Talk:Retreat of glaciers since 1850

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Hey, guys, thanks for bailing me out. I was reverting a long string of vandalism and I also, without noticing it, reverted across some vandal's deletion. The upshot of this was that I lost a whole pile of stuff. Whilst trying to fix the huge mess I'd made, other editors rushed right in and fixed it up before I could shake a stick at it. This is a very well-maintained page by the look of your speed and accuracy. Thanks again and keep up the good work. — Dave 14:47, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Various words are emotionaly charged POV words[edit]

Most obvious was: "alarming", which has no place in an encylopedia. Joncnunn 15:40, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Claims of Temperate and Tropical Glaciers in Equilibrium as Important "Water Sources", considering the logic[edit]

Glaciers are a "water source" only when they are melting. Otherwise, the only actual source of water is from partial or complete melt of annual snowfall on them. The only small caveate to this is those few non-arctic glaciers large enough to create their own weather and induce additional snowfall from monsoonal moisture.

Expanding glaciers would be water "sinks", depriving rivers, streams and agriculture of runoff from annual snowfall. Expanding glaciers would be worse than no glaciers at all since less than all the annual snowfall would be available to flow downstream.

As with the well-known episodes of global and regional cooling - the Little Ice Age and several "years without summers" such as 1815 - cooling to any degree from longer term levels has been disastrous to human ecosystems and so would it be with expanding glaciers. Local and global weather and climate however have always been in flux from causes unrelated to human activity. So it is unreasonable to expect any amount of glacial ice other than zero to remain constant over long periods and provide a constant source of melt just equaling annual snowfall. This type of seasonal mountain snowcover does a very good job supplying water throughout the year for millions in the American west for example where there are only a few tiny glaciers.

Melting temperate and tropical glaciers therefore represent a temporary bonus to human downstream water uses that will end only in one of two ways: 1) Total glacial loss or another temporary stabilization and runoff at the long term mean, just equaling annual snowfall, or 2) a reversal to glacial readvance and moderate to disastrous shortfalls of runoff to areas dependent on it, in addition to other probable bad effects of a cooling climate. And the historic evidence is that such reversals are generally much more frequent and sharper than any in the last 10,000 years of relative stability. In other words, enjoy the glacial melt while it lasts.

I hope that "warming alarmists" will choose to answer this objection to the conclusions within and not just delete it. I'll be back. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Glaciers that grow[edit]

An editor added the below new section. Between the waves of vandalism, and the rather overbold change to all the references, it's a little hard to pick out exactly who added this. There are some good concepts in the below, but it needs some substantial improvement, and also some discussion here, before it goes back in.

  • The references given are simply not up-to-snuff formally. In getting this to FA status (and front page inclusion), we were careful to find complete citation details, and use appropriate reference templates. Just giving, e.g. "Tulaczyk and Howat" in parentheses falls far short of this: where did these authors publish? What is the paper title? What year? etc. The "visitor center" citation seems slightly weak as a source generally, but it needs to be fully fleshed out as a citation in any case.
  • The heading: "The Controversy" is not so good. The case is wrong, but that's simple enough to fix. But the tone also suggests something more inflammatory or editorial that we want. There's also too much of the editorializing tone in words like "surprisingly".
  • Much of these facts were already previously rejected (for relevance, not for accuracy) in this talk page. For example, St. Helens indeed has growing glaciers because of the rapid change of its topography to create a north-facing slope. That's an interesting phenomenon, but not really something that speaks to climatic or global trends or patterns. I'm not trying to "put my foot down" against discussing St. Helens, but we should discuss it more, given its prior (discussed) rejection for inclusion. I'd like to hear the experts chime in about some of the other examples too; there may be similarly special questions for those (I do not know the facts about this).
  • The whole thing looks rather hastily written; including too many spelling and grammar errors. If the other issues didn't exist, I'd just fix them in place, but let's polish it a bit here first, and discuss the issues that need discussion.

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 16:41, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Glaciers that Grow - The Controversy[edit]

Despite the obvious shrinking of glaciers, there are quite a few that are growing. Such is the case of Hubbard Glacier, and 7 other glaciers in Alaska, that are not only not ablating, but are growing in size. The Hubbard previously retreated about 38 miles between 1130 A.D. and late in the 19th century, but is now currently advancing in such a rate it periodically closes off its outlet, the Russell Fiord, and turns it into a lake. (source: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 001-03 January 2003, by D.C. Trabant, R.S. March, and D.S. Thomas)

Another instance of glacier proliferation is, surprisingly, the glacier on mount St. Helens. The 13 different glaciers that made up icecap that covered this volcano prior to its eruption totally melted and/or evaporated during the 1980 disaster. Nonetheless, snow is once again accumulating and compacting near the north edge of the remaining crater, with crevasses visible in some areas wich give testimony to the ice's movement. (source: Johnston and Coldwater Ridge visitors center)

Also in North America, California's Mount Shasta's glaciers are growing. The Whitney Glacier, for example, is galloping forward at the rate of four inches per day. Aerial images indicate Whitney has expanded by about 30 percent in the last 50 years. (Tulaczyk and Howat)

On the other side of the globe, in New Zealand, the story is similar with the Franz Josef glacier. The ice mass, which is steeper than most, advances at a surprising 3 meters per day. (source: C. de Freitas, School of Geography and Environmental Science at Auckland University, N.Z.)

These and many other examples of glaciers wich are apparently oblivious to supposed global warming have led many scientists to disbarr the theory of global warming complete or partially, at the very least. These (citation needed) conclude that climate change is more likeley to be regional other than at a global level. Nonetheless, many of these regional changes can be directly traced to human activities such as deforestation or alterations of rivers and other bodies of water.


Basically, you are talking about a relative few glaciers that are growing. The Franz Josef glacier is mentioned in the article and the reason for a few glaciers "growing" in New Zealand is explained and referenced. Mount St Helens glaciers were essentially eliminated in 1980 and once the mountain calmed down by 1986, a favorable situation was gained by the cliff sheltered caldera which was sheltered on the south side of the summit, allowing a glacier to develope and expand to a point of mass balance equilibrium, that is until 2004 when the volcano became active again. Much of the creavssing since is due to the uplift of the newer volcanic dome that originated right under the glacier. I just tried to google Mount Shasta and Whitney about glaciers and all I found was a few general references such as [1]. Again, the article wasn't written to support an a priori belief system...we did try to find proof that there was overall glacier advance since 1850, and overall, worldwide, there wasn't.--MONGO 18:07, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Why after getting an article just so to be featured status cant it be locked for 24 hours, to avoid the hysteria that seems to occur. We have noted a number of advancing glaciers from Alaska, Norway and New Zealand. Given the literally 2000 observed retreating glaciers in Alaska most unmentioned mentioning even one of the seven advancing glaciers is giving it more than its share of room. I am not convinced that the data on Mount Shasta glaciers is good. I had a chance to review the article before publication and the pictures they provided did not bear out the picture told. The same group did use pictures to show the retreat in the Sierra Nevada. Peltoms 21:53, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

We discussed de Freitas on 20 February on this page. To quote from that discussion, "he was an editor of Climate Research a minor journal that subsequently disavowed his editorial work (publishing a flawed paper by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas) amid three resignations from its editorial board." --Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:28, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Great article, but ...[edit]

... doesn't the first sentence contain a peacock term? SP-KP 22:22, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

May I suggest that you have a go at it per {{sofixit}}? Thanks, --Walter Siegmund (talk) 01:50, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
You may. However, it looks like someone else has already fixed it. Well done that person. SP-KP 17:56, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
It was me. I decided to give it a try after commenting here. Feel free to improve on my effort. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:36, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Heavy vandalism[edit]

This article has been vandalized quite a bit over the last 24 hours. I have taken the intermediate step of semi-protecting it per policy. --Jay(Reply) 00:38, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately such vandalism is common for articles featured as "Today's featured article". Though, now that we've moved on to Cheers, with this article merely listed under "Recently featured", I think the vandalism will die down. As such, in my opinion, I don't think sprotection is needed but will defer to your judgment. -Aude (talk | contribs) 00:44, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
You're probably right on that one. It has been close to half an hour. I will now remove the protection. --Jay(Reply) 01:00, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
From the perspective of covering the most substantial and important observed glacier retreat it would be the mid latitude glaciers. I do not understand why Tropical glaciers have been placed first now. They are the least significant area of glaciers. I suggest they be relegated down the article a bit. I would so myself now, but just thought to ask the question first.Peltoms 01:51, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I did this so that the discussion would proceed working from the equator north and south towards the poles. I agree that the tropics is less substantive, but just moving the sections will also require some rewriting of the sections to fix the flow of the content. But aren't the minor glaciers there that are about to disappear also of inherent interest? I prefer to keep the article much as it was when it became a featured article, but I do agree that an overempahsis of the tropics by placing that section first may be misleading. No doubt, the greatest changes have occured in the mid latitudes.--MONGO 02:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
People depend on them for their water supply, so I think they matter. They're also going to be the first to go. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

New images[edit]

I'm thinking of adding these images with something close to the following commet in the article...if anybody is still out there, feel free to comment of course.

Repeat photography such as the images shown below of Grinnell Glacier located in Glacier National Park (US), provide basic observable evidence of glacier retreat.

Grinnell Glacier 1938.jpg Grinnell Glacier 1981.jpg Grinnell Glacier 1998.jpg Grinnell Glacier 2005.jpg
1938 T.J. Hileman GNP 1981 Carl Key (USGS) 1998 Dan Fagre (USGS) 2005 Blase Reardon (USGS)

--MONGO 09:49, 14 May 2006 (UTC) The pictures look good. I think you do not need the 1998 image. I also suggest that for some of the repeat photographs of the same glacier. That they can go to the glacier page. Certainly there are too many to include them all here. I know Grinnell is the poster child. Peltoms 15:16, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Just thought 1998 was helpful since we discuss how the rate of retreat has accelerated and the changes in the 7 years between 1998 and 2005 are rather large. Interesting that the ice shelf known as the Salamander, located above Grinnell Glacier has shown almost no change at all.--MONGO 04:32, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Also...I added these images to Grinnell Glacier and also to Glacier National Park (US)...however, I was asked to remove the 1998 image and place them to the right...a style I do not like as one must scroll up and down the page now to see them all.--MONGO 04:34, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Tasman Glacier.gif

I have made this (and several similar) stacked images that show alarming retreat of glaciers around the world over this rather short interval. Note the large increase in the size of the three terminal lakes, the retreat of the white ice (ice free of moraine cover) and, more subtly, the increase in height of the moraine walls due to ice thinning. Two of these glaciers are in Connelley's picture in the current article. Worth adding somewhere?

It will be interesting when the 1975 Geocover mosaic is available and can easily be added (but unfortunately the 1975 pre-MSS imagery may look rather different). --Glen Fergus 05:34, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Nifty...I'm using a rather lousy browser right now but will review them again in a couple of hours. You said they are in Connelley's picture..which one?--MONGO 05:41, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

DSCN5238-muller-moraine b.jpg

This one.

The view is from the bottom left in my image, from the Mueller Hut track across the Mueller glacier terminal and up the Hooker Valley.

Animated gif should work fine in most browsers??

[Some might also be interested in this 2003 image of the Puncak Jaya glaciers, or what is left of them. The view angle is similar to the USGS shots, but a little more distant. The purple in the foreground is the Freeport Copper Mine pit. Unfortunately made with Google Earth (from PD Landsat 7 imagery), so has copyright issues.]

--Glen Fergus 06:06, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

I suppose gifs work in most browsers, not sure for me fine. Yes, Puncak Jaya glaciers are almost gone now...I wish we had a more recent photograph from USGA to help compare. When I added the images of repeat photography of Puncak Jaya, they were at that time the only ones I was able to we also have many from Glacier National Park...and I saw the following USGS linked gif that is also a copywrite issue for us as they use it by permission...[2] (bottom of page) I don't know if we can add the gif you have here...but I am seriously considering starting an article about repeat photographic evidence of glacier retreat, since now we seem to be able to obtain more images than even six months ago.--MONGO 07:39, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, clear photos are hard to ignore.
Puncak Jaya (NASA astronaut photograph).jpg

Here is a recent (2005) astronaut pic morphed into an approximate repeat of the USGS Puncak Jaya photos using the World Wind DTM.

Not much left there.

--Glen Fergus 09:07, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Scary...I'll live to see many famous glaciers simply disappear. Lovely copper mine though...surely the environmental constrants there would be unacceptable in most western countries, no offense to Indonesia, but some big western company is probably running the show there anyway. I mean, look at the disturbed terrain, that thing must be huge.--MONGO 09:46, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Looking at the larger of the glaciers, does that appear to be the Meren or the Carstensz Glacier? Looks like the northwall firn is almost completely gone.--MONGO 09:51, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Meren glacier disappeared completely some time between 1994 and 2000[3]. The two bits on the left are what remains of the Northwall Firn. Carstenz Glacier, just to the right of the peak, is thicker and will be the last to go. It'll all be gone for ever well inside 10 years, making greater-Australia probably the first completely ice-free continent on the planet in 2 million years. (Africa can't win - Kilimanjaro is nearly gone, but there is still one fairly thick glacier left on Mt Kenya.)
Freeport is the second largest copper mine in the world, highly destructive, and, of course, American owned and run. Their taxes make up about half the Indonesian budget, so they don't really have a choice... --Glen Fergus 10:36, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, silly question, since I added and referenced that Meren had disappeared when I helped write this article. Okay, where should these images go...I don't want to overload the article too much, but it has already been featured and also on the main page for Wikiopedia, so I am certainly happy to add updated information and imagery. Feel free to edit as you like and I or others can make stylistic changes if you are not familiar with the referencing style or other formats. All contributions that help make the article better and keep it up to date are always very much appreciated. Also notice in the last discussion section that there are other repeat images that may be useful here or in a subarticle linked from this one.--MONGO 10:43, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Done ... tried to keep it low-key. --Glen Fergus 11:18, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Impact of glacial retreat[edit]

If the world's oceans were to rise 70 m, what kind of local impact on sea level would that have? I've understood that it is not directly equal to local rise of 70 m. For example just a 0,5 meter rise would submerge many coastal areas, which are located at higher than 0,5 meters. Teemu Ruskeepää 08:27, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Countries that would have a real impact include Nauru and the Maldives as they are very low and they have no where to goo to rebuild. The evidence for a sea level rise of 70m in the next several centuries is almost zero. However, as you point out, just a 10-15m rise would require many urban areas to make major adjustments including diking, levees and or relocation. New Orleans, New York, Amsterdam, and many other urban areas would be greatly impacted. With the vast majority of glacial ice locked up in Greenland and Antarctica, all the ice there would have to melt to bring sea levels up in a massive way. Thermal expansion may also enhance sea level rise significantly.--MONGO 10:01, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
A 1 m rise in sea level averaged over the world will have a roughly 1 m effect locally. It may be modulated somewhat by dynamics (ocean circulation changes), inverse barometer (sea level is higher where air pressure is lower), salinity changes and water temperature changes, but I think those are much smaller effects than 1 m. Most floods are caused by storms; if storm severity or frequency is increased, that may have a larger impact than the sea level rise itself.
Bangladesh has 10 million people (out of a population of 146 million) that live on the 10% of the country that would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 1 metre. Bangladesh is located on the Ganges Delta. It is analogous to the Mississippi River Delta in the United States that includes New Orleans, but is larger and far more populous. Walter Siegmund (talk) 05:34, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I think you did a better job answering his question--MONGO 06:53, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Walter, I was seeking an answer to local impacts. Teemu Ruskeepää 19:14, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Effect of anthroprogenic dust[edit]

A story on NPR this morning indicates that anthropogenic dust causes premature melting of the previous winter's snow pack. This may have implications for the mass balance of glaciers; has anyone looked into this factor in that context? [4] Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:02, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I'll see where we can fit is noteworthy...any suggestions?--MONGO 20:14, 1 June 2006 (UTC):

The impact of more dust on glaciers has long been noted as a problem in the Alps when south winds carry material from the Sahara. In this case it is referring to an increase in dust events in the last two years in Colorado. Do not carried away that it is significant yet.Peltoms 02:05, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps we should wait until other groups have an opportunity to look into it. If we do add it, we need to indicate that it is not a well-established effect. Thank you for commenting. Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:12, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I was at a conference where one of the researchers on this project presented a paper last week. It is clear that this is a trend that seems reasonable but is not showing up other than this year being very dusty.Peltoms 00:34, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Nice web pix[edit] has some nice pix. Not sure where to add the link so leaving it here. William M. Connolley 19:30, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, good find...I added it to the article...thank you.--MONGO 20:13, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
This has no quantitative data to go along with it. I will be seeing the author shortly and will talk to him about that.Peltoms 02:08, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Let us know what you find out please...good to have some connections I might say.--MONGO 09:54, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Very fine. Thank you. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:56, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I added material on the Morteratsch Glacier. There is a better photographic record than they have online, at least thus far, can't wait to see it. The National Snow and Ice Data Center published some new pairs todays as well from Alaska. The web page is rough, but if you click submit the whole group comes up. I will email them about using one good Alaskan pair for the article if you think it wise. Peltoms 00:55, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I've already been looking at these. They describe conditions on use if you follow through to the specific images. Most seem to be public domain or free use with attribution. Dragons flight 00:59, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Additions of Juneau Icefield glacier information and link to page with google earth image and USGS maps showing glacier change over 50 years.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Peltoms (talkcontribs)

somewhat confusing[edit]

The intro makes some of the issues readable, but I got somewhat lost in the rest, as there seems to be a very unclear discussion of the different effects. As far as I could gather, there seems to be consensus that the glaciers' retreat from 1850 to present is a combination of two effects: 1) the end of the little ice age; and 2) anthropogenic global warming. Obviously which is responsible for what is a contentious issue as part of the overall global-warming debate, but reading through the article I wasn't able to get much of a picture of what scientific consensus on this is. Which is responsible for how much in what periods, for example? Was the retreat from 1850 to 1880 primarily caused by the end of the little ice age, or did anthropogenic global warming start that early? If it started later, when? The 1930s; the 1980s? Etc. --Delirium 20:50, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Are purpose in this article was to accurately document glacier retreat, and not as spend time on the causes in each case. A case can be made in each area as to what is driving retreat, but it would take more room than we have here to argue this. Your question is also answered in that many glaciers were advancing in the 1970's. Thus, the retreat cannot be attributed to Little Ice Age adjustment.Peltoms


This is supposed to be a formal encyclopedia,but this article,like all the "climate change" articles is heavily opinionated.Only to a global warming alarmist is the melting of glaciers something that "threatens the water supply" There is way too much opinion in these things.It quotes a bunch of people saying that yes,global warming is real,and yes,you need to do exactly this as a result.Im gonna start deleting these articles if someone doesnt fix these soon. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:16, 17 February 2007 (UTC).

Good luck. The article is well referenced and based on fact. This article merely documents the known facts about glaciers doesn't make long elaborations as to what the cause of this retreat is, nor what needs to be done to stop it. I also don't see where in this article there is anything that goes into a lot of detail that water supplies will be impacted, but indeed, many mid latitude glaciers in places ranging from Wyoming to Chile to Kurdestan are melting and in time, this will have great impact on water supplies, especially during the times when it is needed the most: summer.--MONGO 05:22, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

As a previous commenter mentioned this article does not try to attribute the glacier retreat as much as they hoped. This suggests we stuck to the facts too much. The article could document in much more nauseating detail the extensive glacier retreat.Peltoms

Precisely. The information about glacial retreat is becoming easier to find all the time. I did see info about Mt. Shasta glaciers advancing, but this was attributed to an increase in moisture due to weather changes which are indicative of global warming increasing the amount of moisture available...and also concluded that the forecast warming will eventually be too great for these glaciers to continue to advance, no matter how much snow falls, and they will eventually retreat...see Whitney Glacier.--MONGO 08:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Growing Glaciers[edit]

Roger A. Pielke, a well know climatologist, has refuted much of the information in this article using peer-reviewed articles. He has demonstrated that glaciers in many of these regions have not changed or grown larger. His arguments must be integrated into this article. Please see this link for more detailed information:[[5]]--Alpha0r 17:20, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Looking through the series of links provided by Pielke, I noticed that there are a few areas that perhaps we can address here. Firstly, much of what I have seen regarding glacial retreat on Mount Kilimanjaro involves climate change which has reduced the amount of moisture the entire region near the mountain is experiencing, (moisture received near to and lake levels of Lake Victoria have been declining) however, the impetus for this reduction in has been argued to be due to solar radiation, not global warming.[6] Most but not all glaciers on the Palmer Peninsula of Antarctica are in retreat however some are advancing. The mass balance location on these glaciers is key to understanding why some are retreating and some advancing. Those with higher altitude points where mass balance equilibrium is established have seen a small advance due to increased moisture. Those with lower elevation equilibrium points have been generally retreating...the total surface area of these glaciers on the Palmer Peninsula has been reduced greatly since observations and measurements became more common...mostly post WWII. In Alaska, there are examples of surging glaciers such as Hubbard Glacier which maybe aren't covered as well as they should be in this article...Hubbard has produced Glacial lake outburst floods and a series of images in that latter article document this event. However, it also needs to be noted that Hubbard is a massive glacier and the ice there takes as long as 400 years to travel the entire length of the glacier...hence, observations over a period of decades might be too short to gauge what the overall pattern is for this glacier. I also know that glaciers on Mount Shasta have mostly been advancing, and this is attributed, as in other places, to increased regional moisture....see: Whitney Glacier. There is nothing wrong with adding and examining evidence of glaciers advancing to this article and a new section can do that, but there will probably be an examination of the evidence as to what the believed mechanisms are that are leading to advancing. It needs to be noted that this article is not an overt argument about global is merely an examination about the overall retreat of glaciers, especially tropical and mid latitude ones, for which the evidence is very strong, and these glaciers have been showing, overall retreat from their known termini, reduction in thickness and overall surface area loss since what is generally agreed to be the end of the Little Ice Age, around the year 1850. As such, it is looking at the overall pattern which is documented worldwide. It still omits evidence of massive glacial retreat in the Sierra Nevada (which is known but not widely published in scientific articles) and other areas in places like the Himalayas and the Andes where the research has been more limited or has not been ongoing long enough to render an overall verdict.--MONGO 20:06, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I looked over the Pielke article as suggested and found nothing of merit. There is one mention of the Siachen Glacier not retreating nor advancing. An example from atop Mount Blanc that wow they are not shrinking. Norway and New Zealand are noted in the wikipedia article as having advancing glaciers, though in both cases retreating glaciers are much more common and noted. In Alaska the Hubbard Glacier which has not advanced appreciably since 1975 is noted. We must note that the number of retreating glaciers discussed in the wikipedia article is small compared to what could be listed particularly in Alaska, Patagonia and the Himalaya. If every single non-retreating glacier is mentioned the article would be a bit longer, but if we listed every retreating glacier it would take a massive volume indeed. I would add that Pielke is not a glaciologist and hardly expert in this area.Peltoms

It is fairly common for well-intentioned nonexperts to base Wikipedia edits on questionable sources because they may be more accessible than those of higher quality. However, it is Wikipedia policy that content be verifiable and based on reliable sources. The policy states explicitly that "blogs are largely not acceptable as sources". For science articles, many editors would give preference to papers and reviews published in Institute for Scientific Information listed journals, especially in the event of an editorial dispute. I would certainly suggest doing so in this article. The Pielke reference does not satisfy the requirements of the verifiability policy, in my opinion.Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:29, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
The undue weight section of the Neutral Point of View policy states that "multiple or conflicting perspectives ... should be presented fairly". I think most editors would interpret this to mean that the article should discuss retreating and advancing glaciers roughly in proportion to their total number. Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:29, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Pielke does not actually refute what is documented in the article just criticises it and offers a few examples that for Siachen, Hubbard and Mount Blanc do not indicate any advance of a terminus recently. The examples from Norway and New Zealand we already document here. I have update the Norway numbers for 2006. Along with Swiss and Italian.Peltoms —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peltoms (talkcontribs) 23:55, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Updating the article[edit]

On a separate issue, should the article be left alone or should some of the numbers be updated to reflect the percentage of retreating glaciers in the Alps etc from 2006 per se.Peltoms

I think it would be valuable to update the article as new information becomes available. I won't have much time to contribute for the next month or so, but would be happy to do some copyediting and proofreading. Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:29, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm a go for an update overall...but as in Walter's case, I have limited time at present. The article was last reviewed well over a year ago, so one thing I need to do is check all the refs and make sure they are not now dead links...but any new information would be really beneficial, Peltoms. You can start if you want or simply drop off links to online refs or books here if you prefer.--MONGO 05:08, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I have time to update the data this month, and we will see about all of the reference checking. I will leave the edit checking to the rest of you. Having caught R.Pielke's attention the article must indeed be significant.Peltoms

I saw a lot of websites where this article was mentioned, but can't seem to find them now. I'll help add as I have time to help bring the article up to date.--MONGO 17:29, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Is the length of the article a problem? Updating the page will make it longer. If it is too long, I suggest we remove the section on ice Greenland and Antarctica and focus only on alpine glaciers and have a separate and more expansive ice sheet page. New Zealand now updated too.Peltoms —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peltoms (talkcontribs) 00:17, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

I would prefer, unless it gets ridiculous, to not splitting this article since it was brought to featured level with all this info in one place. But, the suggestion about the major icesheets of Antarctica and Greenland and their retreat being in their own article is not a bad idea...--MONGO 07:11, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the article length is not currently worrisome. It is comparable to many article, e.g., Global warming is 79 kB long. We might revisit the question in a month or two. Antarctica and Greenland may merit their own article by then.
It is interesting to me to read the recent updates to the article. Walter Siegmund (talk) 19:08, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Very informative article. The tiny bit I miss is proper update (very few data and evidence beyond 2005). I wonder where glaciers' reatreat is now. A featured article deserves it. (talk) 12:51, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Citation style[edit]

I like the harvard referencing overall, but it is cumbersome for me to work with. The main benefit I can see to using it is that it minimizes the space taken up in article text as compared to the other style I traditionally use. I am thinking about changing the style to one I am more familiar with...namely the style shown in footnotes...comments?--MONGO 17:30, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

After noticing your recent edits, I did a little research. Template_talk:Ref_harv#Harvard led me to Wikipedia:Footnote3 which led me to Wikipedia:Citing_sources (by describing it as "the relevant style guide"). This suggests that the one you're more familiar with is the "correct" one. That said, it's a real undertaking to "fix" all of these. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:35, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Ref_harv was developed for this automatically superscripts the name of the name of the author that is being referenced, a pretty nifty thing. I guess I have done so many other articles with the standard footnotes that I am now very rusty using this method. All the refs here need to be checked to see if they are still valid, and Peltoms is now doing updates to the material which hasn't been done in some time, so that is great. I am really mixed if I want to make the change in the ref style because I think this ref_harv style is unique to this article...which maybe makes it a bit rouge, but gives it a certain individual appearance. It passed FAC with this style in place. So, I guess, the only reason I bring it up is should we be more standard, or should we continue to use the style that was more than acceptable to the FAC responses and allows this article to be slightly unique.--MONGO 17:44, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't feel strongly about it, but I do think that we should stick to a single style within the article (as we are now, I think) — although obviously it would be OK for a short while to be mixed if there was an active move to change to the newer standard. I, too, like the Harvard style, but I prefer consistency with other articles. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 20:32, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh no, it would be one way or the other, not a combination of styles for sure. I just musing over the idea for now and will wait and see how others feel about it.--MONGO 04:10, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I do not care about the style really as long as users can find the sources easily and link to them if they wish. And as long as it easy to update them as I keep adding new ones.Peltoms
I think it would be nice to switch this article to the standard ref system, so that editors who want to jump in don't have to learn another ref system before they can contribute. Kaldari (talk) 19:33, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

I am torn on the issue of converting to a more standard ref system. The refs used here are, I beleive somewhat unique, but are within the WP:MOS and are accurate. But the article may need to be updated with new info and at that time, perhpas making a ref switch might be in order. One thing that is nice about the harvard style is the body of the text isn't consumed by reference material as is found in other articles. So it is kind of a toss up. Part of me feels that the way the standard refs take up so much space in the editing window is also a hindrance to newer editors, who come to edit a page and are baffled by the templated citations embedded within the article.--MONGO 22:43, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

New section or article on tidewater glacier cycles?[edit]

What do people think of a new section on tidewater glacier cycles, or alternatively a separate article on tidewater glaciers? No such article currently exists (the link in this article just goes to the main glacier article). I've seen a fair amount of confusion where people point to advancing tidewater glaciers as a refutation to the idea that glaciers are generally retreating. I think it could use more explanation than the one sentence reference to tidewater glacier cycles currently found in this article.Brian A Schmidt 17:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Good idea I will work on that, but not in the next week.Peltoms 14:39, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Tidewater glacier cycle page addedPeltoms 14:58, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a fix - the hotlink just switched from one word to another, but it still redirects to the main glacier page which has no explanation of tidewater glacier cycles. Am I missing something? I think wikipedia needs an explanation, somewhere, for the tidewater glacier cycles so people will know that the advance of a tidewater glacier tells you very little about climate or about whether glaciers are generally retreating. Brian A Schmidt 22:31, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Brian your suggestion fell on listening ears and there is now a tidewater glacier cycle article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peltoms (talkcontribs) 14:58, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Excellent - thank you!! Brian A Schmidt 21:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Oceania and South America[edit]

under the sub-heading of oceania,the paragraph still discusses the situation in south america before moving on to oceania in the next paragraph,maybe someone can restore it Shanbhag.rohan 15:58, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

I've fixed it. The reason this was reverted was that you didn't explain the move in the summary[7] (in my opinion) - so one of the admins with this article on their watchlist, looked at the edit, and just saw the deletion of a large section of text, and targeted it as probable vandalism. (not noticing that you'd already inserted it in another place). Apparently i was reverted as well, by someone who thought that the admin must be right ;)
Just carry on - it was a good edit. But remember to use the summary to explain what you are doing ;-) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:38, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
It appears I made a mistake when I did that revert. So I'll switch it back immediately.--MONGO 16:58, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Looks like it was already taken care of...thanks.--MONGO 17:00, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about not adding that in the summary,i will do that from the next time,thanks for now thoughShanbhag.rohan 03:04, 31 March 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shanbhag.rohan (talkcontribs)

Correction of temperature reference.[edit]

The article has a reference in the top section that following the mini ice age, a global warming took place causing glaciers to retreat between 1850 and 1950, which is correct. However, the next reference to temperature is misleading as it states that "Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed, in many cases, between 1950 and 1980 as a slight global cooling occurred." It is correct that there was a slight cooling from 1950 to 1980, but this period was still warmer than the most part of the period of 1850 - 1950, due to the extraordinary warming place from 1910 to 1945. The reference becomes misleading, because reality is that even the colder climate preceeding the period of 1950 - 1980 caused glaciers to retreat on a global scale. Referencing the relative temperature changes correctly will improve the overall understanding that yes; glaciers are retreating at an alarming speed, but even in a 'best case' scenario (the period from 1850 - 1910, where burning of fossil fuels was not a factor) the glaciers are invariably retreating, as they have since the last ice age ended about 11,000 years ago.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnwchr (talkcontribs) 17:06, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Your last sentence is not correct. Glaciers are not "invariably retreating" since 11,000 years ago. They advanced during the Little Ice Age. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:54, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your comment; my last sentence was only meant to be true from a high-level perspective. The point is, however, that glaciers were retreating globally prior to any increase in carbon-dioxide levels, and the temperature reference in the article gives the impression that 1950-1980 was 'cool' compared to a warmer 1850-1950 period, which is simply incorrect. The article should reflect temperature levels correctly. Thanks for the comment though! Johnwchr (talk) 19:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Glaciers invariably retreat when temperatures rise, and advance when temperatures fall. They have (iirc) in general advanced since ~5000 BN. The decrease 11,000 years ago was the inevitable result of the change from glacial to interglacial. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:34, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
1950-1980 was warmer than 1880-1920 (please see graph). The article should be accurate on that point. The WP:LEDE should introduce the article and summarize the important points, but should not go into too much detail. The lede links to articles on temperature so that the reader can learn more about that topic. That said, improvements to articles are welcome. Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:57, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Instrumental record of global average temperatures
I don't see how saying "a slight global cooling occurred" after 1950 would give anyone the impression that temperatures in 1950-1980 would thus be colder than in 1900, say. I have tried to make this a bit clearer anyway. -- Avenue (talk) 04:58, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Avenue, your edit seems helpful to me. Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:05, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Colin Summerhayes (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) interview[edit]

I removed content just now.[8] It is not supported by the source which says, "A 2007 report by the IPCC predicted a sea level rise of 7 to 23 inches by the end of the century .... The group said an additional 3.9- to 7.8-inch increase in sea levels was possible". 3.3 to 5 feet would be added by total W. Antarctic melt, but it isn't clear that this is the conclusion of the recently reported research or that it is well accepted by the scientific community.[9] I was unable to find scientific journal or SCAR articles related to this. Perhaps they have not yet been published. In any case, this paragraph is a summary of the content of the relevant section of Sea level rise and new content should be added and discussed there. On that last point, that article says, "Values for predicted sea level rise over the course of the next century typically range from 90 to 880 mm, with a central value of 480 mm." This article says, "sea level rise of not more than 0.5 m (1.6 ft) is expected through the 21st century, with an average annual rise of 0.004 m (0.013 ft) per year. Thermal expansion of the world's oceans will contribute, independent of glacial melt, enough to double those figures." That seems more or less consistent with that article. Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:04, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree...the sea level rise from ice melt is less than half what is possibly anticipated from thermal expansion. We need to stay on topic here and not deviate into broader issues.--MONGO 12:14, 20 June 2009 (UTC)


A recent edit by Peltoms (talk) here (see toward end of edit) removed the piece of information on Antarctic peninsula glaciers, including ref to the Pritchard study that identified acceleration of around 300 glaciers. This is arguably the only part of Antarctica where glaciers (on land) are actually responding to global warming. I understand the need to keep things concise but a lot of info has been added on individual ice shelves. The ref was left in the reference list though. Any thoughts?Polargeo (talk) 08:00, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I looked it over and thought Peltoms has intent to add more updated data on the Antarctic peninsula by this fall when he returns from field work. It isn't surprising though that we aren't yet seeing land retreat on the main part of that continent but that is mainly due to the fact that little if any land is exposed since the continent is ringed by ice shelves, which are showing (in some cases a lot) of destabilization and retreat.--MONGO 12:09, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks I'll wait for Peltoms then. Most of the big ice shelf changes are also along the peninsula but many of the glacier changes there aren't linked to the ice shelves (some are). Its wrong to think that other areas of Antarctica are only being protected from global warming by the ice shelves. There is insufficient atmospheric warming in the rest of Antarctica to affect the glaciers / ice streams. People are clamering to link changes in the Amundsen Sea area to climate but even if they manage to do this the mechanism is pressure systems changing the local ocean circulation rather than directly warming. Polargeo (talk) 06:32, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Polargeo This page as constructed is about glacier retreat not glacier response to global warming. This article has been successful in part because of this narrow focus. I think the emphasis should stay there and not become too enmeshed in glacier dynamics. The acceleration of glaciers is quite important, probably more so than a simple retreat measurement of some glacier, but I would suggest it belongs on the page devoted to the Antarctic Ice Sheet. For similar reasons we should not go into the details on the calving acceleration of Greenland Ice Sheet glaciers except where terminus retreat is evident. Nor should we get involved in the sea level discussion. Peltoms (talk) 11:06, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Okay Peltoms. However, the acceleration is accompanied by associated thinning and retreat so it does fit into this article and should be in it. Anyway, I'll leave it for you to sort out for now.

Measurement conversion templates[edit]

To streamline the article and bring it up to date with templates, I will adding the measurement conversion templates over the next few days. Discussion on these templates can be found here.--MONGO 12:26, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Add Category:Climate crisis, since loss of ice leads to loss of annual Water flow.[edit]

Add Category:Climate crisis, since loss of ice leads to loss of annual Water flow. (talk) 09:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

It isn't necessarily a crisis, neither the article nor current scientific thought seems to fit. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:31, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

ASIA SECTION -- WWF 2005 - RS?[edit]

I think some major revision is in order to the ASIA section to balance the article. I don't think the WWF PDF referenced is a RS; at the very least, the new information should be added to provide balance.

The following source under the ASIA section is questionable:

Rai, Guring, et alia Sandeep Chamling Rai, Trishna Gurung, et alia. "An Overview of Glaciers, Glacier Retreat and Subsequent Impacts in Nepal, India and China" (pdf). WWF Nepal Program. Retrieved March 2005.

This is not a peer reviewed document, according to the BBC: "...a 2005 World Wide Fund for Nature report on glaciers...Incidentally, none of these documents have been reviewed by peer professionals, which is what the IPCC is mandated to be doing." Himalayan glaciers melting deadline 'a mistake'

For more on the issue, also see "No Sign Yet of Himalayan Meltdown, Indian Report Finds" by Bagla in Science, 13 November 2009: 924-925. Some excerpts:

"Several Western experts who have conducted studies in the region agree with Raina's nuanced analysis—even if it clashes with IPCC's take on the Himalayas."

"The bottom line is that IPCC's Himalaya assessment got it "horribly wrong," asserts John "Jack" Shroder, a Himalayan glacier specialist at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. "They were too quick to jump to conclusions on too little data." IPCC also erred in its forecast of the impact of glacier melting on water supply, claims Donald Alford, a Montana-based hydrologist who recently completed a water study for the World Bank. "Our data indicate the Ganges results primarily from monsoon rainfall, and until the monsoon fails completely, there will be a Ganges river, very similar to the present river." Glacier melt contributes 3% to 4% of the Ganges's annual flow, says Kireet Kumar."

Certainly this last statement by Kireet Kumar, a RS, conflicts with the unsourced assertion in the Asia section that "...the Gangotri a significant source of water for the Ganges River...".

--Schonchin (talk) 06:40, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Quoting from former ICSI president V M Kotlyakov in the report "Variations of snow and ice in the past and present on a global and regional scale"[10] [11]

The degradation of the extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be apparent in rising ocean level already by the year 2050, and there will be a drastic rise of the ocean thereafter caused by the deglaciation-derived runoff (see Table 11 ). This period will last from 200 to 300 years. The extrapolar glaciation of the Earth will be decaying at rapid, catastrophic rates— its total area will shrink from 500,000 to 100,000 km2 by the year 2350. Glaciers will survive only in the mountains of inner Alaska, on some Arctic archipelagos, within Patagonian ice sheets, in the Karakoram Mountains, in the Himalayas, in some regions of Tibet and on the highest mountain peaks in the temperature latitudes.

It may be a good idea to mention these facts somewhere in the article seeing how many have gotten the wrong idea its 2035 instead of the actual 2350.

P.S, the source seems to be down atm due to heavy serverload

Edit: Added a mirror source of the same report.

--Sevenix (talk) 12:10, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

You should also add this report from Dr Madhav Khandekar mark nutley (talk) 16:44, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

New Zealand glaciers and wind direction[edit]

In the article, there are a number of references to New Zealand glacier mass loss and an implied connection to climate temperature. A major influence on New Zealand glacier mass is the direction of the prevailing winds relative to the Southern Alps - see for instance the paper in the International Journal of Climatology - When the winds are largely easterly, the eastern glaciers grow and the western glaciers shrink, and vice versa for westerly winds. This connection between wind direction and glacier size has been well known for several decades in New Zealand - there are other scientific papers on the subject.

There is no mention in this article of wind as a major factor in the mass gain or loss of the eastern and western glaciers of New Zealand. I propose that the article be ammended to include wind impact information.

Cadae (talk) 10:29, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I propose you get writing :) Do you have a list of the other papers? It would make useful reading i believe. --mark nutley (talk) 23:16, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I've now mentioned the recent change in wind conditions. However I suspect characterising the winds there as "largely easterly" is unlikely to hold for any period beyond a month or so - too short to have a measurable effect on the glaciers' length. I admit I'm not familiar with much of the literature on changes in NZ glaciers, but I think the distinction Cadae makes between eastern and western glaciers might be an oversimplification. A better contrast may be between glaciers that are more reactive or less reactive to snowfall; see for example the discussion of the response to two climate regimes in Glacier response to climate change. Finally, while our article mentions the appearance of proglacial lakes on the longer eastern glaciers, it doesn't cover their effects on glacial retreat. I think it should. -- Avenue (talk) 13:59, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Every glacier has its own sensitivity wind, relative humidity, avalanches, el nino, la nina, Arctic Oscillation etc. I do not believe we have time in this article to explore the why for each glacier. The strength of this article is it simply describes the terminus behavior which happens to be dominantly retreat.Peltoms (talk) 13:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Glacial retreat before & after photos[edit]

A picture is worth a thousnd words, and maybe I missed it, yet I did not see any links to then & now photos. Could someone link to these sites which have lots of them? Maybe even put more in the main article? (talk) 20:31, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Updates for alpine glaciers?[edit]

Should this be included in the alpine glacier section? Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation --mark nutley (talk) 10:21, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why not. As they say, it is much warmer now :-) William M. Connolley (talk) 10:58, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I do not see that it should be included in any detail. The article discusses a likely cause of enhanced melting, it does not comment on glacial retreat. The glacial retreat data for this interval is already contained in the key diagram for Swiss glaciers. The period of high melt was first published in 1978, so it is not news, only the forcing is news. If we do include it, it is a level of detail we do not have for other sections. We can certainly contrast the retreat rate decadally for Switerzerland. I have considerable new data for Norway, New Zealand and Himalaya to add soon.Peltoms (talk) 13:19, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Peltoms i see you are doing a fair bit of work here, might i ask you t oremove or update the following text which is incorrect "In India the Gangotri Glacier, which is a significant source of water for the Ganges River, retreated" Glacial melt only supplies around 7% of water to the ganges. --mark nutley (talk) 19:27, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Mark I will do so, and finish the references on the Asia section over the next 24 hours. How does the following sound for the Gangotri--- In 2005 the Tehri Dam was finished on the Bhagirathi River, it is a 2400 mw facility that began producing hydropower in 2006. The headwaters of the Bhagirathi River is the Gangotri and Khatling Glacier, Garhwal Himalaya. Gangotri Glacier has retreated 1 km in the last 30 years, and with an area of 286 km2 provides up to 190 m3/second (Singh et. al., 2006). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Peltoms (talkcontribs) 19:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Wow, you have done your homework, very good man :) mark nutley (talk) 20:03, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

One problem I am having is the long url's for abstracts through the official source for abstracts for many journals, that is science direct. The url is so long and meaningless I cannot see including it, and yet I want to provide an online look at the abstract at least.Peltoms (talk) 02:42, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Article probation[edit]

Please note that, by a decision of the Wikipedia community, this article and others relating to climate change (broadly construed) has been placed under article probation. Editors making disruptive edits may be blocked temporarily from editing the encyclopedia, or subject to other administrative remedies, according to standards that may be higher than elsewhere on Wikipedia. Please see Wikipedia:General sanctions/Climate change probation for full information and to review the decision. --TS 13:18, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Himalayan glacier demise per IPCC AR4[edit]

I took out MN's addition. It doesn't belong here. Furthermore, attempting to spread the controversy here with no attempt to discuss inclusion in talk is unhelpfully disruptive William M. Connolley (talk) 20:08, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I would suggest you put it back, this article is about the retreat of glaciers and the IPCC mistakes on them kinda do belong here. Your constant wholesale reverts of good faith contributions is one of the reasons you were just sanctioned under the probation. Please self revert and then talk about how to improve the new material, you know like you are meant to do. --mark nutley (talk) 20:15, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I reverted it at the same time William did. This is an article on glacier retreat, not on mistakes in reporting it, and even less on criticism of mistakes of reporting it. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:23, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
This starts to look like censorship on a grand scale. The world knows there were not just inexplicable mistakes involved in the IPCC estimates of glacial retreat. A modest link of about that size and extent is the minimum essential not to look really POV. MalcolmMcDonald (talk) 20:55, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Please actually bother to *read* this article. This is about the observed retreat since 1850 (errm, as the title might suggest). It isn't about predictions of future retreat William M. Connolley (talk) 21:05, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion it would not be neutral, nor would it be helpful, to introduce an irrelevancy into the article. The article is here to chronicle a known past event, not to discuss errors of prediction relating to a possible future event. --TS 21:10, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
If as you say this is about past glacial stuff then why is this in there? Studied by glaciologists, the temporal coincidence of glacier retreat with the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases is often cited as an evidentiary underpinning of global warming. --mark nutley (talk) 21:15, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
And this Mid-latitude mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, Alps, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Range, and the southern Andes, as well as isolated tropical summits such as Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, are showing some of the largest proportionate glacial loss.(IPCC)--mark nutley (talk) 21:16, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Why shouldn't those statements be in the article? It's about glaciology. --TS 21:34, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Make your mind up tony The article is here to chronicle a known past event, not to discuss errors of prediction relating to a possible future event If this quote from you is the case then refs to the IPCC and refs to AGW do not belong here. If as you now say they do and if the IPCC is to be used as a source then the fact that they got the glacier info wrong belongs here. --mark nutley (talk) 21:43, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
What about the statement you source does not refer to past events? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:04, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Takes a lot of chutzpah to quote reports badly discredited on that exact topic (glacial retreat) - and defend removing the very serious concerns that funding bodies like the EU now have. MalcolmMcDonald (talk) 21:49, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Where is the AR4 WGII report quoted? (its not in the references) The WGI report is (the TAR btw. not the AR4), but that is a wholy different report, and not the one under critique. Btw. having an error in one paragraph in a 900+ pages report doesn't discredit it. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:21, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You may need to get up to speed kim, more errors are being found on a daily basis. If a stephen and tony says this article is about past events them referances to global warming must be removed as this is a modern issue (AGW IPCC) --mark nutley (talk) 09:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Global warming--whether you choose to believe it is up to you--has been demonstrated scientifically to have happened. See the first sentence in the global warming article and you'll see it's about the warming trend in the past decades and its projected continuation. It is quite appropriate to infer that deglaciation will continue and that this is one of the symptoms to expect from global warming. It's very inappropriate to overplay the role of an error in AR4. --TS 09:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Might I add that I cannot disapprove more strongly of this passion for rushing to insert minority points of view into scientific articles on blatantly spurious grounds. The exaggerated language both of you are using here does you a great discredit. --TS 09:40, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
It's only inappropriate to mention the whole series of errors found in the IPCC work on glacier retreat if you actively seek to make these articles non-informative.
And to call mention of the errors a "minority point of view" is breathtaking. I came to these articles briefly as a firm believer early last year, my faith only being shaken by the behaviour of the GW Lobby. It looks increasingly as if I came back just when the dam was breaking. I still think there's a place for the Global Warming industry, but I fear it will be re-born in a completely different form at some time in the future. (Prof Latif, a GW believer says there could be 20 years of cooling). The current setup is teetering on the brink of moving from being partially to being totally discredited. MalcolmMcDonald (talk) 13:08, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Kim if as you say It is quite appropriate to infer that deglaciation will continue and that this is one of the symptoms to expect from global warming then the fact that the IPCC got it wrong should be in. You can`t cite them as an authority for glacial melt when they get their reports from the WWF can you? This is not about overplaying the error about glacial melt, it is about letting readers know there was a mistake made. @ Tony, are you saying the IPCC is a minority points of view? The grounds for a mention of this is hardly spurious, it is highly relevant to the article. --mark nutley (talk) 11:41, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

If no answers are forthcoming i will reinsert the new material. We have here as has been pointed out to me, an encyclopaedia, which is used to record facts. If this is the case then we can`t Infer what may happen in the future like kim and tony are saying. So we have two choices here, point out the IPCC has made mistakes (as they are being used to point out glacial melt currently) or remove all references to AGW , the IPCC and any other Inferred future events The article needs to reflect reality, not just one viewpoint --mark nutley (talk) 07:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
You've been more than adequately answered. Please desist.--Gergyl (talk) 08:04, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
No i have not and no i will not mark nutley (talk) 08:15, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
My comment above, argueing for improving the article, has been criticised as advocacy. You should know that arguing that the IPCC (along with WWF and New Scientist) has badly let us down on this part of the subject and that this should be documented plays no part in building an informative article. MalcolmMcDonald (talk) 12:37, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Marknutley, please don't edit/argue tendentiously. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:17, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I am not being tendentious, i believe that if the IPCC are being used in this article as a source on glacial melt then their errors should also rate a mention. Why is this such an issue? mark nutley (talk) 16:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, you believe wrongly. I assume you are aware that the melt rates are referenced to the IPCC TAR WG1 report, while the Himalayan glacier report was in the AR4 WG2 report? Different scientists, different documents, 6 years apart - and, btw, the WG1 report (any issue) is an document in which, to my knowledge, no serious errors have been found. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:38, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Try looking up the word "tendentious" William M. Connolley (talk) 17:05, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I know the meaning of the word WMc, do you have a point? @ Stephen as that is the case then i`ll drop it.
I pointed this out i my comment at "22:21, 26 January 2010", you even replied to it.... Doh! --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Oops, Sorry man, i was focused on your only one error in the whole report thing, my bad and my apologies. We need an embarrassed emoticon here :) mark nutley (talk) 18:58, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

As the individual has contributed most of the material here. I have not relied even once on the IPCC report for information. This article has accurately as it turns out not emphasized the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers. There are only two sources that are relied upon peer review, and direct field reports from the monitoring agencies. Peltoms (talk) 14:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Meanwhile, back at reality[edit]

I strongly urge anyone who hasn't read it to look at which is very instructive.

The chart on p 13 is especially good (note source: Cogley). p 40 will also be of interest William M. Connolley (talk) 23:02, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Rongbuk Glacier animation.gif
For another view, here's an update on the animation of the Rongbuk, arguably one of the Himalaya's most famous glaciers. The lower Tasman in New Zealand melted this way - down from the top rather than back from the snout.--Gergyl (talk) 07:25, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Tasman and Rongbuk thinning is in the lower trunk of the glacier not at the top of the glacier. This thinning is still very striking. The Kargel report has considerable good material, but most is not on retreat and it is not the original source for retreat data. The article now has the original sources referred to by Kargel's presentation. This retreat of glaciers since 1850 article is on the retreat and not the role of black carbon. However black carbon will have a limited direct role on main range Himalayan glaciers because it does not matter to the debris covered areas or the high accumulation areas where snowfall in the summer melt season is frequent during the summer monsoon. 14:14, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. Maybe article needs moving to "Mass loss of glaciers since 1850". It's not all retreat.--Gergyl (talk) 08:19, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Referencing style[edit]

Over the last days I have been cleaning up a good dozen articles that used (or often abused) the old referencing template "ref harv". As of this writing there are exactly four left in all of article space, and this is one of them. [12] I see that in September 2007 there was already a discussion about this, with the outcome being, essentially, that a change was generally desirable but not a pressing need. (My interpretation.)

I propose changing the referencing style to cite.php. I am aware that this is a featured article (although it doesn't really have the page view statistics of one), so I will do this carefully and in a single editing session, to minimise the time that the article will have two citation styles in parallel. (For many other articles I did it in a single session edit, but with the large number of citations here that doesn't seem practicable.) Hans Adler 22:16, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

As there was no response I will now update the citation style to cite.php, as proposed. Hans Adler 10:23, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

The following references were present in the article but were not actually cited. I am moving them here just in case they are still useful:

Cited references[edit]

-Hans Adler 12:46, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Whitechuck Glacier photos[edit]

These are currently in the lede and the general idea is a good point, but are obviously not taken from the same vantage. There are probably better twinned pictures that could go here. -LlywelynII (talk) 15:32, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). Walter Siegmund (talk) 14:06, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Causes of retreating glaciers[edit]

"Studied by glaciologists, the temporal coincidence of glacier retreat with the measured increase of atmospheric greenhouse gases is often cited as an evidentiary underpinning of global warming."

This needs a citation.

According to recent scientific papers and information on the NASA website, the major cause of receding glaciers is not global warming but rather Black Carbon aerosols (common soot). Since Black Carbon aerosols are also one of the causes of global warming, the temporal correlation is to be expected.

This article needs to be updated to incorporate this new information.

Tyrerj (talk) 21:20, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

The statement is true as it stands, whether or not other causes have been proposed. Please see IPCC_Fourth_Assessment_Report#Ice.2C_snow.2C_permafrost.2C_rain.2C_and_the_oceans. This article is not about global warming. It is not appropriate to go into much detail. "[T]he major cause of receding glaciers is not global warming but rather Black Carbon aerosols (common soot)" needs WP:RS, please. Please see WP:TALK for help with this page. It is not a discussion forum. Walter Siegmund (talk) 13:40, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Soot has be proposed as a contributing factor.[13][14] We could link to Asian brown cloud in the Asian section, perhaps. Walter Siegmund (talk) 14:20, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Correct...the article is simply a study that glaciers worldwide are in general retreat and does not go into depth as to why as that is beyond the scope of the article.--MONGO 04:18, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Reinstate " ... of the world's oceans, may impact existing fisheries upon which humans depend as well."[edit]

Reinstate " ... of the world's oceans, may impact existing fisheries upon which humans depend as well." With some of your editing Special:Contributions/Arthur_Rubin you are verging on Wikipedia:Tendentious editing concerns. (talk) 19:23, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

World Ocean is absurd, more so when piped from "world's oceans". fisheries should be OK. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 19:40, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
All water on Earth is part of the Water cycle, more so than just all the world's oceans connected into one World ocean (wp article) ... reinstate second. (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Effects of global warming = "significant global warming has led to"[edit]

Effects of global warming for "significant global warming has led to". Effects of global warming certainly must be in this article. (talk) 10:05, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

That is beyond the scope of this article as all we do here is document the Retreat of glaciers since 1850.--MONGO 10:08, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
How is it beyond the scope when it is already in the article? (Added wikilinking to global warming in section discussion quote). (talk) 04:00, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
So far, this article has largely escaped the drama that articles such as global warming have attracted. It may be wise to avoid provoking those who may wish to do battle on this topic. While it may be appropriate to list related topics. this article is ill-suited to discussing causes of glacier retreat. That is best done in the climate articles, in my opinion. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 04:24, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Well stated...the goal here never was to explain why but just to document that it has been happening. While the time period covered by this article coincudes with a general rise in worldwide temperatures, this rise seems to be inadequate for explaining the massive retreat seen in some areas, which may indicate other forces are at play.--MONGO 16:54, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikilink climate.[edit]

Wikilink climate. (talk) 17:31, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Why? Still WP:OVERLINK? — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:55, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Climate is but one factor that may or may not be impacting glaciers. There is probably more at play here than simply climate change.--MONGO 22:17, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Why is International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) being unlinked ... no comment given?[edit]

Why is International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) being unlinked ... no comment given? Example: by Special:Contributions/MONGO. (talk) 06:36, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

For same reason listed in section immediately above....see WP:OVERLINK...--MONGO 02:17, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Add wikilink for American Geophysical Union.[edit]

Add wikilink for American Geophysical Union. (talk) 08:43, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikilink University of Alaska Fairbanks.[edit]

Wikilink University of Alaska Fairbanks. (talk) 02:15, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Glacial retreat slowed and even reversed temporarily, in many cases, between 1950 and 1980 as the global temperatures temporarily plateaued[edit]

The graphs on the page don't support this text William M. Connolley (talk) 06:49, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Probably. The intro does not summarize the article now as well as it did when it was nominated and passed featured article. However, that passage was designed to address repeated instances of the slowing of glacier retreat which was noticed almost worldwide from about WWII to the late 1970s, which is mentioned in the article multiple times.--MONGO 11:06, 29 April 2014 (UTC)