Scientists are desperately trying to explain it. Turns out (no surprise) that it’s “consistent with human-induced climate change.”
New research shows that at least 58 New Zealand glaciers advanced between 1983 and 2008.
Franz Josef Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in New Zealand, advanced nearly continuously during those years. (See love story involving Franz Josef Glacier below.)
The research, conducted by scientists from Victoria University of Wellington and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was published yesterday (Feb 15) in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
The scientists are desperately trying to explain the glaciers’ growth.
“Glaciers advancing is very unusual—especially in this period when the vast majority of glaciers worldwide shrank in size as a result of our warming world,” says lead-author Associate Professor Andrew Mackintosh from Victoria’s Antarctic Research Centre.
Why did the glaciers advance? Lower temperatures!
“We found that lower temperature caused the glaciers to advance, rather than increased precipitation as previously thought,” said Mackintosh. “These periods of reduced temperature affected the entire New Zealand region, and they were significant enough for the glaciers to re-advance in spite of human-induced climate change.”
“It may seem unusual—this regional cooling during a period of overall global warming—but it’s still consistent with human-induced climate change,” Mackintosh adds.
So there you have it. Looks like humans cause glacial retreat, and humans cause glacial advances. How convenient.
See entire article, entitled “Explaining New Zealand’s unusual growing glaciers”:
Thanks to Jay Hope for this info
A love story
There’s a love story involving Franz Josef glacier.
The Māori name for the glacier is Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere.
The local Māori tribe tell the story of Hinehukatere, a Māori maiden, who was climbing in the mountains with her true love when an avalanche swept him to his death.
Hinehukatere was heart-broken and her grief caused her to cry rivers of tears, which flowed down the mountain and were frozen by the gods. Her frozen tears stay as a reminder of her grief and give the glacier its name – Kā Roimata o Hinehukatere – The Frozen Tears of Hinehukatere.