Talk:Retreat of glaciers since 1850/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Commencing this article as a spin off from an extensive discussion in the talk page for Shoshone National Forest. There is a huge wealth of information and evidence to support this article, both on the net and in published form. The title of this article can change if need be to make it more specific, as we may wish to detail only the evidence of glacial recession in North America or another region, so long as a short discussion explaining and evidencing that this is a worldwide phenomenon is presented. Thoughts on this matter are appreciated.--MONGO 13:02, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I started the Cascade Range section using the NORTH CASCADE GLACIER CLIMATE PROJECT (Mauri S. Pelto) as the main source. [1] I found a number of good illustrations in my files. The one I picked shows the ground newly exposed by the glacier retreat well, but since it is looking down the glacier, it may be more difficult for readers than a more conventional view. Thank you for starting this article. I think it is in keeping with the Wikipedia custom of starting an articles with a large scope. If it gets too long, it can be broken easily into subarticles. Ample material exists, certainly. I don't know if I like all the empty subheadings. Some are likely to remain orphan for some time and they detract from the appearance of the article. They could easily be added as needed. Perhaps others will comment. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 07:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I just now looked at the article. I take back my comment about the empty subheadings. They are filling up rapidly. I'm finding it fascinating reading. Thank you, Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:39, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I changed the illustration in the Cascade Range section. You can see the three that I uploaded at Boulder Glacier. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 20:44, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't sure if we would want an article that briefly surmised the entire planet, or one that just discussed one region, so, this one can evolve and as we find more info, we'll work it out as we go, I'll try and add something daily and continue to fill in the blanks...probably should have started in my userspace so others wouldn't be confused. The Boulder Glacier article looks good.--MONGO 05:32, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Uploading images and article name

As someone new to this, I have some useful annotated images, I see how to upload them but not how to then find them and then emplace them. I also think glacier recession is a better term than glacial recession, however, both are useful so somehow glacier recession should be a term that is synomous. Peltoms 15:05, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I added the redirect. Glacier recession works now. I'm happy with the name change, BTW, if Mongo concurs. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I think you will want to upload your images to Commons. It is a shared archive that is available to the editors of Wikipedia in all languages, over 50, if I'm not mistaken. See Commons:Help:Image_page. You will have to get an account on Commons, just like you did on English Wikipedia. Be sure to provide the copywrite information, or the image will be deleted. Then, adding an image to an article is as simple as adding the text, "[[Image:eastonterm.jpg|right|thumb|300px|Easton Glacier with the Sherman (right) and Grant (left) Peaks of Mount Baker behind]]" to the appropriate location in the article. Substitute the file name of your image for "Boulder Glacier 3593.JPG". Substitute your caption for "Boulder Glacier with the Sherman (left) and Grant (right) Peaks of Mount Baker behind" See Boulder Glacier to see how I did it. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:55, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Easton Glacier showing its retreat since 1985
Here is another example. You got better lighting than I did on my day hike. Excellent work. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 17:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I like the Easton Glacier image very much. BTW, it is considered completely kosher to edit other peoples work (as I've been doing just now to the text). It is fine to substitute your image of the Boulder Glacier for mine in the article. Of course, if I really liked my image better, I might change it back. I would probably be expected to give my reasons here. Then, you and MONGO would comment, etc. Amazingly enough, it all seems to work more often than not. --18:56, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, those images are most helpful...anything showing photographic documentation is appreciated. It's tough finding public domain images that we can use at times. I have no problem with changing the name to Glacier recession, or even another title if we so desire...nothing is locked in. I imagen that over the next couple of weeks, we can get this article to featured article status.--MONGO 01:36, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Article scope

I remember Peltoms mentioning that creating an article that attempts to discuss this subject in terms of the whole planet is going to make for a huge article. Do we want to just continue summarizing this here and create spin offs that go into greater details for specific areas, or do we want to narrow this down to just the U.S.?--MONGO 03:16, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

In discussing how to proceed, we need to be mindful of how this article complements and interacts with other Wikipedia articles, particularly, Global warming, Effects of global warming, Global warming and agriculture, Mitigation of global warming and Sea level rise. Some of these articles (especially Sea level rise) have content that may better incorporated in this article. This article needs to link more extensively to those and other articles to answer questions like what causes glacial recession, what are its impacts, and what can be done to mitigate it or its impacts. Walter Siegmund (talk) 05:15, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree that global warming is a fact...there, so that is in plain view. I am hoping though that we do all we can to be open minded that not all of the warming that is going on can be explained just by human presense. In a nutshell, I think that a few other evidences I have read need examining...(and I'll relocate the quotes) such as the ice build up on interior Greenland is actually increasing, that they did recently find many small pocket glaciers in Colorado (rock glaciers) and that there are other evidences that need sorting other words, we need to be throuogh. As peltoms mentioned, glacial recession is measured at the margins (ablation zone?) and not at the accumulation end. I wonder if a lot of the findings are not just part of a normal oscillation on the part of this ice age. Don't get me wrong, the evidence supporting global warming is obvious, but I would like to make sure that we try not to draw all the conclusions. At least, I will entrust that to Peltoms and I also asked User:William M. Connolley to chime in here as he is a climate modeler. I'll work on finding the facts and let everyone else draw the connections.--MONGO 05:54, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Quite right, MONGO. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. My comment has the appearance of being unbalanced, but that is in part because Little Ice Age is already linked and I was able to find the global warming articles easily. I'll look again tomorrow. I think that the article as it stands talks about two different matters: (1) post Little Ice Age recession and (2) Anthropogenic global-warming induced recession. Clear evidence for the latter emerged only in the last part of the 20th century, if I'm not mistaken. An alternative to your proposal to break the article up by region is to cover the two time periods separately. That may not be as crazy as it sounds since few regions have good data for the earlier periods.
Your second point is excellent. We should insure that our sources are first rate and sound and avoid unsourced assertions and conclusions. My understanding is that glacial recession has been emphasized until recently because the data can be obtained from images taken from satellite and aircraft, often from material obtained for other reasons. In short, it is the easiest technique to apply. However, what is more important, for many purposes, e.g., sea level rise, is the mass balance of the glacier. More recent techiques that allow measurement of mass balance range from using surveying techniques to measure glacier surface profile changes to synthetic aperture radar. I think we can agree that a few words in the introduction on techniques would be helpful to the reader. Also, I wonder if we shouldn't emphasize mass balance data where it is available.
I'm pleased to learn that William M. Connolley may be joining the discussion. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 07:04, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


I uploaded a few more images for the article from the USGS, but their quality isn't comparable to the first two on the page. I am not locked in on these, so if anyone feels they are not decent enough, they can certainly be taken out. Imagery helps of course to document the argument, and there simply are not that many available within the public domain. I'll look around for more that are of quality to help us out, or to replace the ones I found.--MONGO 02:20, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Meren Glacier and Carstensz Glacier are more massive and have larger extents in the 1936 image. Unfortunately, 1972, the date of the second image, is just about the time that recession accelerated. I wonder what has happened since then. I'm glad you were able to find the images. Walter Siegmund (talk) 03:12, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I may google it to see if there is at least a discriptive update, but doubt there are any photos we can use, maybe we'll be able to link to them.--MONGO 12:19, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
That was easy...I simply googled Meren Glacier and, well, posted the lousy news in the Oceania section.--MONGO 13:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
That is a spendid addition. It brings the narrative in that section to a conclusion in a compelling manner. Thank you for doing that.
Regarding William M. Connolley's addition; I'm not sure that it is correct as written. [2] The data for New Zealand is poor, essentially no mass balance data although they are working on it. [3] The recent advance of the Franz Joseph Glacier seems to be only a brief reversal of the recession trend. [4] The article and reference describes mixed behavior for Norway, a secular decline of the mass balance of the continental glaciers since 1965 and gain for the maritime glaciers, almost all of which can be attributed to a six year period from 1989 to 1995 out of the 40 years of data. I'm going to try a reword that makes William M. Connolley's point but isn't contradicted by the rest of the sentence. That said, I welcome his comments and critique. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:04, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Too much prev-ice-ages in the overview?

In the overview, there is discussion of previous glaciations. All of that is in ice age anyway, and its not clearly relevant here. Should it be trimmed? William M. Connolley 12:29, 17 January 2006 (UTC).

No complaints from me. I wonder if we should instead emphasize the end of the little ice age around 1850 and discuss, as an overview, the glacial melting that has been happening at a faster rate it seems with each passing decade since the 1930's? Whatever you think needs changing, I trust and respect you'll do the right thing...I am but an amateur on this subject, learning as I be honest, the evidence is just plain scary.--MONGO 12:36, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

OK, I did that a bit and no-one complained. I've now "clarified" the purpose of the article. Hopefully thats what we all think its about. There are lots of things you could write about glacial recession (fossil moraine walls and stuff like that) that *are* about the end of the last ice age, or the ice ages before. William M. Connolley 16:57, 18 January 2006 (UTC).

I think your edits are thoughtful and intelligent. I hope you continue to contribute. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 02:38, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


We'll need to put both metric and standard measurements with every distance and area so that the backwards U.S. folk (like me) understand the lingo. I also saw, and even I put them in there, that there are several edits discussing volume in measurements that I do not understand. Can we convert those also to standard equivalents, and is it possible to do, the amount of ice that melted is enough to fill such and such a stadium, etc. That way, for folks that can't "see" cubic volumes, they have something tangible to compare it to.--MONGO 05:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC) I will work on that I have wanted to see each category filled for the moment. There is a nice chart on the number of glaciers advancing or retreating in Switzerland over this century at the link I placed on the page. Can we use this image, if so could you do so.I have tried to stay away from too much glaciologic terminology or explanatiion but if you feel some additional background is needed on the dynamics let me know.Peltoms 01:04, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

As probably the least knowledgeable person editing here, a brief overview of glaciology explaining the terms "ice tongue", the differences of an ice cap from a glacier and few other things may be helpful. Just so those that have no understanding of glaciers will be able to have a working definition that make it easier for them to understand the full implications of this evidence. And as I said, some of the volume measurements are very confusing, even to me and it's helpful for the readers to have a tangible comparison. There is no hurry...the progress on this article so far is excellent. I'll look at that link you provided.--MONGO 02:42, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I've been thinking about this a bit. Cubic kilometer redirects to cubic metre. In the latter are some equivalents. Perhaps we could removed the redirect from cubic kilometer and provide some equivalents there. One problem is the lack of an analogy that is not region specific. One possibility might be the playing field of an international sport, e.g. football/soccer, covered to the depth of a kilometer. Oil supertankers are international, but most people have never seen one, I suspect. I don't like the idea of comparing volumes to that of the Astrodome, the Boeing 747 assembly buiding, or the volume of Lake Meade because they are too country specific. Note that the Larsen B Ice Shelf image already makes one country specific comparison.
I'd like to echo your comments on the progress here. What an education! Walter Siegmund (talk) 17:28, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Rename glacial recession to glacier recession or something else

With about 15 links to glacial recession from the main namespace and that number growing every day, [5] I thought it appropriate to revisit Peltoms' proposal (see above), as well as two other possibilities. Also, although the number of editors is small, it is more meaningful to speak of a consensus, now. Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:29, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Glacial recession

(Google finds 992 instances on the WWW and 9 on

Glacier recession

(Google finds 896 instances on the WWW and 2 on

Glacial retreat

(Google finds 48000 instances on the WWW and 42 on

Glacier retreat

(Google finds 37000 instances on the WWW and 16 on

  • I'm not opposed in any way to a name change...but undecided as to which one is best.--MONGO 23:19, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Thanks for commenting. Adding the ~60 wikilinks to this article from the articles that Google finds (see above) will help readers find it. I thought it was worth raising the issue before proceeding.
      As far as usage goes, either adjective-noun or noun-noun are common English compound constructions.
      I think Google WWW results are relevant in this discussion since they likely correlate with the search terms that potential readers will use. In the case of Wikipedia, glacial retreat will require fewer piped links (again according to Google), assuming no changes in the usage patterns of Wikipedia editors. Also, it suggests the likely outcome of a poll of those writing related articles. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 02:35, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
  • As a scientist, glacier retreat is more appropriate. Glacial recession can refer to the retreat of ice sheets at the end of the last ice age etc.. Current retreat of current glaciers is our focus and this is best denoted by glacier retreat. Glacial refers to processes that extend beyond a glacier in time and space. Peltoms 15:40, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm mostly with Peltoms, & for his reasons. But glacial retreat would be OK too. William M. Connolley 19:38, 27 January 2006 (UTC).
  • I'm happy with either one that I've marked above but find Peltoms' argument cogent and a better justification than Google search results. Walter Siegmund (talk) 19:46, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I'm not set on any title...I can certainly support Glacier retreat...but is there any other title that may be even better since we seem to be demonstrating that all the glaciers melting indicate absolutely that there is global warming. How about "Glacier retreat due to global warming" or "The effects of global warming on glaciers worldwide"...maybe those are too long...I guess it would be great if the first google hit or two bring folks directly to this article, but that can come if it gets enough hits anyway and will be more likely if we keep the title short and mainstream. A bunch of my articles come up as one of the first google hits due their obscurity...such as Great Divide Basin. I'm indifferent as to the title and respect any view of the tell me and I'll go along.--MONGO 00:40, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Currently, the article contains "retreat subsequent to the Little Ice Age" and "retreat due to Global Warming" content. I think it may make sense to move the relevant content into "Glacier retreat due to global warming" or a similar title as you suggest. It may be difficult, arbitrary and disruptive to separate the two (despite advocating this earlier), however. Alternatively, we might move some of the larger sections into separate articles as you and Peltoms suggested earlier. That could be done in a straightforward manner with the subarticles summarized in and linked to "Glacier retreat". That article would provide an overview and act as a portal to subarticles and would have the search advantage that you cite above. If there are no further comments in the next couple of days, I'll move the article to "Glacier retreat", unless someone beats me to it.

I concur of course. Sounds good.--MONGO 06:39, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

I moved Glacial recession to Glacier retreat in accordance with this discussion. I will work on the wikilinks to the article next. Walter Siegmund (talk) 18:12, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Quickly becoming an excellent article

In just a few weeks, we have managed to create an excellent article, with excellent referencing, images to support the article and with well researched information, much of which can be quickly linked without anyone needing to cross reference it at the library (though I do love books). We need to expand some more on the Rockies, Alps and the polar regions and then tie all the ends together, but so far we have made huge progress. I'll search for a few more images for the rockies and alps and see what else we can add to several sections. I figure we can get this as a featured article level in another month, but care must be taken to not make it too long...but that's okay too as we can always subarticle sections if they get too big.--MONGO 02:28, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

We should include pictures from the Canadian Rockies particularly of Athabasca Glacier. Also in the Alps the graph of swiss glacires would still be crucial. Peltoms 15:41, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Those are good ideas. My reading of Wikipedia:Public domain indicates that the 1906 photograph is in the public domain and may be tagged PD-Canada. [6] I wonder if the copyright holder of the 1998 image, presumably B.H. Luckman, would be willing to grant a GFDL for it? Should one of us ask? --Walter Siegmund (talk) 07:22, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Is there an email contact, as we can always ask permission and the permission will need to be posted to show that he has released it into the public domain.--MONGO 15:11, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Moved to Glacial retreat

I've moved the article to Glacial retreat. Glacier is not an adjective. The proper adjective is Glacial, and this is backed up by Google. As for the definition of "glacial", any dictionary will agree. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-4 22:17

  • Hi, Brian0918; I agree that glacial is an adjective, but noun-noun are common English compound constructions and glacier retreat is the consensus of four editors of the article. Moreover it is backed by usage in the scientific literature. See Talk:Glacial_retreat#Rename_glacial_recession_to_glacier_recession_or_something_else Are you planning to edit all the links to the article as well? --Walter Siegmund (talk) 00:00, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
    • What "scientific literature"?? I get twice as many hits on Google Scholar for "glacial retreat" as for "glacier retreat". It's the same way with Google itself. Voting is not a consensus, especially when only 4 people weighed in. You've shown no evidence that "glacier retreat" is more common than "glacial retreat", and grammatically, "glacial retreat" to mean "retreat of glaciers" is correct. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 00:21
    • As for changing other articles' links, that's the purpose of redirects, so we don't have to do all that work. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 00:24
    • Aye...but your action was unilateral, and unappreciated as this issue had been discussed in talk pages would have been a lot better had you bothered to chime in here first. That is what is called working within a concensus.--MONGO 07:19, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
      • I didn't even notice the discussion. I just noticed an obvious grammatical error, which I fixed. Then I realized there was previous discussion, read through it, and then did my own research, which I explained above. If you would care to show me wrong, that is fine, but please do not claim I am going against "consensus" because a couple people started a vote on it a few weeks ago. It's bad grammar, and I fixed it. Google Books, Google Scholar, and Google all back me up on this. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 07:22

Summary of evidence

  1. Google shows more hits for "glacial retreat" versus "glacier retreat". If you factor in Google's use of alternate spellings, and try to correct for proper context, this divide only increases.
  2. Google Scholar shows twice as many hits for this comparison.
  3. Google Books shows twice as many hits for this comparison.
  4. JSTOR shows twice as many hits for this comparison.
  5. OAIster shows 30 hits for "glacial retreat" versus 1 or 2 hits for "glacier retreat".
  6. Plus, it's grammatically correct: "retreat of glaciers" = "glacial retreat".

Am I missing something? — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 07:25

  • The part you're missing is that a professional glacialogist (Peltoms) is the one who recommended the article be named Glacier retreat. This isn't about google hits per se as glacial retreat is primarily about the end of the ice ages, whereby this article is focused on the much more recent events of the last 150 years...and when we get to it, an correlation with global warming as at least. I am not opposed so much to the title of Glacial retreat, except for how it really isn't covered in this article...I am disappointed that you didn't bother to at leat drop a line to the few folks here that have been editing this article and let them know what the concerns are. Wsiegmund has been really busy changing lots of articles for the sake of proper wording so not only they will link here, but have the same title. Oh well.--MONGO 07:33, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
    • I thought we were supposed to use the most common spelling, not the one claimed to be most proper by a Wikipedian. Isn't that original research? I read his rationale, and it made no sense. "Glacial" is not restricted to a definition of something meant to be longer in time/space than a glacier. I also cited more than just Google evidence, which you will have to explain. Google Scholar, Google Books, JSTOR, OAIster all agree. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 07:37
    • Did you read my reply to your last statement, directly above this "Summary of evidence" subsection? — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 07:39
    • You claim that glacial retreat, as you understand the term, is not covered in this article. Why, then, did you have glacial retreat redirecting to glacier retreat? It seems obvious what is meant by "glacial retreat", and that it is not the same thing as the specific event during the Ice Ages, which would have a more specific, proper title for its article. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 07:42
      • I'm not the professional glacialogist..Peltoms is...this article is a snapshot of glacier retreat over the last 150 years...glacial retreat is a much broader term that discusses the ending of the last ice age. My concern was less that you changed the article title and more about the manner in which it was changed.--MONGO 07:46, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
        • Why did you have glacial retreat redirecting to glacier retreat? Doesn't "glacial retreat" mean "retreat of glaciers"? Isn't there a more specific term for the specific event in the Ice Ages? — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 07:50

I'm not sure about the redirect, and I don't know if there is a better term that discusses the end of the ice ages. All I know how to do is look up citable evidence that both supports and contradicts this article to balance far, there is no evidence of worldwide glacier advance.--MONGO 07:58, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Walter may have created the redirect...the actual original name of the article was Glacial recession...when I created it. We agreed above (Connelley was lukewarm) to the title Glacier retreat due the time period we were discussing here and the argument I think, that glacial retreat was more focused on the ending of the ice ages.--MONGO 08:00, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, top of this discussion, Walter created the redirect.--MONGO 08:02, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Can we have some proof that Peltoms really is a glaciologist? A paper he's published, something about him, anything? With his lack of knowledge of one of the most basic terms of glaciology, I have doubts about his legitimacy.


  • Pelto, M.S. 1988. The annual balance of North Cascade, Washington Glaciers measured and predicted using an activity index method. J. Glaciol., 34, 194-200.
  • Pelto, M.S. 1993. Current behavior of glaciers in the North Cascades and its effect on regional water supply. Washington Geology, 21(2), 3-10.
  • Pelto, M.S. 1996. Annual balance of North Cascade glaciers 1984-1994. J. Glaciol., 41, 3-9.

--MONGO 08:32, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

See also...North Cascade Glacier Climate Project--MONGO 08:35, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

One more...[7]--MONGO 08:46, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Even the site you linked uses the phrase "glacial retreat" to refer to the "retreat of glaciers". I think for most people, this is the phrase they would used, both because it is grammatically correct, and because all of the search engines point to that being the use. Is there a separate article for the glacial retreat during the Ice Age? — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 08:43
    • Well, the change has been made, but I am doing all I can to keep Dr. Pelto involved here as he has donated images and is an expert on this so I was going on his word which I respect. We can discuss it with him when he returns hopefully next week to add more to the article, but he keeps a low profile.--MONGO 08:46, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
      • Is there a separate article for the glacial retreat during the Ice Age? — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 08:49
        • The may be, I'm looking around, but haven't located a specific article...there are some that discuss the different ice ages...I even created a small stub Pinedale glaciation--MONGO 09:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
          • The point I'm getting at is that if there is no other article for glacial retreat, then we should not be restricting the contents of this article to refer solely to modern glacial retreat from global warming. This article should be a general coverage of the topic, explaining why glaciers retreat, and referencing both past examples (after the ice ages) and modern examples (global warming). — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 09:36
            • Brian, that is not the focus of this article....this article ia a presentation of evidence of the most recent history, from the end of what is known as the "Little ice age"'s already very long and to cover the time periods prior to 1850 would result in the need to rely on inacurate scientific measurements of those eras, lore and the more accurate ice cores that scientists have retrieved from glacieial ice that demostrate such things as carbon dioxide gases and other atmospheric evience that have been locked in the ancient ice. A brief overview details the ice ages.--MONGO 17:29, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
              • If you want the article to be restricted to modern glacier retreat, you need to give it a more appropriate name. It is misleading for people to type in glacial retreat and get an article on modern glacier retreat. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 19:22
  • For a similar example, most articles don't use the scientific names for plants/animals, but the most common name used by the population. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 08:48

The entire article is about the retreat of particular glaciers (nouns), not the glacial retreat (adjective) which refers to a the process of glaciers retreating. It seems ludicrous to make it glacial, this is a process. We do not refer to fluvial flooding when talking about rivers. It is fluvial processes and glacial processes. But it is rivers and glaciers when talking about specific glaciers or rivers. Regardless of your google numbers, more people are familar with the word glacier than glacial, thus it is not the most common name among the population. As a teacher almost none of my students no the word glacial but they all no glacier. If you type in glacial retreat in google the second and third listing, note glacier retreat as the term in the summary not glacial retreat. If you examine the glaciology literature you will see much about glacier retreat, but glacial retreat only focussing on the examination of glacial deposits from long past glacial processes in this case retreat. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Peltoms (talk • contribs) .

  • Again, my point is that we do not have separate articles about the large-scale prehistoric processes. We only have this article. This article should cover both past and current retreat of glaciers. — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 19:18
  • So, should we move the article to something like modern glacier retreat, so people don't think that this covers global events? — 0918BRIAN • 2006-02-5 19:29

I think glacier retreat says is it all for covering the current ongoing retreat. We do not say modern global warming for example. A discussion of past glacial reteat from the ice age should be in and ice age section. Or it would be germane for an article at some point on general glacier processes which could feature that. The Glacier Retreat does not have a general focus. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Peltoms (talk • contribs) 20:36, 5 February 2006.

Suggested resolution

I've spent some time thinking about Brian0918's comments and it seems to me that it would be constructive to focus on how to improve the organization of the articles on this topic. But first, may I make the following points, please?

  • I can confirm that Peltoms became involved as a result of an email that I sent to the address published for Dr. Pelto on the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project website. [8]
  • Google scholar finds 827 occurrences of "glacier retreat"' v. 1600 of "glacial retreat". This suggests to me that both terms are in common use and useful (or so I would assume), although Brian0918 is correct that "glacial retreat" occurs more frequently. [9] [[10]
  • The article English compound indicates that noun-noun compounds in solid, hyphenated and spaced form are one classification of compounds. Examples of spaced form noun-noun compounds include "distance learning, player piano, lawn tennis, etc."
  • Google scholar finds 5 occurrences of glacier retreat and 11 occurrences of glacial retreat on the Nature web site. One of the former is part of a cited paper title and may be discounted. Only 5 of the latter are independent. So, this example indicates approximately equal frequency of use, i.e., 4 v. 5 respectively. I choose this journal because it has very good editorial standards and is a highly regarded scientific journal. It is a British journal; as an American, I don't want to be accused of disregarding usage in other parts of the world. [11] [12]

My suggestion to improve the organization of the articles on this topic is to move the existing content back to glacier retreat and stub Holocene glacial retreat to cover the retreat of ice sheets at the end of the last ice age. I think this is in accord with Peltoms' suggestion. Some content from Glacier could usefully be moved to such an article (with the concurrence of the editors of that article). Both "glacier retreat" and "Holocene glacial retreat" would begin with disambiguation notes directing the reader appropriately. The other existing redirects would be replaced by disambiguation pages. This approach would address Brian0918's concern that we don't have separate articles about the large-scale prehistoric processes by creating a new article for that purpose.

Each large-scale glaciation largely erases the evidence of previous glacial retreats. However, I think that ample information exists on "Holocene glacial retreat" that is subsequent to the last major glaciation. Examples in Wikipedia include Ohio_Valley#Pre-history, Cairngorms, Lake Michigan-Huron, etc.

Titles such as "Historic glacier retreat", "Modern glacier retreat" (Brian0918's suggestion), "Recent glacier retreat" or "Post-Little Ice Age glacier retreat" are more clear, but cumbersome and people are not likely to search for them directly. "Anthropogenic glacier retreat" is too narrow for the present content, disputable to some extent, and is an unlikely search term too. The existing redirects would be replaced by disambiguation pages.

Peltoms' suggestion of placing such content in Ice age is the current situation to some extent, but there is very little content currently. I think the focus of that article would be improved by the organization I've proposed here. His other suggestion, adding Glacier processes might be a good alternative.

Thanks to Brian0918 for broadening the discussion and bringing an outside perspective. Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:47, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree, Brian makes some valid points, but I prefer the title glacier retreat and am just waiting to see what other opinions are about changing the title back.--MONGO 02:43, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Image problem

Help! I am not sure why the glaciermassbalance.jpg image in the overview is not showing up, I uploaded it to wikimedia no problem. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Peltoms (talk • contribs) 20:36, 5 February 2006.

glacier mass balance
Copy and paste [[Image:Glaciermassbalance.JPG|right|thumb|glacier mass balance]] into the article. It is a upper/lower case problem. Please remember to sign your comments here with ~~~~, if you would. Thank you. Walter Siegmund (talk) 21:05, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I created a chart for the alps section but just like the last chart Glaciertermalp.jpg is also not showing up after upload to wikimedia where I can find it. Peltoms 01:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I get it it is the jpg that must be capitalized this is not typical html is usually not sensitive to capitalization. Peltoms 01:20, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
That is correct. I should have explained better above. You are correct. Wikipedia is much more sensitive to upper/lower case than most of us are used to. Walter Siegmund (talk) 01:25, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Improvements to article

The start of this discussion was copied from relevant portions of User talk:Peltoms. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:40, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

What is it you still feel we are missing. Peltoms 17:48, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I think we can do some minor or even major expansions of the polar regions and the himalayas and maybe the alps...a couple of graphs would be helpful as well. We need to have an explanation of what the causes may be, such as global warming and possibly the natural osicillations (?) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and how that may effect glaciers...we also need to summarize the evidence. Firstly, we need to contine to explain (as I see you have done a little) why the title change to glacial retreat is not really related to this article. There are some style improvements that I will have to implement, as shown in Shoshone National Forest, I had to alter my html inline external links with a ref/note (footnote) style. Finally we'll have to improve the flow of the evidence...make it a little more prose like...all this can be achieved in relatively short order. I saw a chart of the CO2 gas evidence from ice core samples that correlates with advance and retreat of glacial periods, we can maybe add...I'll have to dig it back up...--MONGO 18:30, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
I will work on adding some more material including graphs. Do we really want to get into the explanation of why, it is not a simple or short matter and varies depending on location or just redirect people to the very nice global warming page that also references this page? At the start should the focus be even more on just the last two centuries? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Peltoms (talk • contribs) 18:59, 5 February 2006.
I've read some interesting material at the North Cascade Glacier Climate Project website and other places on techniques for measuring glacier retreat and mass balance. I think a summary of techniques would provide the reader with helpful background and context for the material of the article. Also, it is an opportunity to link to articles like surveying and synthetic aperture radar and LIDAR. The latter two articles already mention their applicability to glacier research. Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:38, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

That sounds good. I'm going to be doing some copyediting now. I think we have provided the reader with a pretty good snapshot of the evidence. I will make all the reference points into the re/note style after the rest of the items are completed--MONGO 03:01, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree that if the purpose of the article is to provide an overview of the topic worldwide, it succeeds as written. I'll try to help with some of the reference work; it is something I should learn to do. Walter Siegmund (talk) 16:45, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
I think we need to write the sections int each other words improve the flow. I also think we need a bit more evidence for the polar regions and if we could get a photo of the alps glaciers that would make a big difference too.--MONGO 17:30, 7 February 2006 (UTC)
For the Arctic there is a paucity of information, we are only missing Svalbard and Novaya Zemyala in terms of substantial glaciated areas. Peltoms 01:16, 8 February 2006 (UTC)::

You have mentioned Lidar and synthetic aperature radar above, these are two of many tools we use on glacier to monitor glacier surface elevations and velocity, but not really glacier terminus behavior. We utilize GPS much more along with aerial photographs and satellite images.Peltoms 01:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Regarding style, I notice many occurrences of a space character between a number and the percent sign, "%". WP:MOS gives no guidance, but usage in Percentage and other articles does not include the space, nor is a space separator common outside Wikipedia. See Demographics of the United States, U.S. presidential election, 2004 and Economy of France for other examples. Should the space between a number and the percent sign be deleted in this article? --Walter Siegmund (talk) 01:51, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I have to look at WP:MOS as I am not sure if we should write % or percent...if nothing else there should be no space between the number and the symbol, but one space between the number and the word. All numbers, as many as possible, need   after them for space break...I guess this saves on server load, but not sure..they demanded it when I worked on my forest article. We also need to summarize or conclude our findings and we need to make sure the article doesn't read like a collection of facts and figures, but also has flow...I may solicit a better writer than me to do this, or anyone else here cna certainly work on it. I'll be doing more on the article in a day or two. Will try to find more about arctic islands north of Russia, etc...--MONGO 02:07, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

The space between the words need and after is visible as shown in the measurement edits here: [13]...the need doesn't exist for simple numbers I beleiev, only for measurements...but I am not even sure of that.--MONGO 02:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Shoshone National Forest has two occurrences of the "%" immediately following a number. I forgot about inserting a non-breaking space,  , between a measurement and its units. Thank you, Walter Siegmund (talk) 02:19, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Cleanup issues

I have gotten the ref/note footnotes completed to the Alaska section and will complete the rest later. The general references and a few other areas at the end of the article I will also cleanup. I fixed the headings so they are uniform for headings and subheadings and I have completed probably all the non-breaking space additions throuhout. Will resume the ref/notes and the other issues tonight.--MONGO 13:01, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Okay...I think we have plenty of facts and figures to call it a day...we only need, I suppose, a preponderance of evidence to surmise the evidence and I think the it is well covered. I think if we put many more facts and figures in the article, they will tell us it is overkill. I will work on the flow of the article tonight and get the referecnes completed...we may have a dead external link or two. The if there are no objections, I'm going to place this into peer review...not the same as an academic peer will consist mainly of style questions and discussions over content, but the evidence itself won't be refutable i don't believe--MONGO 21:13, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Before I submit this for peer review...have we decided to keep this title or go back to Glacier retreat?--MONGO 04:46, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I've commented on this question above (at greater length than was warranted no doubt). What do you think of stubbing Holocene glacial retreat to address Brian0918's concern? Thanks for doing the footnotes as well as the copy and image editing. Please proceed with peer review when you think it is ready. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 05:08, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Go ahead with the stub if you wish. I'll run this through spell checker...and don't forget to watchlist the peer review page on this article that you'll be able to link from the top of this page. Probably send it to peer review tonight...expect to make some changes to the article. It should be at peer review until all points are addressed...1-2 weeks.--MONGO 06:33, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Data sources

I added a new section to help readers understand how the information in the article was obtained. Please think about whether this is useful. Also ruthlessly edit it, if you think it is useful. Thanks, Walter Siegmund (talk) 02:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I will take a look at this section in detail today or tomorrow. It needs expansion in the terminus section and reductions in the mass balance section.MS Pelto68.118.234.107 12:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Trimming would be very helpful, I think. Thank you, Walter Siegmund (talk) 14:38, 9 February 2006 (UTC)