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Glaciers On Asia’s Largest Mountain Range Getting Bigger – OpEd


By Robert W. Felix

Satellite data shows that glaciers in part of the Karakoram range on the China-Pakistan border are putting on mass, defying (supposedly) the general trend toward glacier shrinkage.

In an article entitled “Slight mass gain of Karakoram glaciers in the early twenty-first century,” Researchers from the National Centre for Scientific Research and the University of Grenoble admit to “an anomalous gain of mass” for the Karakoram glaciers.

This is in direct contradiction to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which claimed that ice from most of the region could disappear by 2035.

Often considered a part of the Himalayas, the Karakoram range, which runs through Pakistan, India and China, is technically a separate chain that includes K2, the world’s second-highest peak.

Although there were wide variations between individual glaciers, the mass of the glaciers in this 2,168-square-mile (5,615-sq-km) area increased marginally. “Our measurements…indicate that the contribution of Karakoram glaciers to sea-level rise was −0.01 mm yr for the period from 1999 to 2008,” write the French researchers.

Huh? What does that mean? “The contribution to sea-level rise was MINUS 0.01 mm per year”? Sounds like Orwellian double-speak to me.

“Why this (the increase) should be is not clear,” writes BBC News environment correspondent Richard Black. “Though it is well known from studies in other parts of the world that climate change can cause extra precipitation into cold regions which, if they are cold enough, gets added to the existing mass of ice.”

Uh huh. First we’re told that global warming will melt all of the world’s glaciers and sea levels will rise catastrophically. Now, we’re being told that global warming will make the glaciers grow and contribute – in a minus sort of way – to sea level rise. Does that mean that sea levels will fall?

“We don’t really know the reason,” said lead researcher Julie Gardelle. “Right now we believe that it could be due to a very specific regional climate over Karakoram because there have been meteorological measurements showing increased winter precipitation; but that’s just a guess at this stage.”

Meanwhile, correspondent Black tries to convince us that the majority of Himalayan glaciers are growing.. “Late last year,” says Black, “the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod) released data showing that across 10 regularly studied glaciers, the rate of ice loss had doubled since the 1980s.”

“Ten regularly studied glaciers”? Make sure you caught that, because Mr. Black then begrudgingly admits that “these 10 intensively studied glaciers” are “among a total of more than 54,000.”

We’re spending billions upon billions of dollars to fight global warming based on 10 melting glaciers? Ten? Out of a total of more than 54,000?

What is wrong with our leaders?

As a matter of fact, the Himalayas have lost no ice in the past ten years. We’re talking about the greatest chain of ice-capped peaks in the world – from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan – and satellite measurements show that they have lost NO ice in the past 10 years.

Not only have they lost no ice, in a defiant act of political incorrectness, some 230 glaciers in the western Himalayas – including Mount Everest, K2 and Nanga Parbat – are actually growing.

“These are the biggest mid-latitude glaciers in the world,” says John Shroder of the University of Nebraska-Omaha. “And all of them are either holding still, or advancing.”

And get this. Eighty seven of those glaciers have surged forward since the 1960s.

But we don’t need to look to the Himalayas for growing glaciers. Glaciers are also growing in the United States. Yes, in the United States.

Look at California. All seven glaciers on California’s Mount Shasta are growing, including three-mile-long Whitney glacier, the state’s largest.

Farther north in Washington State, the Nisqually Glacier< on Mt. Rainier is growing. The Emmons Glacier on Mt. Rainier is growing. Glaciers on Glacier Peak< in northern Washington are growing. And Crater Glacier on Mt. Saint Helens is now larger than it was before the 1980 eruption.

Even farther north, the Juneau Icefield, which covers 1,505 square miles (3,900 sq km) and is the fifth-largest ice field in the Western Hemisphere, is also growing.

Are these growing glaciers also just “an anomalous gain of mass”? Well, let’s look at a few other countries.

  • Perito Moreno Glacier, the largest glacier in Argentina, is growing.
  • Pio XI Glacier, the largest glacier in Chile, is growing.
  • Glaciers are growing on Mt. Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada.
  • Glaciers are growing on Mt. Blanc, the tallest mountain in France.
  • Glaciers are growing in Norway, says the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE).
  • And the last time I checked, all 50 glaciers in New Zealand were growing. (The Franz Josef glacier is advancing at the rate of 4 to 7 feet per day!)

But these glaciers are babies when you look at our planet’s largest ice mass, namely, the Antarctic ice sheet.
Contrary to what you may have heard, this huge ice sheet is growing.

In 2007, Antarctica set a new record for most ice extent since 1979, says meteorologist Joe D’Aleo. Antarctic sea ice has also been increasing, on average, since 1980.

Think about that.

The Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is almost twice as big as the contiguous United States, is about 90 times bigger than all of the rest of the world’s glaciers combined.

Close to 90 percent of the world’s glaciers are growing, in other words, and all we hear about are the ones that are shrinking.

Welcome to the new ice age.

Robert W. Felix is author of Not by Fire but by Ice, and publisher of

2 thoughts on “Glaciers On Asia’s Largest Mountain Range Getting Bigger – OpEd

  • April 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    So glad to hear that glaciers are growing in other parts of the world. I live in SW France, and the Pyrenees don’t seem to part of this phenomina. One can see the glaciers here diminish year by year. What can be causing this? Surely not “le rechauffement du monde!” To quote you, “Huh?”

    Best, M

  • April 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    This is a simple problem.

    There is but ONE AND ONLY ONE condition for forming and expanding a glacier – more snow falls than can melt!

    The climate chaos of the 20th and 21st centuries, has produced changes in water curents, air currents and precipitation patterns. The melting ice of the Artic which is in the ocean produces next to NO rise in see level and leaves MORE OPEN water for forming precipitation. As this water is at about -2 degrees Celcius, the freezeing point of saline sea water and as -2 is the most favourable temperature for Snow rather than rain, an increase in snow and glaciation ought not to surprise anyone who thinks about it.

    Indeed Earth’s temperature just before and just after the glaciation period of 20-12,000 BC was HIGHER than the temperatures forecast for the 22nd century.

    What does this all mean for the future: is a new gacial period in the realm of the possble?


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