Glacier on Mount St. Helens is growing

Not is it only growing, it is advancing!

The prosaically-named Crater Glacier is growing at a time when most glaciers around the globe are in rapid retreat, writes Seattle Times science reporter Sandi Doughton.

(I totally disagree with the second half of that statement. In fact, more than 90% of the world’s glaciers are actually growing. Please see end of this post.) 

Few people realize that the hollowed-out crater where lava was flowing just a few years ago now holds the world’s youngest glacier, says Ray Yurkewycz, operations director for the nonprofit Mount St. Helens Institute.

Not only growing, it is advancing

“It’s cascading down into this valley now,” Yurkewycz said, pointing out a tongue of ice flowing over a rise and into a rubbly ravine. “It’s only been in the last two years that it started doing that.”

“Nothing about this glacier is typical,” said scientist Steve Schilling of Cascades Volcano Observatory, which has been documenting the glacier’s formation and stunning growth.

“Before 1980, Mount St. Helens was a post-card-perfect cone draped with about a dozen small glaciers,” writes Doughton. “Most were obliterated or melted on May 18 of that year, when the mountain’s north side collapsed, unleashing the biggest landslide ever recorded.”

Its northward orientation helped shield snow from the sun while a thick layer of volcanic rock  on the crater floor provided an insulating barrier against volcanic heat coming from below, Doughton continues.

“By 1988, a permanent snowfield more than 200 feet thick nestled in the crater. In 1996, the first crevasses appeared — evidence that the frozen mass was in motion and met the definition of a glacier.

“By 2005, the arms of the glacier were moving as much as 8 feet a day.”

Today, the combined mass is still creeping farther down the valley, Doughton adds.

The ice is about 650 feet thick in places — deep enough to swallow the Space Needle, said USGS geologist Dave Sherrod.

Its advance slowed considerably last year — to about 2.5 inches a day, Schilling said. And once the toe extends out of the sheltered crater, the accumulation of snow and ice likely won’t be sufficient to drive it much farther down the mountain.

Confirms what I’ve been saying for years

If you’ve been following this website, you know that this confirms what I’ve been saying for years.

Eleven years ago, in 2004, Crater Glacier already contained more ice than before the 1980 eruption, and was growing thicker at the rate of 15 feet (5 meters) per year.

It was also advancing at the rate of 3 feet (1 meter) per day.

More than 90% of the world’s glaciers are growing

Not only Crater Glacier, more than 90% of the world’s glaciers are growing.

In direct contradiction to the 2007 IPCC claim that ice from the Himalayan region could disappear by 2035, glaciers are actually growing in the Himalayas. 

We’re talking about the greatest chain of ice-capped peaks in the world – from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan – and satellite measurements show that the Himalayas have lost NO ice in the past ten years.

Not only have they lost no ice, in a defiant act of political incorrectness, some 230 glaciers in the western Himalayas – including Mount Everest, K2 and Nanga Parbat – are actually growing.

And the inconvenient fact is that all seven glaciers on California’s Mount Shasta are growing. This includes Whitney Glacier, the state’s largest.

Fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere is growing

Meanwhile, the Juneau Icefield, which covers 1,505 square miles (3,900 sq km) and is the fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere, is also growing.

According to Michael Zemp at the University of Zurich – one of the scientists that Al Gore likes to quote – “some positive values were reported from the North Cascade Mountains and the Juneau Ice Field.” (“Positive values” means “growing”.)

Think about that! The fifth largest ice field in the entire Western Hemisphere is growing,, and no one is bothering to report it.

The list goes on and on

Glaciers are growing in Tibet
Scientists announce “remarkable” glacier growth on Tibetan plateau that “is challenging to explain.”

Glaciers are growing in Italy

Glaciers are growing in Sweden.

Glaciers are growing in Chile
Pio XI Glacier, the largest glacier of the Patagonian ice field, has been advancing for years

But here’s the topper –  the elephant in the room – The Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing.

Antarctica contains 90% of the earth’s ice. If the Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing, wouldn’t that mean that more than 90% of the world’s glaciers are growing, just as I’ve been saying all along?

See entire Seattle Times article:

Thanks to Don Fvilleneuve, Kingbum and Wanda for this link

Note: The above photo was taken several years ago, probably in 2004.


32 thoughts on “Glacier on Mount St. Helens is growing”

    • Ronald,
      YouTube has a better video using actual time-lapse camera snapshots from the volcano observatory:

      Current live webcam of Mt. St. Helens shows a very dark ash-covered glacier:

      Interestingly, if you have just a teensy weensy bit of black carbon on polar ice, the whole damn thing melts (according to the UN IPCC). If, however, you have a shitload of black ash covering an active volcano’s glacier, it’s insulated from melting and only results in growth.

      Obviously what we need to do is cover the polar regions with billions of tons of heat-resistant volcanic ash – then it won’t melt and Al Gore can take credit for inventing the Arctic.


  1. We’ve had a very unusual run of warmer than normal weather the last year or so, so that is probably why it’s slowed down. This last month has been much warmer than normal so I don’t see it picking up pace again for a little bit. Hopefully things will go back to normal after this nino is done!!

  2. I guess with Mt St Helens you must judge when steady state is reached. If you wiped out a glacier anywhere in the world with lava explosions, I’d lay the US national debt that a new glacier would form in the next 10 years and then expand until balance was reached.

    With the changed architecture of Mt St Helens, it’s hard to compare with pre-1980 conditions……..

    Mt Shasta seems a fairer benchmark for judging glacier growth/retreat since 1975………….

    • I live 90 miles North as the crow flies from Mt. Shasta. I have lived here for 24 yrs. Mt. Shasta is visible when I travel down the hill. I have watched the snow field over the years and it just keeps on growing and shrinks less and less during the summer months! As of today July 6,2015 the North side is pretty much still all white. The south side of course is bare.

  3. good pic Robert, I hadnt realised it was still smoking and yet? accumulating so much snow/ice. wonder when it does get to the lip area will the snowmelt create streams?
    then some idiot movie star or fat albert can go complain …again…its warming/melting! sob sob shock horror;-/

  4. I’m surprised she didn’t blame it on Hydraulic Fracturing in North Dakota. About ten years ago we had an unusually warm February, the trees were actually beginning to bud. Our local “science reporter” asked a University meteorologist if this was global Warming. He said No, it was part of the Jet Stream cycle, to my knowledge they never interviewed him again.

  5. Thanks for the nice compendium of growing glaciers. Will be handy when I talk to those quoting the “old dogmas”.

  6. You know, we hear a lot about the fact that the “water table” is dropping. That the giant aquifers are losing water. Do you suppose that there might be an interrelationship between glacial melt and the recharging of the aquifers? Do you suppose there might be an interrelationship between drier conditions, overall, and the fact that glaciers are growing? As the saying goes, coincidence doesn’t dictate cause and effect, but still, one does have to wonder. Maybe the aquifers aren’t drying up because we are abusing them, and then again, maybe they are.

    • We’re depleting the underground aquifers much, much faster than they can be replenished through normal infiltration through the soil and deeper strata. The Ogallala Aquifer that runs underneath much of the Great Plains states has, at best, about 20 years worth of recoverable water left in it – after which such time the landscape will revert to open prairie because it will no longer be capable of supporting water-intensive crops like corn (and to a lesser extent wheat). The aquifer was created more than 11,000 years ago with the retreating meltwater of the North American ice sheet, so no, it’s not because of water being locked up elsewhere.

      Sadly, most of the “climate change” we as humans are responsible for is from land use changes – cutting down forests, mass-scale monoculture, irrigated lands, urbanization, Army Corps of Engineers straightening waterways that results in depletion of wetlands, and the like. It is not unreasonable to expect in the next few decades a complete upheaval in the human population due to mass starvation, lack of potable water, and depletion of natural resources. We like to think of ourselves as above nature, but really, we’re just one more cog in the wheel of Life on this planet.

      • It is not unreasonable to expect in the next few decades a complete upheaval in the human population due to mass starvation, lack of potable water, and depletion of natural resources.

        I disagree and believe this to be superior fearmongering. Rain still falls from the sky and will continue to do so in the next few decades as well.

        TomO: Do you suppose there might be an interrelationship between drier conditions, overall, and the fact that glaciers are growing?

        This goes hand in hand with my reply to H.B. Schmidt, as the fact is, there is not “drier condition” occurring. As a matter of fact, the current trend is the opposite (be it very slightly).

      • Schmidt – Don’t under-estimate the power of human innovation. For example, did you know the technology exists today – even though it’s expensive but if necessary could be utilized on a mass scale if it came to that – to grow food in any climate, even in the middle of the desert or the South Pole, provided there is energy available and water? It is grown indoors, in a controlled environment. Uses 90% less water than outdoor/conventional growing, and no pesticides. It also does not need windows, since the light absorbed by plants is only a few frequencies, provided by the LEDs in the structure: red, blue, and infra-red. The company I have seen researching it is in Netherlands, called ‘PlantLab’. I have mentioned this before on iceagenow. Very interesting. This is the future of greenhouses.

  7. For glaciers to grow, not only does the average temperature need to drop, but obviously so does the amount of precipitatation need to increase.
    Some wellknown glacier like the one in Africa on the Kilimanjaro ? had been declining for years and a cousin of mine once climbed it somewhere back in the nineties and reported how little snow there was on the mountain and how dirty it looked.
    So not so much due to higher temperatures, as much as a lack of precipitation in the form of snow imo !
    But besides increasing snowfall in the mountains, is the average temperature above a certain height actually dropping, like I tried to point out in my post on the Andes extreme cold front ?
    Possibly as the result of an increasingly weakening Earth magnetic field, causing unpredictable weatherpatterns and a decline of our atmosphere, shrinking in height and therefore introducing extremely low temperatures to lower atmospheric regions ? Is that a plausable view on increased glacier growth ? What do the experts here say ?

    • To Roger o.
      I like that theory! Its a new one too.
      Imagine that happening, the upper atmosphere with its extreme cold shrinking in height, getting lower and lower. That is actually a scary theory! It would cause the beginning of the Ice Age.
      Another scary thing to happen would be a hole from the upper atmosphere down to earth, like in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow”
      I read somewhere about something like that happening in one of the western states in 1836. And it happened real fast, people and horse were found frozen solid, still standing up.

    • I think that Kilimanjaro has been regaining its snow caps since about 2007. And the Earth’s weakening magnetic field is probably connected to solar activity, although, seemingly, nobody has really bothered looking into that.

    • Real scientists will tell you that Kilimanjaro relied on the uplift generated by the forest canopy of the surrounding plains to supply precipitation to the mountain top as it is a “stand alone” peak.

      Clearing the plain forests is probably the cause of Kilimanjaro’s declining snow mass – manmade climate change certainly but nothing to do with CO2 or global warming.

      The air temperature atop Kilimanjaro never rises to even near below freezing however darker dirty snow is more susceptible to sunlight induced melting.

      A case of yet again alarmists lying to their gullible supporters who apparently lack the intelligence or intellectual curiosity to question.

      • Roso, you point out something that I find very interesting within the context of the Kiehl-Trenberth Energy Balance fable. According to their Earth energy balance, “dirty snow” could not be melted by the sun. In other words, the infamous -18C temperature without a so-called “greenhouse effect”… but alas, we know from empirical observation that the sun can indeed melt snow and ice, even at very low ambient air temperatures. Thus, Kiehl-Trenberth and the rest of the -18C gang are all FOS … and it is easily proven.

    • Kilimanjaro’s slowly receding glaciers is to do with sublimation and lack of recharge of the Ice cap from snow fall, and not temperature at the summit. At present the rain baring westerly flows are passing well to the North and South of the Volcano. However, as the Solar Minimum progresses and the Suns EUV output shrinks to its minimum values during this and the next cycle, it’s very likely the undulating Jet Streams will push a moisture stream over the Volcano for ten to twenty years refreshing the Ice Cap significantly.

      The Earth’s Jet Stream are the weather engines of the planet they provide the power to create the rain baring low pressure systems, with cold and wet on one side and warm and dry on the other, as they move north and south with the seasons, they provide life giving rain. If they stick in one track, drought follows to the south in the dry area and excess moisture falls in the North and if at the right temperature, falls as snow.

      Although I can see value in the various contributing phenomena discussed above, they all boil down to the Sun’ lack of activity during its series of trefoil orbits around the Solar Barry Centre during this cyclic, solar minimum caused by the gravitation influences on the Sun by the four Jovian Gas Giants

      • To Jimbob, (last paragraph)
        I totally agree that the Suns lack of activity would cause an Ice Age, but just what would cause the Sun to have a lack of activity for 100,000 years? I have read everything about the 4 jovian gas giant planets at, including all the comments there. I just dont get how the 4 gas giants could influence the Sun for that long? But something is causing the lack of activity on the Sun. And when the Ice Age is over, it warms back up real fast. So the Sun goes back to full strength again. What is causing that to happen?

        • I still feel that a Major ice advance has several combining causes or one or several major geological events at the wrong time in the orbital sequence of the earth.
          Once Ice and snow is down to below 40 degrees Latitude, coupled with the changes in air circulation and sea level drop, it will take a significant amount of energy and time to return to an Interglacial, unless all of the parameters are in place to support it.
          The Younger Dryas are an example when the parameters supported warming.
          It’s very likely IMHO, that a similar event to the Younger Dryas is possible in the near geological time frame, caused by a minor rifting earth quake in the Red Sea area close to Yemen. This will allow the African Rift valley to become inundated with warm sea water, and turn off the warm circulation to the Atlantic, within ten years the East coast of the US and Most of Europe would be Ice bound 365 days of the year. I believe the parameters are in place at the moment to retain Ice until the next Interglacial in around 100,000 plus years.

      • Ironically, the glaciers on Kilimanjaro appeared at the beginning of the Holocene, when the world got warmer from the last ice age. Pre-Holocene, when the Earth was several degrees colder, the world was much drier and therefore not enough moisture made it to feed any glaciers there.

  8. May, ESA’s SWARM satellites are tracking the weakening magnetic field. Their interest is in astronaut and frequent flyer exposure. There is also an increase of melanoma reported, don’t recall the source. I read about this on There is also a high school group who use weather balloons to measure exposure to radiation during cme’s as well as when the sun is blank. That allows even more radiation from space to hit the earth. Their results are sent to scientists at a university in Alabama to be analyzed.

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