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Here is Alaska's Columbia Glacier as it appeared a quarter century ago (as seen by the Landsat 5 satellite). Click this link to see what it looks like now:
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Try the link again. It took a few seconds to load just now for me too.
so: the glacier is a lot smaller, the vegetation less, but more water on the land (and in the sea)?
I am not sure why one would consider it disturbing. Is it also disurbing when the season changes from winter to spring? As for less vegetation think spring picture instead of summer or early fall.
One still considers it disturbing.
I must be missing something as the 1986 image has distinctly less snow and more veggitation/water than the 2011 image.
I think we need a comparison from the same time of year.
Scare us some more NASA we love it :D
NASA please look after our world... our world is finishing very slow...
What was not educated about conservation will never be educated is far too late... if humanity does not pull together.
In and of itself, a single glacier retreating is not an issue. What IS and issue, is that it repeats itself over and over. Greenland, with the largest amount of freshwater tied up in glaciers on the planet is experiencing the same massive melting of ice. All that water goes somewhere.

The glacier melt contributes to rising seas. The ice, white reflects sunlight back into space. Ocean water, dark in color, absorbs sunlight and amplifies the warming. In addition, the fresh water in the ocean affects current flows: the massive melting of glaciers in North Atlantic causes fresh water 'rivers' to flow and disrupt the warm currents like the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current.

This disruption causes problems for anyone depending on the ocean for fishing.
Melting glaciers in the water already make no difference to sea level, it's the glaciers on land which are the real problem
We have proof that we can solve this? Please supply said proof!
Jim, you also said (and I qoute directly) "So we can solve a global environmental problem if we all work together to do it. We have proof of that" Fair enough, and you provide an example of having 'solved' a given problem. Let it be made clear that this does in no way prove that we can solve the entire problem.

Also, the example presented only demonstrates a capability to reduce the usage of a given offending substance. It isnt as if we restored the ozone layer to its pre-human state.
What exactly is the problem everyone is so disturbed by? Climate change is real and it has been occuring since the earth cooled. So what is the problem. Is the sky falling Mr. C. Little?
Sarah Jessica Parker in a glacier?
The article says it is mostly due to mechanical influences... and that it may reverse.
We've become accustomed to +NASA being staffed with global warming alarmists.
Climate change deniers make the world and the internet a worse place.
global warming its a hype experts just put the frightners on us and we get sucked in
If my reading comprehension has not led me astray, we're entering a new ice age. This is a result of global warming due to the change in currents which causes cold water to remain closer to the polar regions rather than recirculating south at lower depths. This in turn causes air currents to cool further and further as the cooler water creeps closer and closer to the equator.

Or something like that. It explains the polar ice creep over land. To me anyway.
The earth is a living and changing planet. We've had ice ages where everything but the equator was covered in miles of ice. The ice recedes, glaciers melt and lush forests grow and ocean levels rise. Then another ice age comes and everything dies and gets covered by miles of ice again. Ocean levels fall, deserts expand and forests die.
We know this has happened, we just haven't been around long enough to record it. We could be at the tail end of an ice age. The glaciers are receding because that is what they do. The temperature will change, the oceans will rise and fall and it will all start again.
+Niki Casselberry I believe the issue is not the ice ages themselves or the possibility of being either at the tail end of one or the dawn of one, but the accelerated rate of change that we're seeing.
We compare the present rate of change to an artifactual record of previous rates of change. It seems a bit dicey to say the information gleaned from the artifact record is of a given accuracy...
Of course it's disturbing. That's the point of publishing FUD.
I hesitate to say "global warming" doesn't exist. it does along with global cooling. Some areas of our amazing planet show definite signs that the temperature is rising but other areas show signs of longer cooler seasons. It's a balance that takes place you just have to look at the planet as a whole and not small pictures of certain places.
There needs to be a fallacy for when people incorrectly apply fallacies. Or would that just be your typical straw man?
+Eric White No, it's god. It's punishing us for the gays by making the weather so miserable that no one can get aroused therefore no gay sex will happen.
+Mathew Snyder Wow, you managed to insult homosexuality AND generalize theism at once. Keep it on 4chan.
Whoa everyone! Let's not all attribute this to global warming or what-not. Glaciers have multiple complex sources for movements. There is only one reference in the article pointing to a climate induced possibility. Is is currently believed that there is not a direct connection between the Columbia Glacier and climate change. Indirect connections aside as it is only useful to look at things that we can scientifically prove.

Glaciers retreat and that's all there is to it. The only thing here is that the retreat is happening at incredible rates. None of the glacier that has melted has affected sea levels as all the parts that have melted were in water anyway. The part of the glacier that is on land is some 15km to 20km further away from the current terminus. At the current rate that should occur sometime in the next two to three decades.
+John Richardson No, the perceived insult to gays was part of the rhetoric. It was tongue in cheek. But I guess you don't understand satire.
+Mathew Snyder I think what he's getting at is, leave that kind of satire in 4chan. At least that's what I thought reading it.
Satire belongs in the open. Not hidden away on an infantile website full of ignorant twats.
The argument of whether Global Climate Change is human caused or not is largely irrelevant. The climate is changing, and we will have to adjust for that regardless.

Additionally many of our current practices (for example: Factory Farming, or reliance on Fossil Fuels) are unsustainable and should be replaced with more sustainable methods asap, or we'll be having bigger problems in the future. This is regardless of whether or not they're casing climate change.

+Mathew Snyder Unfortunately it's impossible to detect sarcasm on the internet. The problem being that there are people out there who honestly believe that kind of thing, and honestly say it. I couldn't tell if you were serious or joking. Just keep that in mind.
What I learned from this post: Gays are causing glaciers to retreat.
+Michael Slee I was hoping that by using "god" instead of "God" and referring to "him" as "it" that the intent would be clear. I guess not. I'll work on that. :)
+B Gallagher the nice thing about science is that it does not depend on pendulum of public opinion. I rather wake up to fact.
I think this is a wonderful and interesting discussion. I understand global warming is a scientific theory. It has yet to be completely proven or disproven. I could be dead on with my ideas or way off. Here are my thoughts, I'd love to hear more of yours.

The planet is a living and changing environment. It has cycles that last millions of years and some that last decades. I read once that when Mt. St. Helens erupted it sent more debris and toxins into the air than man has the entire time on this planet. While I find this comment enlightening I think we have to realize that the toxins it sent into the air were poisons from itself, poisons the planet knows how to deal with.
The man made poisons we put into the air, the natural filter system doesn't know what to do with it so it sits and destroyes.
I think people who believe the earth has cycles are right.
I think people who believe we should stop harmful chemicals in the air are right.
+B Gallagher you don't "wake up" to public opinion. Public opinion is what people believe and recite before they awake.
+Niki Casselberry We need to remember too that all "man made" toxins/poisons still come from the earth, so even if they are concentrated, the earth is still capable of healing itself. And I fully agree that both earth cycles and human intervention are potential causes for our current climate trends.
+Niki Casselberry If you want to get technical, the cycles you refer to are still climate change. The difference between what you are referring to and the concept of global warming is that one is natural and the other is an artificially accelerated version.

Additionally, there are other, atypical influences such as, per your example, Mt. St. Helens. However, such events typically have a short-term effect whereas the activity over the past century are more long-term.
Welcome to the Church of Global Warming. Your mission is to propagate the mantra. This is most effectively accomplished by categorizing contrarians as "fools" and "deniers", stating repeatedly that there no longer exists any question about our beliefs. Do not allow the non-believers to use localized data in their arguments, but feel free to do so yourselves, for we have East Anglia and peer review on our side. Simply deny the "deniers"... but don't phrase it like that.
Jim Chatman, that transcontinental flight you are taking isnt helping you know!

I beg to differ. We DID NOT solve the ozone hole. The hole is still there. If we wish to say we halted, or minimized the hole's expansion, then OK.
Can we get back to gay alien glaciers please?
+B Gallagher I doubt your $5 will be credible currency in 2020. Climate isn't the only thing that goes through cycles.
In post-apocalyptic times, a nickel will be worth like, a million dollars.
+B Gallagher the argument is not if global warming is fact or fiction. The glacier's retreat is not directly tied to it. This glacier's retreat neither supports or denies global warming. I'm sure that you can find another glacier on this planet where there is direct evidence that climate played a role. However, for this particular glacier only indirect evidence supports a theory climate change. That is what I am getting at.

Furthermore, the glacier retreats at a much faster rate than what would be expected. However, reasoning as to why has yet to be fully understood, however, since the process for it retreating is natural it puts up a hurdle to just saying, "oh it's global warming!" It could very well be due to the shape of the landscape in which the glacier exists and it finally hitting a tipping point. It's difficult to say exactly. It is possible that it is due to climate change, that has not been ruled out, but it has also not been ruled as the cause.

Until further evidence is gathered a scientific conclusion cannot be obtained either way. So this example of a glacier's retreat does not support or rule out climate change. It has neutral effect in the case of climate change overall until more evidence is obtained.

Just because I'm not flying off the handle saying "OMFG!! U SEEZ ITZ FUKIN GLOBALL WARMIN!!! WE'Z ALL GOING TO DIES!" Does not mean that I believe that global warming is fiction. It means that I wish to take a more level headed approach to the matter. There are going to be instances where evidence supports the matter and there will be instances where there simply is no direct connection. All point should be considered fairly.
+Justin Barrett thank you, I thought I was the only one these days ... "Oh my gosh, it's the fifth warmest April in recorded history, it must be global warming!!" FFS people ... why do I bother?
+B Gallagher LOL, well just to make sure you know what my position is: Global warming may be occurring, but many of the events that non-scientists use to offer as proof that it is occurring are just plain not evidence; or the factors of evidence have not been proven or disproven. So, "... fifth warmest april ..." is not evidence of global warming (or more accurately, climate change), nor is the recession of some glaciers, and so on. And the glaciers and the fifth warmest whatever are also not evidence that humans are affecting climate (regardless of whether or not we are). Besides which, I could go for some balmy weather reminiscent of 2500 years ago, or even better, 200 million years ago ... ;)
+Justin Barrett There is actually a staggering amount of data that supports the fact that most glacier retreat is related to global warming. In fact, the last time I checked, there was only one advancing glacier in North America, and all the others were retreating. There is a really neat project being done across the world called the Glacier Land Ice Measurement from Space (aka GLIMS), and they've published a few papers on the reduced ice mass.

It's just sad to see that while there are so many people in the scientific community who all agree that global warming and climate change is happening, there still are so many people who refuse to believe it.
+Dana Schwehr As much as you would like it to, GLIMS makes no statement about anthropogenic warming. It measures factual data without attributing cause.

Your second paragraph is straight from the handbook of the Church of Global Warming. Let me demonstrate:

It's just sad to see that while there are so many clergymen who all agree that God and Jesus Christ are real, there are still so many people who refuse to believe it.
+Dana Schwehr I did not say one way or the other. Indeed lots of glacier retreat is directly tied to climate change, I wouldn't know the exact figures so I'll reserve myself from saying most. Also, there are indeed several retreating glaciers in North America. However, for this glacier both statements are not true. This glacier does indeed retreat (which makes point two correct), however there is no direct evidence for this retreat to be due to climate change (thus rendering the first point incorrect).

For example, Easton Glacier retreats as a direct result of climate change. However, Columbia Glacier has not had a direct link between the retreat and climate change made.

That is all I am saying because I'm not sure how many times I have to reiterate the point. There has yet to have been any direct link between this glacier (Columbia Glacier) and climate change. That does not preclude that such evidence will be found, but people are saying that this is evidence of climate change and that statement has yet to be proved. There are tons of other glaciers out there and each one has their own story behind it. None of my statements has been pro or anti climate change. I'm just pointing out that the jury is still out on this guy. Geez, find someone else to crucify, like someone who is truly anti climate change.
Well one thing is for certain. All the believers will go to heaven while the evil ones pay!
+B Gallagher, +Justin Barrett, +John Richardson, +Niki Casselberry (and others). Really, this is a rather silly discussion when it comes down to it. The issues aren't trivial, but I am going to go out on a limb and make a few assumptions (uh oh). 1. None of us are objective, peer-respected climate scientists as far as I can tell; 2. This forum is not really up to the task of solving the world's climate-related problems; 3. These arguments have been around for a long time, and we are not being particularly original; 4. Since this discussion has become so long, very few people will be interested anymore. Feel free to correct me haha! Now, a couple of points of interest (I am not going to quote sources, but I think all of my points are pretty easily researchable ... I leave it to you to do your own fact-finding. I'm just that lazy:

1. We've been keeping records for a truly ridiculously short time. So localized data about record temperatures and so forth are essentially useless.

2. Volcanic eruptions (etc) have indeed shown to spew atrocious amounts of substances into the atmosphere, many of which are toxic to life as we know it. The results aren't always short-lived (as evidenced in ice-core samples), and many of these substances have shown to have some kind of correlation to serious atmospheric changes over the long term.

3. The Earth is still in a relatively cool phase relative to it's lifespan, as evidenced by anecdotal and anthropological information about the known world 2500+ years ago, and archaeological data from eons ago. However, this latest "warming trend" shows evidence of being a sharper occurrence than previous warming trends, excepting that none of the previous warming trends had daily temperature averages etc etc. As such, the data cannot be used to make definitive conclusions from, only best model type hypotheses (that could indeed be correct).

4. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests solar activity could also be associated with both atmospheric changes and climate trends. One compelling argument I enjoyed (and tend to lean toward) is the understanding that for every 0.1 degree Celsius that the top few inches of the ocean rises in temperature, x million tons of carbon dioxide and water vapour are released into the atmosphere (note that water vapour is a greater "greenhouse gas" contributor than carbon dioxide).

5. When it comes to glaciers, yes, many of them are receding ... most of them are receding. And they've done it before. It's happening at a greater rate than previous models anticipated. Some of that action is still mysterious and cannot be attributed directly to the classical model of "global warming". (As an aside, most of the new models that I have read take into account increased average solar activity, and the net increase in exposed earth-surface thereby accelerating the effect, etc).

6. The notion that fossil fuels are going to be depleted any time soon is a myth. It has been predicted many times in history, and each time a new technology turns the prediction on it's head. A latest example is our glut of Natural Gas in North America (and soon to be Asia, I understand). New drilling & fracking technologies have opened up vast reserves. So using the notion that "we are gonna run out!" as an argument for alternative energies isn't very effective. On the other hand, pointing out the other nearly countless benefits of alternative energies is highly effective and will win the game in the end (in my opinion).

Ugh ... I could go on and on. Apparently I like to see myself type. I think what I am trying to say is that these arguments that always spring up on fora such as these are not very effective at educating people or changing people's minds about something they themselves are opinionated about. All I can suggest is read more of the peer-respected science, enjoy it, and certainly do your best to make the world a pleasant place for our kids. Besides which, electric cars that are silent and super high performance are just so awesome ... haha!
+Dana Schwehr I don't understand the sadness. If people don't wanna believe it why not. One hand why should they there are scientist on both sides waveing published papers around proving that there is or isn't man made influences on the climate. I have no arguement about the climate changing, I just think that running around waving your arms and spending billions really is stupid. It does not matter if man's influence is causing the an increase in the rate of change or not. It does not change the fact that it is happening or not happening if you choose that train of thought. . Therefore instead of spending the billions to "slow" the rate of change then possibly we should start looking into the future and figure out which projects need to happen to save the most lives. (assumeing you don't think the world is over populated and needs a good kill off).
+B Gallagher Indeed it is myopic, that was the whole point you dimwit! Additionally, if you and the others have moved on to larger issues, why then do the others keep referring to me? I find that in lots of your comments you tend to wish to include a plurality that does not always seem to be there. I don't want a rebuttal, I don't want to get into this debate. You all have fun with this war, I don't give a shit! What I believe is totally meaningless because I tend to rely on fact rather than what my gut tells me.

It seems that there are those in this thread that believe that I take an anti-climate change stance, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

So next time, when you want to call one of my points myopic, and it is that, and I've spent a good deal of time convincing everyone of that. Expect for me to call you a dimwit, for trying to play like some great revelation suddenly came over you, oh wise one, when in fact I've been hammering the point home for some time now.

Now with all due respect that is left, I don't give a crap what you all tend to believe, pro or anti, you all sound like idiots and the +Michael Ireland comment above tends to sound like the most rational comment on this thread to date (yes, that does include even my own comments.) There is always going to be people who believe and don't believe in any given topic on this planet. All of our pathetic short lives will be better spent just learning to live with that fact.

I find myself reenacting a scene from "Half-Baked". Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, +Michael Ireland you're cool, fuck you, I'm outta here.
Scorched Earth policy enacted by +Justin Barrett! No man is an island! (except +Michael Ireland)

I find that all pure rational thinking in a forum like this never stands a chance. It works fine in a thesis or a speech, but in the wild you have to wrap it in some thorns or people will just steamroller it in ideology.

The general public generally gets their education from television, and television says that there are only two sides to any issue, and if you aren't on my side, then you are on their side. It's really really hard to show average Joe that almost every issue runs the full spectrum of grey.

The climate debate is presented as a black and white issue in all mainstream media outlets, and people attach themselves to either the black or the white side, and whatever point you decide to argue, they will try to make it black or white. They can't help it, as William Sergeant so aptly pointed out in this book:

But don't dispair. Many of us know exactly what you are saying.
Hm, maybe shoulda baked a bit longer XD
B Gallager I'll take that bet and up you $5. See you in 2020, right here, on this very thread! ;-)
Lots of crickets near you then ... a sign of the end for sure ... just joking... I thought your crickets comment had to with no one taking you up on your bet... are you backing out of your bet?
Oh I see... my bad. Sure you wont re-open the bid? I mean .. you were so convincing!
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