Glaciers forming in Scotland

Almost 300 “snow patches” remain in Highland mountains.

A few days ago I posted an article about snowfields still remaining in Scotland even though it’s almost the end of August. However, I did not realize the extent of these snowfields (which news reports are delicately calling “snow patches”).

Turns out that there are hundreds of snowfields.

Due to the unprecedented quantity of snow that fell between December of last year and March of this year, almost 300 “snow patches” remain in Highland mountains despite the warm weather the region has enjoyed this summer.

Neve – The first stage in glacier formation

On some of these snow patches (snowfields), researchers  have come across compacted, dense, ice hard snow called neve, which is considered the first stage in the formation of glaciers.

So far, 265 “snow patches” have been reported, with more expected to be found.

“Colossal volumes” of snow

So far this year, 42 snow patches have been reported on Ben Nevis, 24 on Aonach Beag, where the largest patch was 492 feet long, and 21 on Aonach Mor, where there were said to be “colossal volumes in Coire an Lochain”.

A survey of Cairn Gorm and the Ben Macdui plateau revealed 21 patches and there were six on Meall a’ Bhuiridhat on the edge of Rannoch Moor, the longest of which measured more than 130 feet.

Other results included 23 patches on the Bidean nam Bian massif on the southern side of Glen Coe and 26 on Creag Meagaidh on the northern side of Glen Spean.

Snow tunnels

The survey has revealed some amazing images – including a translucent snow tunnel on Ben Nevis, which at 4,409ft is the highest mountain in Britain.

Snow tunnels are created when snow drifts over a stream during the winter, said Neil Reid, spokesman for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland

“As the thaw comes, the stream runs under the snow and melts it from below,” said Reid. “Last winter there was especially heavy snowfall up on the mountains and drifts many metres deep were formed in some places, which have lasted well into the summer.”

Mini glacier

A different article, entitled “Pensioner discovers 120-metre long glacier in Scotland,” tells of Les Smith, who discovered a 120-meter-long snow tunnel in a gully on Carn na Caim, in Badenoch and Strathspey.

Carn na Caim is the more northerly of the two Munros on the wide plateau guarding the east side of the Drumochter Pass, and stands only 941 meters (3087 feet) high.

The 69-year-old, from Linlithgow, West Lothian, said: “The tunnel stays in shadow for most of the day and rarely sees the sun. Because of that, the snow is still several metres deep in places and below it, the stream has run through to create this spectacular tunnel. It’s like a mini glacier.”

“I climbed down to the mouth of the tunnel. With the correct gear you could probably climb the glacier from within.”

I consider these “snow patches” to evidence of new, present-day glaciation.

See photo:

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis, Ronald Baker, Cameron Dale, Ken Fine and Ralph Fato for these links

WUWT adds:

“This is how ice ages start – a buildup of snow which does not melt in the Summer, which leads to a positive feedback loop, as the growing ice sheet reflects more and more sunlight back into space.”

28 thoughts on “Glaciers forming in Scotland

  1. I’m guessing the Scots – I’m descended from them and the Vikings as a McLeod – have little choice but to reject the referendum on separation.

    They’re probably going to need all the hot air the English blowhard AGW alarmist politicians can supply – it may help stave off further glaciation.

    • I seriously doubt any of the envirofreaks will come to their senses. Most are too far gone. If any do smarten up treat it as a miracle.

    • Not bloody likely. They’ll stick to their position like super glue until they’re buried under a mile of snow and ice.

      I’ve been having a “conversation” with an alarmist. Had to break it off when he told me that he listens to scientists, which I obviously didn’t do.

      I had sent him several links to scientists who are “skeptics.”

      • Oh, yeah. You can lose friends over this stuff, I’ve found. It’s absolutely insane!

        It’s amazing how upset people become when they discover your opinion differs from the norm. It’s like they don’t know what to do with you.

        They take it so personally that they feel the need to belittle, insult, and threat.

        I have wondered if the magnetic reversal underway addles peoples’ wits. Why else would an ‘enlightened’ society behave so irrationally?

    • If your scientific status, your job, your income, acceptance by your peers, maybe even your freedom depended upon it – the Earth is the centre of the planetary system and the Sun goes around it. that is, if you were a scientist in the sixteenth century. Some things don’t change much.

  2. The Ben Nevis webcam shows large snow patches well below the summit. Unusual for this late in the summer.
    Mean summit temperatures range from -5C in January to +5C in July.

  3. Thanks for the Daily Record link. I always read this paper when visiting Scotland for its more local focus. I have been to Scotland many times in the past 5 years in both summer and winter. I had a strange dream I saw a glacier there, but gave up on it this year and went to France instead LOL. Not had time to check this out but I’m told similar compacting snow patches exist in the Pyrenees which need keeping a close watch over.
    Also keep a watch at how photos on Google Images get deleted and articles go 404 on this sort of topic.

  4. Robert,

    Neve may be the first step in the formation of glaciers – how long does this kind of thing need to continue before so-called climate “scientists” would be forced to refer to these areas as new glaciation?

  5. I seriously doubt any of the envirofreaks will come to their senses. Most are too far gone. If any do smarten up treat it as a miracle.

    Only might happen if they put away the bong

  6. I have posted common sense comments on Yahoo relating to disagreement with with AGW. (Yahoo news seems to plant an unusually large number of “news” items relating to Climate Change.) I usually get more thumbs up than down. The replies from the AGW advocates usually regress to name calling. This shows the relatively low level of intelligence of supporters of the AGW theory as they do not show arguments in favor of their theory. These folks treat AGW with religious fervor, not like science.

    • Please be advised. I would estimate that 90% of the comments on ALL site are there to stop the conversation and are for a lack of a better word “fake”. and as far as thumbs up, there are those with multiple avatars. I have become a bit of am expert on commenting over the last 8 months. It is a new hobby of mine. So take all with a BIG grain of salt. my 2 cents

  7. Now that is BIG news – Glaciers forming in Scotland! Very unusual – and especially this quick! This means that we are definitely heading for an ice age. Everything Robert mentioned since 2001 on this site was correct! Forget global warming!!!

    Great job!

  8. Warmists will spin the story as “shock! only patches of snow left in Scottish Mountains due to very warm summer”.

    Strange thing is that last winter was very wet and warm for lower level and coastal areas of Scotland – where most cities/towns are – but up in the hills the rain turned to snow hence the huge left overs of snow.

    Will be interesting to see what happens this Winter as the initial predictions are for a similar gloomy dank Winter.

  9. Scotch on the Rocks anyone?
    We apologise if we run out of whisky due to the large number of guests to cater for, but rest assured, there is more than enough ice to go round.

  10. The test of this is not whether they survive this summer but whether patches remain at the end of next summer.

    This winter was a once-in-a-generation snowfall event (1994 was the last, although it was less snow than this winter), so patches may easily survive until the next winter snows come.

    If, however, we have a more normal snowfall next winter, that which survived this summer may well melt again next.

    I wouldn’t make predictions until patches remain for 5 successive summers…..

    • Makes you wonder what would they have been like if we had had a normal spring and summer instead of a comparatively warm one. I see that Aboyne recorded a record low in August and that it was generally colder and wetter than average. Looks like a warm settled spell until mid month in Sept

  11. When I was in Scotland last month I saw snow packs everywhere. I would guess their are thousands of snow patches not just 300.

    • The higher Highland hills are just about a 1000ft short of the permanent snowline, so quite marginal and only a small drop in mean summer temps could make a big difference.

  12. I was in the Albanian Alps just a few weeks ago. There were plenty of snow patches, more than I’ve seen in photos for that time of year. The summer had been quite a wet one, which prevented much of the melting. If the pattern persists 50% of the time, new glaciers will develop and existing ones will expand.

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