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Melting Glaciers

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I recently read some information about problems caused by melting glaciers in the Alps. I was just wondering if there are any similar problems being encountered in North America from this unusually hot summer.

...Will this level of heat in any way effect the start of the season this year? ... - i.e. - Does a hot summer leave an unusually large heat sink in the mountain areas, and would that have to cool off before we see significant accumulations of snow?

[ August 09, 2003, 05:24 AM: Message edited by: feal ]
post #2 of 14
It's been very hot out west and cool and wet here in the east. Does that mean a warm dry winter for the west and cool snowy one for the east? I dunno but I bet you can guess what I'm hoping for. Yep, glade skiing for the Eastern Tune-up in mid-December.

Global warming? If one were to be conservative on the issue instead of Conservative politcally, we should be doing all we can to prevent it. It just seems to me if we wait for conclusive proof, it may be too late. At worst we would conserve resourses, live cleaner, create new jobs and technology and lessen dependence on fossil fuels. Who would loose?
post #3 of 14
For more on the situation in Europe:

Matterhorn declared off-limits to climbers
post #4 of 14
I live near Glacier National Park in the summer and everything is pretty normal this year. There was so much snow last year that it was the 2nd latest opening ever. I know that Mt Hood has way more snow this year than last. I'm planning on skiing there in a couple of weeks and it looks way better than last year at this time.

Which reminds me, here's a classic from last August -
Originally posted by endlessseason:
Alffnot's photo of Hood the other day got me wondering about how different the mountain might be these days compared to a few years ago (what with global warming and all).
I took the top photo last month at the Timberline museum (dated August 1941).
The bottom photo is one that I took last month (August 2002) during this, the driest season I've personally witnessed.
So....we have two August photos of Timberline, 6 decades apart. Interesting...

Some things to keep in mind as the photos are compared:
*Palmer snowfield is in it's natural state in the first photo--it wasn't chairlift-served until 1978.
*It had just snowed down to about 9500' in the 1941 photo, the fresh snow giving the illusion of a little more snow than there actually was.
*The vantage points are approximately the same, but not identical.

Feature 1: Separation of the upper and lower glaciers occurs in both photos to the right of the cone. Many people have thought this was only a recent phenomenon of global warming. In the original shot it can be seen that it has occurred before.
Feature 2: The glaciers and crevasses are much deeper in this years' pic--look to the right of number 2.
Feature 3: The area of melt is actually greater in the older photo.
Feature 4: Note the tremendous difference in snow volume in the White River Glacier--much more snow now.
Feature 5: This Red Salmon contributory finger has only a small amount remaining in the decades-old photo. There seems to be much more snow these days.
Feature 6: The finger on the left has completely dried at the lowest point in the olden days pic.
Feature 7: Since summer skiing began on Palmer, the practice has been to move snow from the viewer's right to the left as the summer progresses, closing lanes as needed.
Feature 8: In recent years, including this summer, there has actually been enough snow from season to season for this finger to remain connected to the lower section (figure 6).
Feature 9: Snow is brought down from Palmer to create massive snowboard park half-pipes (not visible) and this man-made run (it obviously did not exist sixty years ago).
Feature 10: The is the one main area where the angle and recent snowfall (in the old picture) make it look like more snow than in the recent shot.

Well............so what specifically has been the effect of "global warming" on Mt. Hood in the last six decades? Obviously nothing.
[ August 09, 2003, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: ColdSmoke ]
post #5 of 14
Is the recent picture this year or last?
post #6 of 14
Certainly in BC and Alberta the glaciers, large and small, have been receding for years, some melting completely. Not sure if it's human-induced global warming, or if we're still emerging from the last ice age. 100 years is just a blip in geological time scale.
post #7 of 14
Slatz, that bottom pic was from last August. Here's one from a few days ago:
As you can see, Hood's in WAY better shape than last year at this time. Can't wait to get up there in a couple of weeks!
post #8 of 14
Thanks for re-posting the info and pictures. Sure is fun to show these to my "global warming / sky is falling" buddies.
post #9 of 14
Until this summer the East has had the warmest summers on record, record 90+ degree days. Here in PA snow fall has been way below normal, that is until last winter. My point again, if we wait for conclusive proof of gobal warming it may be too late. I'm glad Hood is in great shape. I hope the threat of global warming is a cruel hoax. I hope normal snowfall prevails. I also hope that we all take precautions because global warming might be real.
post #10 of 14
I'm going to be in Portland over labor day weekend and was hoping to get some turns in on sunday and monday. in the recent photo it looks like there might be some interesting hikeable terrain outside of palmer. anyone been there lately to confirm this?
post #11 of 14
When I was there in July it was lots thinner than the same time last year. It looks better than the description I'd heard last week.
I guess Gilboa's last session isn't in danger of being cancelled.
My wife and I are trying to figure a time to get to Ashland this fall. Looks like a stop at Hood might be in order.
post #12 of 14

Actually it looks like Hood is in better shape now than in the 1941 photo.

post #13 of 14
Must be global cooling?
post #14 of 14
Snow has got to be the best tool to prevent global warming!

Reflecting all that light right back out to cold deep space! It just kind of self perpetuates.

Lets all try to encourage snow making!


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