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 - 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
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 believe.
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 distance.)
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.
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.
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
The Fox Glacier as of March 2, 2007
The Fox Glacier as of April 26, 2012
Notice anything missing in the 2012 photograph? Hint: Look
at the rock rubble below the green hillside. In 2007, this area was
covered by glacial ice. 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 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
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)
Mt. Rainier’s Nisqually Glacier
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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?
“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 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:
of New Zealand's glaciers are now the smallest they have been since
records began - and they continue to shrink at a rapid rate.
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 summer”
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
“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.
Glaciers in Norway
The following photographs show what is happening to Glaciers in Norway.
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 at http://www.pbase.com/mcrowle/image/137756279
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
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.
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:
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