Bromley
August 10, 2019 1:54 am

Not a Jökulhlaup, an avalanche/landslide. Jökulhlaups are caused by volcanic eruptions. Huascarán is non-volcanic, just unstable. There have been several catastrophic slides there, 1941, 1962, 1970.

August 9, 2019 2:30 pm

As technical advisers for Gore’s ‘Convenient Untruth’, he and his wife saw other issues they could have corrected, but didn’t. Once upon a time there was even video where they admitted such.

He’ll not do well in the history of science.

Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 4:07 pm

Anthony, climate science gets more obviously factually bankrupt with each successive year the models fail to predict correctly and a new “worse than we thought” scenario is overlaid on the dung heap of predictions, extending the omnipotence of the magic molecule CO2 to include current weather conditions.
The moral deficit and tactical warfare on affluence will increase as their fervor to save the planet at any cost (from humans) comes to a boil.

Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 5:48 pm

I’m going to be a liberal sloganist and assert that Anthony, Charles and Willis are “the triad of truth” when it comes to the dissection of the warmunist agenda.
Take that, you misguided eco-warriors!

Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 6:15 pm

Just a hair-splitter on the title, should be “Lonnie’s” with an apostrophe to signify ownership.
“The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe” (F. Zappa).

Pop Piasa
August 9, 2019 6:36 pm

In regards to Anthony’s Kilimanjaro note, I wonder if the reappearance of frozen precip isn’t partially due to the increased humidity currently observed globally, particularly at high altitudes and latitudes. That seems to me to be nature’s reaction to elevated SSTs. Anybody want to set me straight on this?

michael hart
August 9, 2019 7:26 pm

People who sign up to the cause of cynical exaggerated environmental alarmism, and ,ame a living from it, should not be surprised when it turns round and bites them in the butt.

F. Ketterer
August 10, 2019 4:12 am

Hi Willis,

you linked to a 2011 document stating that Kilimanjaro icecap is gaining ice: 8 years later some effect should be seen. Did not see much gain in google earth.
Do you have some evidence for this claim?


August 10, 2019 10:45 am

What a magnificent pair of peaks! Or is it just me?

August 10, 2019 9:25 pm

That’s Mother Earth you’re looking at.

Rod Evans
August 11, 2019 1:49 am

I am surprised they needed to go to the mountain to obtain ice core data. What is wrong with their usual method of just making up what ever data needed to suit their preferred story line, and thus save all that travel pollution….

August 11, 2019 3:02 am

If it is due to deforestation, then has it now been reforested allowing the ice cap to regrow? If not then deforestation would seem only a small part of the problem.

August 11, 2019 3:04 am

that response is about Mt. Kilimanjaro of course

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