Glacier alarmism in review

I am impressed by a group called Climate Discussion Nexus. I recently subscribed to its weekly newsletter, called the Wednesday Wakeup. That is where I came across the above very interesting video.  At 15 minutes, it is not a large tax on time, however, for the benefit of busy people who don’t want to drop everything just to watch something I liked, I will summarize below.

Just a couple of preface remarks. I do not mourn loss of glaciers. I remember in the 1950s in grade school how we were told that the glaciers of Glacier National Park were melting, as if it were some kind of tragedy. Most of the smaller ones are now gone. But get a grip. During the Little Ice Age**, not a good time to be alive, there was a resurgence of glaciers. Cold is our enemy, not our friend. During the LIA, Iceland lost a third of its population, and Vikings, who were farming Greenland, had to move south. The Thames froze over every year – we know this because we have paintings of carnivals on that ice.

The point is that cold weather brings shorter growing seasons and poorer crops, and makes life more stressful for everyone. Glaciers are important in many ways, as they store water for later use and keep sea levels at a relatively constant level. (Contrary to Climate Alarmist nonsense, we are not in danger of losing coastal cities or small island nations.)

But try not to romanticize glaciers. They are now in gradual attrition, but at such a small rate that they will be around for many more decades, if not centuries. (Notice how YouTube, ever the propaganda vehicle, puts its Climate Change scare message right on the face of this video. No shame there.)


Now, the video:

Okjökull: Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and former UN human rights commissioner Mary Robinson, in 2017 held a mock funeral for the Okjökull glacier, which had been stripped of its status as a glacier in 2014. Never missing a photo op, we are left with the impression that Okjökull was a victim of AGW, or anthropogenic global warming.

Truth is a little more complicated and a little less dramatic. In 1901 Okjökull covered 38 square kilometers. By 1978, that area was down to 3 square kilometers. In other words, 92% of the melting took place before “global warming” was even anyone’s concern. In fact, 1978 was a time when scientists were all in a titter about global cooling.

What caused Okjökull to melt during that time? I do not know, as Iceland has not heated up in any precipitous way. If I had to guess, I would say that exposure to direct sunlight and a thin base caused its demise, and not any human activity.

Glacier National Park: As mentioned above, glaciers in the park are receding, many smaller ones are gone. The few that are left are shrinking. These are the glaciers I was warned were going away in the 1950s.

In 2010, the Park Service put signs up at various viewpoints warning tourists to enjoy what they were seeing, as the glaciers they were looking at would be gone by 2020.

Indeed they had disappeared by 2020 – not the glaciers, but rather the signs.

We are in the Holocene interglacial period, a time that has seen dramatic rises in temperatures named after civilizations that thrived during those warm periods – the Minoan, Roman, Medieval, and our current Modern warm period. The overall trend is for each warm period to be less warm than the one before. After all, it is an interglacial period, that is, someday the ice age will come back again. 6,500 years ago, well into our Holocene interglacial, there were no glaciers in Glacier. It was much warmer then than now.

There are signs of gradual cooling. From 1851 to 1966 the park glaciers retreated at a rate of  ˜4.5% per decade, causing a  ˜50% shrinkage. From 1966-98, the rate of retreat was  ˜3.7%, per decade, total shrinkage  ˜12%. From 1998-2015, the rage of shrink had slowed to  ˜2.8% per decade, a  ˜4.75% loss in total.

If you like having glaciers around, you’ve got plenty more time to see them. They are only ever so slowly shrinking.

Himalayan Glaciers: Quite a bit of the video is devoted to Himalayan glaciers, as almost two billion people depend on that water flow. If we had journalism, the IPCC would have been exposed with its pants down as early as 2006.

The 4th IPCC assessment report, released in 2007, predicted that at the current alarming rate of shrinkage, Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035.

It is quite a story about how IPCC came about this assessment, which was completely bogus. The claim originated in 1999 with glaciologist Syed Hasnain in several magazine interviews. In 2005 the World Wildlife Fund repeated the claim, but did not fact check it. The IPCC picked up the claim for its 4th assessment. Not only did IPCC not subject the claim to peer review, it too did not even bother to fact check it.

Lead author of the report, Dr. Murray Lal, knew the claim was baseless prior to publication. The head of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, was advised prior to the 4th assessment that the data was baseless, but elected to keep in in the report because, as he said, he wanted politicians to take concrete action.  The 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit was on the horizon, and he wanted the 4th assessment to have full impact.

In 2009 the Indian government claimed that Himalayan glaciers had not in any way, especially in recent years, shown any abnormal retreat. In response, Dr. Pachauri referred to the statement as “voodoo science.” However, by 2010, the IPCC had to completely back away from its 4th assessment.  In 2010, Nobel Laureate George Kaser, climate scientist, noted that not one glaciologist had been involved the the Himalayan assessment in the 4th IPCC report.

So what gives here? It is easy for me to see, as I’ve been so long following the bogus presentations of IPCC, which are often scientific assessments of merit that are shrouded by reports for digestion by politicians and other leaders that misrepresent the science. That’s all that happened here – propaganda masqueraded as science.


There is more in this 15 minute video than I have covered here. The retreats and advances of New Zealand’s Franz Josef glacier are mentioned, along with some fascinating information on Alaska glaciers and their spectacular retreat …  Captain George Vancouver documented their extent in 1795. By the time John Muir got there in 1895, they had receded by 45 miles. All of this was preindustrial, and so had nothing to do with humans or CO2.

The planet we live on is a complicated place, and I do not imagine anyone understands the big picture enough to be making predictions, especially about the future – least of all the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which cannot be trusted even to be honest in its dealings.


** Little Ice Age: One of Michael Mann’s objectives in constructing his bogus hockey stick in 1998 was to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period (950-1250) and the Little Ice Age (1300-1850). He claimed they were mere regional phenomena, which, however, appear to have affected the entire Northern Hemisphere. His hockey stick flatlines through those times, as if temperatures were  steady. I’ve got more to say on Mann’s science, as he did not avail himself of anything beyond tree rings and then modern instrumental temperature data, in a post hoc ergo propter hoc manner. The question is are tree ring studies, known as dendrochronology, sending useable temperature signals about times past? More in store. Other proxy methods tell different stories, but Mann was not hired for science, just propaganda. He is, like Al Gore (whose weakest subjects in college were science and math), just an actor.

2 thoughts on “Glacier alarmism in review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s