Anthropogenic Global Warming

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Proof again that we are all doomed unless we adopt crippling measures to our economy. From Watts Up with That and the Anchorage Daily News:
Bad weather was good for Alaska glaciers
MASS BALANCE: For decades, summer snow loss has exceeded winter snowfall.

By CRAIG MEDRED
cmedred@adn.com

Two hundred years of glacial shrinkage in Alaska, and then came the winter and summer of 2007-2008.

Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August.

"In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound," said U.S. Geological Survey glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface of the Taku Glacier in late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying, located at about 1,500 feet elevation, did not become snow free until early August.

"In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years."

Never before in the history of a research project dating back to 1946 had the Juneau Icefield witnessed the kind of snow buildup that came this year. It was similar on a lot of other glaciers too.

"It's been a long time on most glaciers where they've actually had positive mass balance," Molnia said.

That's the way a scientist says the glaciers got thicker in the middle.
And some history and numbers:
One cool summer that leaves 20 feet of new snow still sitting atop glaciers come the start of the next winter is no big deal, Molnia said.

Ten summers like that?

Well, that might mark the start of something like the Little Ice Age.

During the Little Ice Age -- roughly the 16th century to the 19th -- Muir Glacier filled Glacier Bay and the people of Europe struggled to survive because of difficult conditions for agriculture. Some of them fled for America in the first wave of white immigration.

The Pilgrims established the Plymouth Colony in December 1620. By spring, a bitterly cold winter had played a key role in helping kill half of them. Hindered by a chilly climate, the white colonization of North America through the 1600s and 1700s was slow.

As the climate warmed from 1800 to 1900, the United States tripled in size. The windy and cold city of Chicago grew from an outpost of fewer than 4,000 in 1800 to a thriving city of more than 1.5 million at the end of that century.

The difference in temperature between the Little Ice Age and these heady days of American expansion?

About three or four degrees, Molnia said.

The difference in temperature between this summer in Anchorage -- the third coldest on record -- and the norm?

About three degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Once again, the idea that anything we do on Earth can affect the overall climate is hubris. Sure, there can be minor changes but these are swamped by the occasional volcano or a couple years of a quiet sun. Besides, the model that everybody is using (with CO2 being the primary G.G.) is Sub-Prime Science to borrow a term...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 14, 2008 7:59 PM.

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