Debunking the Deniers of Global Warming
Global Warming Denial
New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier
New Zealand’s Largest Glacier - The Tasman
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 - shrinking.
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
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
The 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?
and 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 years.
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
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”.
New Zealand’s Largest
Glacier - The Tasman Glacier
The false-color pictures below are from NASA’s
Earth Observatory. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8434
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
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
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
Q: And how does the “Ice Age Now” website describe these
A: “Recently, all 50 glaciers in New Zealand were
growing” (See 5th picture below)
Mt. Rainier’s Nisqually
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
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 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?
“Nisqually Glacier Advancing”
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
“Recently, all 50 glaciers in New Zealand were growing.
(Please see the NIWA graph 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
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
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.
Glaciers in Norway
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
Briksdal Glacier as of 2017
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 temperatures.” http://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/geofag/GEG2130/h09/Reading%20list/Norwegian%20mountain%20glaciers%20in%20the%20past,%20present%20and%20future.pdf
Finally, the U. S. Geological Survey reports that:
There is no doubt that most mountain glaciers are shrinking
worldwide in response to a warming climate.
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
for additional information about a certain “eccentric former
Alternately, please see:
“Is Felix a climatologist, a volcanologist or an oceanographer?
Er, none of the above. His biography describes him as a "former
architect". His website is so bonkers that I thought at first it
was a spoof.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/may/10/environment.columnists
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