Debunking the Deniers of Global Warming
Global Warming Denial
New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier
New Zealand’s Largest Glacier - The Tasman Glacier
Mt. Rainier’s Nisqually Glacier
Norway’s Briksdal Glacier
Global Warming Denial Liar
The Ice Age Now Website - run by Robert Felix
Typical tactics of the Global Warming Deniers include
outright lies. The Ice Age Now website claims that many glaciers
are growing/expanding. We will look at several of the glaciers
that they claim are growing, and show that they are in reality -
New Zealand’s Franz Josef
Glacier is a good case study of the ongoing retreat of world
glaciers as opposed to the claims of the Global Warming Deniers that the world’s glaciers are advancing
The Print Screen images to the right and below illustrate the
typical false claims of the Global Warming Deniers.
The Ice Age Now website ( http://www.iceagenow.com/
run by Robert Felix) claims that the Franz Josef Glacier is
increasing in size. The website includes the Franz Josef Glacier
in its list of “Growing Glaciers”. (Please see the Print
Screen image at right.)
The Ice Age Now website even has a web page devoted
to the Franz Josef Glacier where they state that the glacier has
“continued advancing down” its valley.
If you were to believe the Ice Age Now website, you
would be led to believe that there never has been any recent
retreat of the Franz Josef Glacier. This is what they want you to
There is no mention that the Franz Josef Glacier has
actually shrunk by more than one mile since the 1920’s.
As documented below, the Franz Josef Glacier has retreated more
than one mile since the 1920s.
The picture above is a copy of what appeared in The
New Zealand Railways Magazine in 1928.
The picture was taken from a 200-foot high hill at
about 43.4244 S, 170.1690 E. (Note: If you go any further up the
valley, you can’t see the high snow caped mountains in the
The glacier fills the entire valley.
The picture above was taken from the same spot but in
2006. (Photo courtesy of http://nzphoto.tripod.com/south/04Glaciers.htm#2006
glacier has retreated more than one mile up the valley. In the
1928 picture, a shoulder on the ridge on the left side of the
picture is about level with the surface of the glacier. The same
shoulder is visible in the 2006 photo. Google Earth lets you
measure the elevation of objects. That shoulder on the ridge is
now 1,000 feet above the valley floor.
The photo above can be seen at http://www.23hq.com/anjaeichler/photo/6743301?
shows the status of the Franz Josef Glacier as of April 2011. If
you compare the lower end of the glacier with the 2006 photo, it’s
obvious that the glacier is continuing to shrink.
And finally, here is a 2014 photo showing where the Franz Josef
Glacier used to be.
Also please see the “Franz Josef Glacier's 'rapid'
retreat (+photos)” article at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10818264
for 2008 vs. 2012 photographs documenting the continued retreat of
the Franz Josef Glacier.
The lower end of a glacier is where melting
predominates. If a glacier is active, its flow can replace
the portion that melts, and the glacier’s front remains
approximately stationary. If the flow of ice decreases, then
melting takes over. 80 years of melting times a melting rate of
12.5 feet a year will wipe out a 1,000 foot thickness of ice.
The graph above is from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Franz_Jozef_Glacier_NZ_fig13.gif
. It documents the retreat of the Franz Josef Glacier. Left in the
graph shows advanced locations for the glacier’s terminus while
the right portion of the graph shows decreased positions. In
addition to the overall retreat of the glacier, note that there
are minor advances that occur from time to time. If you get a year
or two of abnormally heavy snowfall, then the extra mass will
cause the Franz Josef or any other glacier to advance for a few
These minor random advances are what the Global
Warming Deniers claim as “Growing Glaciers”. They are not
representative of what is going on, but the Global Warming Deniers
are not interested in telling you the real story. They have a
political agenda that they are trying to promote, and it doesn’t
matter to them that they are not telling the truth. They are only
interested in promoting their political agenda - and if what they
are saying is actually a complete lie, it doesn’t concern them.
Also, please see:
PHOTOS: Iconic South Island glaciers retreating
The Fox Glacier as of March 2, 2007
The Fox Glacier as of 2016
Notice anything missing in the 2016 photograph? The
bare area on the hillside shows a trimline (green above – bare
rock below) as vegetation hasn’t had a chance to grow yet in the
area formally scraped bare by the glacier. The Ice Age Now website
describes this vanishing act as “Fox Glacier . . . still on the
march . . . advancing down their valleys”.
Largest Glacier - The Tasman Glacier
The false-color pictures below are from NASA’s Earth
The Tasman Glacier is New Zealands’s largest glacier. The Hooker
Glacier and Mueller Glacier can also be seen. Both the Hooker and
Mueller Glaciers are among New Zealand’s 12 largest glaciers.
In these false-color images, pale blue indicates ice
and snow, dark blue indicates water, green indicates vegetation,
and brown indicates rock or bare ground. The lower ends of the
three major glaciers are covered by eroded rocks and dirt, and
thus appear as a very dark brown.
All three glaciers are retreating from their terminal
moraines. As they melt back, lakes form in the basins inside these
terminal moraines. The 1990 photograph shows small lakes between
the ends of the glaciers and the terminal moraines.
By the time the 2007 photograph was taken, all three
glaciers had melted further back. The lakes between the ends of
the glaciers and the moraines had expanded significantly in size.
As the Tasman Glacier retreats, large dirty icebergs calve off its
end, and can be seen floating in its terminal lake.
Q: And how does
the “Ice Age Now” website describe these retreating glaciers?
A: “Recently, all 50 glaciers
in New Zealand were growing” (See 5th picture below)
One of the most impressive mountains in the state of
Washington is Mt. Rainier. Its summit elevation of over 14,000
feet is sufficient to support some two dozen glaciers. (The count
has decreased in recent decades.)
One of these glaciers is the Nisqually
Glacier which is on the south side of the mountain. The “Ice Age
Now” website states that the Nisqually is advancing.
As documented below, this claim by the Ice Age Now
website is a blatant lie. In reality, like most glaciers in the
world, the Nisqually Glacier is retreating. It has melted back
about 1 1/2 miles over the last 200 years. This retreat has
continued over recent decades.
The map to the right appeared in a research report by:
Stephen C. Porter
Quaternary Research Center
University of Washington
The following description accompanied the map.
“Extent of Nisqually Glacier in
1976 and early in the 19th century during its greatest advance
of the Little Ice Age. Glacier terminus positions recorded
sporadically between these times are identified by year of
observation. Since 1976, the glacier terminus has continued to
retreat and now lies well upvalley from its 1976 position.
(after Porter, 1981)”
The map also points out the terminus position as of
1997. This is well inside the 1976 boundary. The arrow that points
to the 1997 terminus position is of interest. The arrow crosses an
inward bend in the edge of the glacier. This bend marks an
area where the glacier was pushed to the left by a rock buttress
that protrudes from the right hand side of the glacial valley.
This rock buttress is an identifying marker that can be matched to
photographs. In turn these photographs show what has happened to
the Nisqually Glacier’s terminus since 1997.
Repeat satellite photography is a useful tool for
documentation of melting/shrinking glaciers. The two views of New
Zealand’s Tasman Glacier (shown a few paragraphs up) are just one
example. Google Earth has a “clock” tool that lets you view many
areas of the earth as photographed at different time periods. This
includes the Nisqually Glacier. The two pictures below are
vertical views of the Nisqually Glacier
one picture was taken in 1994 and the second in 2009.
The above black & white picture of the Nisqually
Glacier can be seen in Google Earth by activating the “clock” tool
and moving the “time slider” all the way to the left. The terminus
of the Nisqually Glacier is the dark area (partial shadows - mud
covered ice) in the lower left quadrant. A melt water stream can
be seen exiting from the base of the glacier with the stream
flowing downward off the bottom of the picture.
The above picture is viewed from an identical location, but
in 2009. The Nisqually Glacier’s terminus is now in the upper left
quadrant. The gully slightly above the center of the left edge is
useful for comparing the two locations of the terminus. The
glacier has shrunk by over 1,000 feet from 1994 to 2009. (In the
2009 picture the sun is off to the right which produces a shadow
from the rock buttress - mentioned earlier.)
The tan areas in the 2009 photo shows how much the
glacier has melted since the 19th century. 150 years ago these tan
areas were buried by the glacier. Since the 1800s, the glacier has
melted back over a mile. The tan areas are still bare ground as
vegetation hasn’t had enough time to establish itself yet. Also of
interest: Note the lateral moraines between the bare areas
and the surrounding forest. These ridges of loose rock and sand
also mark the extent of the glacier in the 1800s.
The map shows the retreat of the Nisqually Glacier
from the 1800s up to 1997, and the photographs show that this
retreat has continued up to the present.
And how does the Ice
Age Now website describe this retreat?
If we check a few of Robert Felix’s (the owner of the
Ice Age Now website) statements vs. reality, it’s easy to conclude
that he is a pathological liar. (For example, see “Medical
Dictionary” at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pathological+liar
In an open letter from
Robert Felix to Senator Maria Cantwell, the following
statement is made:
“Recently, all 50
glaciers in New Zealand were growing.”
(Please see the Print Screen image below)
If we check with New Zealand’s National Institute of
Water and Atmospheric Research, we find that as of 2008:
“Most of New Zealand's glaciers are now the smallest they have
been since records began - and they continue to shrink at a rapid
The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, which
made the discovery, said global warming was the main culprit.”
(Note, they shrank again in 2009.)
“New Zealand’s glaciers lost significant ice mass again last
The graph above is from the “Recent Global Glacier Retreat
Overview” web page at: http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/glacier_retreat.htm
It shows the volume of New Zealand southern Alps Glaciers as
reported by the NIWA. (The referenced web page has good
documentation about world-wide glacial retreat.)
Then there is the description seen at the top of the
Ice Age Now web page:
“Are you aware
that glaciers are growing in Washington State?
One of the U. S. Geological Survey’s benchmark
glaciers is Washington State’s North Cascade Glacier. The USGS has
a “Glacier Erasure” time lapse video of what has happened to it.
The two pictures below are from this USGS video.
Washington State’s North Cascade Glacier as it appeared in 1958
(above) and what was left of it as of 2006 (below).
And as noted above, the Nisqually Glacier is located on Mt.
Rainier - also in Washington State.
The following photographs show what is happening to Glaciers in
The first 3 photographs were posted at http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/visual-proof-of-global-warming.html
The fourth photograph was taken on Aug. 25, 2011 and can be seen
The four photographs show what has happened to Norway’s Briksdal
Glacier since 2001.
Briksdal Glacier as of 2001
Briksdal Glacier as of 2004
Briksdal Glacier as of 2007
Briksdal Glacier as of 2011
And would you like to make a guess as to how the Briksdal Glacier
is classified at the Ice Age Now website?
Isn’t it amazing how the Ice Age Now website classifies the
Briksdal as a ”Growing Glacier”.
If you check the 2010 “Engabreen Glacier, Norway
retreat” report at http://glacierchange.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/engabreen-glacier-norway-retreat/
you will find that:
“From 1999-2009 Engabreen has retreated 255 m.”
“The 2009 position is its point of furthest retreat since the
Little Ice Age. The recent retreat indicates a recent trend of
negative mass balance on the glacier.”
A quote from “Norwegian mountain glaciers in the
past, present and future” (published in ScienceDirect): “Since
2000 most of the observed glaciers have retreated remarkably fast
(annual frontal retreat >100 m) mainly due to high summer
Finally, the U. S. Geological Survey reports that:
There is no doubt that most
mountain glaciers are shrinking worldwide in response to a
In addition to these three glaciers, more than 99 percent of
America’s thousands of large glaciers have long documented
records of an overall shrinkage as climate warms
Now, about Robert Felix’s statement that “More than 90 percent of
the world’s glaciers are growing” ?
As for Robert Felix’s “knowledge” about climatology, please see http://www.uri.edu/artsci/ecn/starkey/201-590_bulletinboard/junk_science.pdf
for additional information about a certain “eccentric
Alternately, please see:
the main Global Warming Denial Liars main page
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