Alaskan Glaciers Grow for First Time in 250 years

High snowfall and cold weather to blame

I first posted about the growing Alaskan glaciers back in 2008. Funny how the media seems to have ignored this.

16 Oct 08 – A bitterly cold Alaskan summer has had surprising results. For the first time in the area’s recorded history, area glaciers have begun to expand rather than shrink. Summer temperatures, which were some 3 degrees below average, allowed record levels of winter snow to remain much longer, leading to the increase in glacial mass.

Since 1946, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has maintained a research project measuring the state of Alaskan glaciers. This year saw records broken for most snow buildup. It was also the first time since any records began being that the glaciers did not shrink during the summer months.

Those records date from the mid 1700s, when the region was first visited by Russian explorers.

According to glaciologist Bruce Molnia, a difference of just 3 or 4 degrees is enough to shift the mass balance of glaciers from rapid shrinkage to rapid growth. From the 1600s to the 1900s, that’s just the amount of warming that was seen, as the planet exited the Little Ice Age.

Molnia says one cold summer doesn’t mean the start of a new climatic trend. At least years like this, however, might mark the beginning of another Little Ice Age.

Thanks to Wanda and F. Guimaraes for reminding me that growing glaciers now seem to be the trend.

See also “Huge glaciers between Pakistan and China GROWING – not melting”

20 thoughts on “Alaskan Glaciers Grow for First Time in 250 years”

  1. “High snowfall and cold weather to blame”… No, no, no… they will blame Human C02 in some mysterious ways!

    • Think about *Global Warming* (I barf at that term) this way?

      We all know high pressure is excited molecules making it so storms won’t travel thru right? Like in the winter some High Pressure rights are huge taking over most of the West Coast blocking storms and causing inversion crap for weeks on end unless a global atmospheric reshuffling happens to create deep Zonal Flow where air is straight/nearly straight west/east.

      Low pressure systems always take the easy or easiest paths out and unless something changes in the atmosphere the high pressure will always *gobble up* any storms trying to break it down.

      Now imagine all the angry politicians in the USA at once spouting off enough hot air which in turn creates a tiny, we are talking no more then 1005mb pressure that will keep asserting itself each time a global atmospheric shuffle happens to break it down.

      Now imagine that mini but permanent high over at a place like Western Texas that each time a storm tries to break it down the HP keeps going right back up only to make things hotter and drier each time.

      So what are your solutions to this problem?

      Should we tax the hell out of the politicians?

      Should there be a budget limit on how much they are allowed to spend in which if they want to spout off more they have to pay the way out of their own pocket?

  2. Interesting. Robert says he posted an article in 2008 saying that Alaskan glaciers were growing, and yet the headline states that this is the first time in 250 years that the glaciers grew. And then, if you look closely, you see the kicker – the little statement that almost isn’t noticed – it was the first time in the records that the glaciers didn’t shrink AT ALL during the summer. Now that is a thought worth thinking about!

    • seeing as the records do NOT go back 250 years to begin with.. their claims as bogus as the rest of the alamist crap they spin.
      and then of course if greenland and the nth west passage were melting and passable in the 1930s– are we supposed to be so stupid we couldn’t figure so did alaskas glaciers too?

  3. I’m not sure what it is going to take to open people’s eyes. I wonder how long it will take the main stream media to actually start reporting what is really happening on our planet. Won’t be too long until you see Weather Channel updates of some guy standing next to a town in Alaska beaming live as ice flows and glaciers began mowing down houses in Alaska

  4. How are the glaciers in Glacier National Park doing lately? I just watched part of a travel show about it that was filmed in 2003 and of course they had to mention global warming on the reduction of the glaciers there in the last century before 2003. It made me barf.

    • Yes Mark, I also saw that travel show about Glacier National Park. I remember them saying that if someone wants to see these glaciers they’d better hurry before they all melt away into history. This really bugs me because it seems like every nature, documentary or wildlife show about the cold regions of the world, always have a doom and gloom scenario.

  5. Its funny they talk about temps being the increased precipitation (snow) that drives glaciers.

  6. Sadly,British Columbia south of Alaska in the Rocky mountains…a massive landslide from a mountain caused by untold amounts of winter SNOW melt and rain,killed 4 people by sweeping away their homes. Millions of tons soil,debris ,trees swept down mountain. Once again heavy Snow melt saturating higher elevations +rain said to be cause of landslide a few days ago. Glaciers build and recede in such a manner from what I read,sometimes all in 1 year.

  7. I forgot to mention I am partially joking though it’s probably obvious how fake my humor is because I am not very emotional so I do not have a grasp at humor but I still stand by about the high pressure and hot air due to what I noticed below.

    In Silverton Oregon looking over towards Salem during those days of unstable low pressures we’ve always noticed a tiny but permanent patch of blue sky right over the capital towards Salem.

    Unless it’s a strong system off the SW bringing in tons of moisture where everybody gets it equally the capital always has the blue sky patch.

    It’s as if the sky is either painted on or the politicians create a mini high pressure that always keeps coming back.

    Portland does NOT have that kind of problem and weather systems blow thru there all the time as I keep track on places like Cliff Mass weather blog.

  8. Did I mention Washington DC has that problem too on the East Coast?

    Storms from the GOM will ride up the coastline and split apart the moment it hits the Nation’s capital and often the east side of DC gets pounded hard while the Metro area gets the leftovers.

    Yuck! Leftovers again! 😛 🙁

    Even during the big blizzard of 09 places outside of the Metro DC got nearly double the amount of snow the city got.

  9. “Glacier in North Greenland Breaks off Huge Iceberg”
    Here is a news report about a large iceberg calving of a Greenland glacier and global warming is to blame. But it is a contradiction as increased iceberg calving is caused by accelerated glacier flow caused by increased accumulation of snow at the head of the glacier. So increased iceberg calving is realy a sign of global cooling is it not?

  10. When these Cordilleran zones show growth it’s time to be nervous. Such zones are the first places the polar jet impinges on North America. That has got to have an effect on long term sensible weather / climate in the down stream areas. Don’t be fooled by the transitory effects of the midwest blocking ridge.

  11. The MSN did report on the cold summer in alaska in 08,the TWC reported that alaska had one of its coldest summers on record in 08.

  12. Argument by instance is and has always been invalid. It is not the daily jags on the line showing temperature highs and lows which tell us something but the general long-term trends which may be believed and which may prognosticate.
    Explorers seeking the Northwest Passage were unlikely to find it in the midst of the Little Ice Age but in the late Middle Ages it was clement enough in northern Europe to grow grapes in the British Midlands. Greenland, when first discovered by the Norsemen was green and advertised as habitable.
    A cyclic drop in temperatures in the early and mid-1200s was accompanied by many crop failures,famines and the Black Death. Elevated CO2? Horsefeathers. The pundits screaming the loudest about Climate Change give the most sanctimonious lectures at the TED meetings to the rest of the Trust Fund Babies but can’t see that climate is a cycle. It has changed, it will change. New ice age? I don’t know yet. Ask me a century or so.

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