Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Glacier retreat/archive1

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Glacier retreat[edit]

This article was renamed to Retreat of glaciers since 1850 and renominated as a FAC on 29 March 2006.

This article discusses the retreat of glaciers worldwide over the past 150 years, and especially addresses the events of the last half of the 20th century up to the current date. The article had a peer review and the issues raised have been addressed. Helpful comments will be greatly appreciated and addressed.--MONGO 08:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Object 1. Why have you used a left aligned Toc? (fixed) 2. The continent sections look very unbalanced to me. A huge amount of text pertains to North America, and specifially Alaska, whereas Asia has a thin summary. Since the page content is large, I suggest you summarise the NA and Europe sections. The continents should be subsections rather than sections. 3. What is ==Summary== doing at the end? It should be merged with another section. (changed; though still summary-ish ending) 4. Avoid overlinking. =Nichalp «Talk»= 08:58, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Object. A worthy topic, and a great example of a collaboration, but I think the organisation could be improved. Having an "Overview" and a "Summary" section is rather unusual. I'd start with an expanded "history" section, followed by a "glaciology" section subsuming "data sources" and "dynamics". I'm missing a discussion of what glaciologists propose to do against it (for instance, covering glaciers in foil during summer is mentioned only once; and fails to mention that the method has also been tried on an experimental basis in Switzerland). Then there are some phrasing issues, such as:
    • "This process has increased markedly since 1995, leading to such bizarre steps as covering portions of several Austrian alpine glaciers with plastic to retard melting."—First, "bizarre" is the writer's judgement, and second, it isn't the process that has led to this, rather, this process has led the authorities to try out this measure on an experimental basis. (removed POV term)
    • "Many glaciers are being lost to melting further raising concerns about future local water resources in these glaciated areas."—This somehow doesn't parse.
    • "A glacier with a sustained negative balance is out of equilibrium and will retreat."—Isn't a glacier with a positive balance also out of equilibrium and will advance? (it now says this)
(These are just examples, there may be more.) Most of the article is a listing of numerous glaciers that retreat. I suspect many more placenames could be linked, e.g. Vatnajökull. (I certainly don't see overlinking like Nichalp does.) I am not sure what to do about all those retreating glacier examples. Move to their own article (but what title?) and leave a summary? Pare down to just give pertinent examples instead of an extended survey? Finally, the images:
HTH, Lupo 09:35, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Most TOC are on the left I think, but may be mistaken...it can be changed. Asia has the least amount of reference material available but it definitely should be expanded. The summary is there to summarize the content of the entire article. Merging it where? Maybe we could retitle in the subheading, but we needed a way to tie all the sections together in some form of a conclusion. I too find the examples to be very numerous, but I think that was the aim...but it could be trimmed. Both graphics mentioned leave me with a question mark as well and they need to be summarize in the text or within the thumb if that is possible. As far as I am concerned, the covering glaciers with plastic is an extremely localized situation that hardly deserves mention as far as worldwide glacial retreat is concerned. I don't think glaciologust propose to do anything about glacier retreat except submit the data and say, well here is the best evidence we have of global warming. I'll work on the issues mentioned for sure and I appreciate the time spent looking this over.--MONGO 09:44, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I guess Nichalp was wondering why {{TOCleft}} was used instead of letting the software use its default TOC with the default placement. I would further guess that the reason for doing so was to avoid excessive whitespace right of the TOC, as it is rather long. Giving the background data on the images on their image description pages would also be good. Lupo 10:00, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Lupo...I tried the default TOC and there was a huge chuck on the right that was whitespace, unless one hides the TOC that is. The major contributors will all address the concerns I'm sure. I'm for reducing the number of glaciers mentioned or at least tying them together better...the facts just go from one to the other in places without a lot of dialogue or set up for partcular items. I surfed for some more on Asia, but it is scanty...I'm sure we can find more, or at least do more trimming elsewhere perhaps.--MONGO 14:00, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Support seems more than worthy to me Not perfect, but good enough.Gator (talk) 18:18, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
    • comment - comments like this always surprise me - FAs are supposed to be the very best that we can produce, and 'good enough' somehow seems a little bit less of an endorsement than an FA should be looking for! Worldtraveller 00:40, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Perhaps I'm biased since I worked on the article. But several editors (including me) have addressed most of the issues raised by "oppose" comments (already, and without any large difficulty). It seems to be down to tweaking. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 19:26, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
    While I do acknowledge the good work you all did on this article (thank you), I do not agree that it is "down to tweaking". I still find the organization somewhat awkward (see above), and Image:Alps-glaciers.png still doesn't say where the underlying data came from. Much of the article is essentially "just" an enumeration of many examples of retreating glaciers. After reading and re-reading it, I am still left wondering about several things, such as: what's the effect (if any) of the Antarctic Ozone hole? If it has no effect, why not? When did the first reports about retreating glaciers appear? What was the initial reception? How long did it take until the phenomenon was understood and generally accepted to be significant? Who proposes to do what against it? What effect has e.g. the collapse of the Larsen Ice Shelf on local fauna and flora such as the Krill population? The intro says "Glacier retreat has widespread impacts on habitats, species, sea level and fresh water supplies.", but this is not elaborated later on. Does the pack ice also retreat? I also still think these experiments with foil covering glaciers deserve more mention. Not mentioning Switzerland in that context just means that the article is not complete. Also, why did some environmentalists oppose that measure? Was it successful at all? And why was it tried at all? (In other words, what secondary effects of glacier retreat should be avoided? Destabilization of formerly permafrost soils?) And then there's still awkward phrasing, such as "Since the end of the last glacial maximum 14,000 years ago, glaciers across the world have receded, i.e., glacial recession; this article is principally concerned with the retreat of glacial ice over the last few hundred years." in the intro. This is awkward for two reasons: first, the "i.e., glacial recession" is somewhat grammatically unconnected to the rest, and seondly because of the self-reference "this article". Lupo 08:12, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
    P.S.: If "glacial recession" is not the same as "glacier retreat", we should have a second article about the former, too. Lupo 08:29, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
    We started an article about Holocene glacial retreat and it is still just a baby...we did this so that there would be a understanding that what our discussion here covers the retreat of glaciers since 1850...the end of the Little Ice Age, whereby Holocene glacial retreat deals with the time period that is from the end of the ice age until about 1850...in other words Glacial recession of the massive ice sheets that dominated northern Europe and North America. The narrative is weak in places and does come across as an assembledge of facts and figures, but (and I am not trying to downplace your concerns), this is a scientific article that leaves little room for much narrative by it's very nature. The proof of the argument can only be demostrated with applicable facts and figures. We can also discuss the foil and plastic covering attempted in the Alps but I don't find that signifacant personally only because it steps us away from the point of this article, which is not to discuss what means are going to be employed to stop glacier retreat...any more than we would expand on what efforts are being suggested to stop burning fossil fuels. We hardly even touched global warming as well. We did mention how some areas are arid and the lack of glacial ice may adversely affect these areas...see Asia and S. America. We can make a mention of the Ozone hole, but to expand on it here would again take us away from the main direction this article goes in.--MONGO 08:50, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
    Looking over again Lupo's comments...I have to agree...we need to definitely explain a number of areas better...when did it "start" when was it recognized as a general retreat...when did the bells start ringing in other words. Thanks for taking the time, Lupo, to chime in.--MONGO 09:02, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the moment, though I think there's a great deal of fine content here and my opposition is mostly about style. Here's why:
    • First, I really don't like the citation style. Maybe lots of other people do, but I much prefer the smaller and less obtrusive superscripts generated by {{ref}} and {{note}}, or else by the new Cite tags (m:Cite.php). With the current system, I'd at least suggest superscripting the reference links.
      I pretty strongly prefer the Harvard refs for this, having worked with all the styles on various pages. Using sup's around them might be OK though. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 01:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
      Fair enough. I just made them all superscripts, I think it improves the look of things quite a lot - what do you reckon? Worldtraveller 23:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
      And I thought it improved the look so much that I templetized the format in {{ref_harv}} and removed all the superscripts. – Doug Bell talkcontrib 00:20, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
      Mmmm... I don't really like the superscript as much. Maybe it's because I use a minimum font size in my browser settings, so superscript is not as reduced as for some viewers. But that's OK, it's no big thing to me, and if other editors like this better, I'm more than happy with it. As I say below, I just like seeing the author name of the authority cited, rather than just a number (for this type of scientific article, for other types it doesn't matter). I must compliment Doug Bell on his clever new {ref_harv} template that automates this. Way cool, and very usable. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 00:23, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Second, I don't think the article's structure is the best at the moment. I don't like the very confusing title of the first section which baffles me and puts me off reading it, and I think having the article dominated by the continent-by-continent descriptions makes it seem unbalanced. I agree with Lupo's suggestions on structure.
    • The lengthy discussions of what's happening around the world could be summarised more - much of the text is a little bit dry and laden with figures at the moment - and more should be written about why these things are happening, what the effects will be (like, what's the contribution of glacial retreat to sea level rise, which major cities will suffer increased flooding, etc), what is being done to combat glacial retreat, how this glacial retreat compares to other warming periods in the Earth's history, and so on.
      • Further to this I also agree very much with Lupo's review above in which he points out all the further questions this article would do well to try and answer. Worldtraveller 23:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Minor point - A WWF (formerly the World Wildlife Fund) report... I don't think the history of the name of the organisation is relevant here. (fixed)
    • Another minor point - Breiðamerkurjökull is the correct spelling. I feel strongly that we shouldn't anglicise placenames which use different varieties of latin script. You might feel strongly that we should, but if you do can I suggest at least using 'th' rather than 'd' for the ð? (fixed)
    • And another minor point - a copyedit would be good, I spotted several capital letters in the middle of sentences, missing apostrophes and the like.
    • Content point - I believe several glaciers from the South Patagonian ice field are actually advancing - the Moreno Glacier is one example. The article states that there are no advancing glaciers. Worldtraveller 00:40, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
      I was attempting to state that no glaciers were in disequilibrial advance, not none advancing at all. I think that is true, but I defer to the experts (which I'm not). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 01:10, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
      You mean that while all glaciers advance as ice moves under the influence of its own gravity, none are advancing in the sense that the equilibrium position of the snout is moving forward? It is in the latter sense that the glaciers off the south Patagonian ice sheet are advancing, unlike most other glaciers, I believe. Aha, here's something that backs that up: [1]. Worldtraveller 23:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
      I thank User:Worldtraveller for taking the time to review this article. The format is my mistake...when we got going early, I built the outline and it has remained basically the same since...I think they all may need to go. The flow is a problem as well...there does need to be more of a conversational style between all those facts and figures. I also appreciate the mention of Moreno Glacier and I'll look for a cite for that to continue to give the article balance. I'll review other featured articles of similar content to see if there is a better way of organizing all these sections and elaborating on some of the causal issues too.--MONGO 04:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
      • One thing you might consider is sketching out a content list as if you were about to start the article from scratch, then rearrange the content you have to fit it and fill in any blanks that you might have identified. I followed this approach to get Hubble Space Telescope up to FA standards. Worldtraveller 23:47, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Comments: I performed a number of minor edits and wikification while reading the article (including fixing the use of dashes) so as not to need to list them here. Please don't lose these if you are working on an off-line version of the article. Here is a collection of comments about the article:
    • I agree with Worldtraveller on the reference style. Perhaps superscripting them would help make them interfere less with the content, but then I wonder why this isn't part of the {{ref_harvard}} template. Also, regarding the references, why are some references repeated, such as Pelto and Pelto2? These should have two notes tied to a single reference.
      In an updated version I am working on in my userspace, the harvard style references are superscripted
      The Pelto/Pelto2 duplication was an error that I just fixed. The refs were not quite identical in citation details, but obviously referred to the same article. This is why Harvard is better, the error arose from the earlier sequential footnotes which each needed their own refs. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 19:54, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
      Actually, the sequential references don't each need their own notes if you use {{ref_label}} and {{note_label}}. And you don't need to make them sequential either. These templates will also superscript the reference links. These have become my preferred templates for referencing. – Doug Bell talkcontrib 21:57, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
      That's true. I was thinking more of the m:php.cite style. But also, MONGO and some other editors seemed to want the order of the references to match their occurence in the text using {{ref_label}} (which proved very difficult to maintain as sections were rearranged). I guess if we were fine with, e.g. the lead referencing "Foo is bar.[27][12]", we could still just alphabetize the notes. Nonetheless, it reads more like a science paper to me to put the author name as the link; for other topics I wouldn't want that style, but for this I really like to see right away that a certain claim is supported by "Pelto" or "Mölg" (not that I know who they are, but I presume people who know the field do). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 22:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
    • In "Glacier mass balance impact on terminus behavior" it states: "A glacier with sustained positive balance would also be out of equilibrium, and will advance, but none are currently in this state." Later in "Scandinavia" it states: "...found that 14 glaciers are retreating, one is advancing and one is stable" and "By 2005 only 1 of the 25 glaciers monitored in Norway was advancing...". In "Iceland" it states "...28 are retreating, four are stable and two are advancing." In "Alaska" it states "Of the glaciers in this region, only the Taku Glacier has advanced." In "Oceania" it states "Several glaciers, notably the much visited Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, have periodically advanced..." Why the contradiction?
      We can change the word to "few", don't hesitate to make a small edit like this as it is certainly not unjustified.
    • The term "surging glaciers" is introduced in the "North America" section without explanation.
    • While not a problem per se, the quote "A 2005 aerial survey of Alaskan coastal glaciers identified more than a dozen glaciers, many former tidewater and calving glaciers, including Grand Plateau, Alsek, Bear, and Excelsior Glaciers that are rapidly retreating. Of 2000 glaciers observed, 99% are retreating." seemed out of place with the rest of the article which did not directly quote any of the references except for the shorter quote "The presentation went on to state that "Sometime between 1994 and 2000 the Meren Glacier appears to have disappeared" used within the context of a sentence. Also, the italicized formatting was not consistent with the later quote.
    • The term "calving" is introduced in the "Alaska" section without explanation.
      We can adjust that, it's the same thing as creating icebergs essentially.
      Yeah, I did know what it meant, I just meant it needed to be introduced. :-) – Doug Bell talkcontrib 13:30, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Maybe this use is obvious, but the term "downwasting" is introduced without explanation in the "Alaska" section.
      Probably needs to simply go away
    • In the "Himalayas" section it states: "A WWF report concluded that 67% of all Himalayan glaciers are retreating rapidly." Since this is the first numerically quantitative statement on rapid retreat, it should define what constitutes rapid retreat. Also, this same section states: "In examining 612 glaciers in China, 53.44% were found to be retreating...". The precision of the percentage should be reduced (certainly no more accurate than 53.4%, but I would argue for just 53%).
      I google converted the imperial figure to a metric one and got too precise.
    • In the "Himalayas" section it states: "Some of the more famous glaciers in the area indicate that all the glaciers are retreating." This sentence doesn't seem to make sense. How do these glaciers indicate that all glaciers are retreating?
    • In the "Himalayas" section it introduces the term and acronym Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF). This would be a great term to explain in a child article, or if not worthy of a child article, then in this one. I mean the term seems somewhat self-explanatory, but if it has usage common enough to warrant an acronym and proper name, then it seems like it should be explained.
    • In the "Himalayas" section it states: "Its neighboring glacier could generate a GLOF up to two-and-a-half-times that which caused major devastation in October 1994." Since the article is providing a relative numerical comparison to this event, the size of the October 1994 event should be stated in the article.
      We were asked earlier to show some side effects of glacier retreat akin to sea level rise, so this was just an attempt to do so, the section needs an overhaul.
    • In the "Oceania" section it uses the figure 13.9 x 106 m³ (18,180,513 yd³). This should be in cubic km and mile³ to be consistent with the units in the rest of the article.
    • In the "Oceania" section it states: "The third larger area that was once part of the icecap and is now known as the Northwall Firn, had split into several smaller glaciers by 1972." The term third larger area is not defined and does not appear to relate to anything previous in the article.
      Meaning that there was once just one icecap and the Norhtwall firn is now one of the three dissected parts, will reword this.
    • In the "Andes" section it states: "Chacaltaya Glacier lost two-thirds of its volume and 40% of its thickness over the same period and it is expected that by 2010 to 2015, Chacaltaya Glacier will no longer exist and the glacier is only 10% of its size since first examined in 1940." This sentence is hopelessly confused...I wasn't even sure how to fix it.
    • In the "Andes" section it uses the figure 10 acres. This should be in km² and mile² to be consistent with the rest of the article.
    • In the "Greenland" section it states: "The acceleration rate of retreat of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier is even larger." This seems at best poorly worded.
    • In the "Impacts of glacier retreat" section I kept wondering to myself what the contra effects are. That is, if the glaciers are melting faster, what would the impact be if they were not retreating and melted slower? Would hydroelectric output drop noticably? Would some arid areas no longer get enough runoff to support current irrigation needs? And what about the contra effect on the food chain? Would warmer waters actually produce more food, or less? Just wondering if there has been any attempt to investigate these effects.
    • In the "Impacts of glacier retreat" section it states: "It is this rise in what is referred to as Greenhouse gases that are raising the temperature of the planet and melting the glaciers away." I don't mean to sound like a denier of global warming (I'm not) but isn't the causation between the rising temperatures and greenhouse gases actually a widely-accepted theory, and not a proven cause? At least the global warming article lists it as a theory. I would suggest a rewording here along the lines of "It is this rise in what is referred to as greenhouse gases that are presumed to be raising the temperature of the planet and melting the glaciers away." ('presumed' could also be 'assumed' or 'considered')
    Doug Bell talkcontrib 11:57, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
    I answered a few of these...will address each one, one at a time, in article space. Thanks! You and a number of others here have spent some valubale personal time asking questions and surveying the article and I am very happy to see such commitment to helping us make the article better.--MONGO 13:24, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Comments on refactored arcticle from March 6th. Generally, I think this reorganization is more encyclopedic. I guess I don't understand why the mid-latitude glaciers are divided by east and west instead of north and south. Also, the individual sections "Tropical glaciers", "Eastern hemisphere", "Western hemisphere", and "Polar regions" are each still organized by continent/region. I think these large sections should be broken into the individual subsections to make them easier to navigate.
    I made quite a few edits to fix errors, improve wording, and for consistency. The following general comments apply to changes I didn't make:
    I am not in favor of breaking it into sections that are north and south because there are so few mid latitude glaciers in the south that the sections will be hopelessly unbalanced. I am also not in favor of creating more and more subsections. The reason to continue to discuss the glaciology still to to ensure we don't go and talk about the Cascades, then the himalayas and later come back to the cascades...that would break up the flow of the article way too much, and I don't see what this has to do with anything to be honest.--MONGO 02:43, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Tropical glaciers
      • "The Snows of Kilimanjaro may be gone in less than 30 years." and later in the same paragraph "...the glaciers atop Kilimanjaro will disappear between 2015 and 2020." These time periods don't agree. Why doesn't the first statement say "in less than 20 years"?
        Fixed, I simply removed it.--MONGO 02:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "Since 1912, the glacier cover on the summit of Kilimanjaro has apparently retreated 75% and just from the period of 1984 to 1998, one section of glacier receded 300 m (984 ft)." There is no reference in the article to allow the recent retreat (300 m) to be compared to the overall retreat (75%).
        Slight rewording, I don't see what one has to do with the other...we discuss one period and the glaciers overall, and then another period and one small section of galcier...how is this confusing?--MONGO 02:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "Therefore, the glacial retreat evidenced can only be attributed to a general warming trend." This is a bad conclusion. Since the preceeding discussion states that these glaciers have been in retreat since first observed, these glaciers could have been retreating from a stable temperature for a long period of time.
    • Mid-latitude glaciers
      • I don't agree that it is a bad conclusion, but removed it anyway.--MONGO 02:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • Maybe the map of mountain glacier mass balance changes could be moved to this section? (I know it includes other glaciers, so perhaps not...)
        That graph is in support of the section it is in as we discuss mass balance.--MONGO 02:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Eastern hemisphere
      • "Glaciers across the Alps..." I still have issues with this paragraph (see Talk:Glacier retreat#Graph of advancing glaciers in Alps). It is giving comparisons of percent of retreating glaciers between a recent period of advancing glaciers and today, when that period of advancing glaciers is not typical of the last 150 years. I think this provides an unbalanced and distorted view of the current number of retreating glaciers, and worse (or maybe not worse, since at least it demonstrates an attempt to present the baseline data), this unbalanced view is immediately evident by looking at the accompanying graph. Eventually, at the end of the article in "Projected future trends" there is acknowledgement of the rapid retreat illustrated for the 1925–1945 period, but it should be discussed at this point as well.
        I think that Peltoms adequately answered this question on the article discussion page. We discussed in the intro the little ice age, a meltdown, then a small advance during the mid 20th century and now another meltdown...do we have to mention this repeatedly in the article?--MONGO 02:56, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "In India, the Gangotri Glacier, which is one of the primary sources of water for the Ganges River, retreated 34 m (111 ft)/yr between 1970 and 1996 and has averaged 30 m (100 ft)/yr since the year 2000. The recent increase in retreat rates and melt rates has led to a recent expansion and creation of glacier lakes in the Himalayas." The first sentence states that the most recent rate of retreat is slightly less than the preceeding years, yet the next sentence goes on to discuss the "recent increase in retreat rates."
        I went and reworded this section, see if it is okay now.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • From my previous comments: it introduces the term and acronym Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF). This would be a great term to explain in a child article, or if not worthy of a child article, then in this one. I mean the term seems somewhat self-explanatory, but if it has usage common enough to warrant an acronym and proper name, then it seems like it should be explained.
      • From my previous comments: "Its neighboring glacier could generate a GLOF up to two-and-a-half-times that which caused major devastation in October 1994." Since the article is providing a relative numerical comparison to this event, the size of the October 1994 event should be stated in the article.
        I'll try and create a stub so that this phenonmenon can be expanded.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "Most of the glaciers have been reduced in size and the accumulation zone had a corresponding rise to higher elevations as the 20th century progressed." Not sure how this should be reworded, but corresponding rise to higher elevations really means a corresponding reduction in the accumulation zone to the higher elevation areas.
    • Western hemisphere
      • "With 65% needed for equilibrium..." this statement needs a reference.
      • "A computer model indicates..." this statement needs a reference.
      • From my previous comments: Maybe this use is obvious, but the term "downwasting" is introduced without explanation in the "Alaska" section.
        I'll look for references tonight for these, check it in 24 hours.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "Mean annual balance has been increasingly negatively averaging −1.04 m (−3.4 ft)/yr from 1990–2005." I think this needs to be reworded.
    • Polar regions
      • From my previous comments: "The acceleration rate of retreat of Kangerdlugssuaq Glacier is even larger." This seems at best poorly worded.
        I think the acceleration rate of retreat means the acceleration of the rate of retreat, but I'm not positive, so I left it alone for now.
        Reworded this section to try and remove ambiguity--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "The front of the glacier has also retreated and has rapidly thinned by more than 100 m (328 ft)." Just checking, but is it only the front of the glacier that has thinned, as this states? Also, it is not clear from the context if the "more than 100 m (328 ft)" is for the period from 1988–2001, 2001–2005 or 1988–2005.
        I rewored it to show that it was the entire glacier...I'll check the dtaes and update that.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "The rapid thinning, acceleration and retreat of these three large glaciers in close association with one another suggests a common triggering mechanism, such as enhanced surface melting due to regional climate warming." Can this be accurately reworded to replace such as with most likely?
      • "The collapse has been due to warmer melt season temperatures..." It would be great if figures could be provided for the temperature differences.
      • "Recent studies by the British Antarctic Survey have attributed the potential breakup of the George VI Ice Shelf to warming ocean currents due to global warming." Maybe it's just me, but attributing the potential breakup seems like the wrong way to phrase this. Attribution would be for something that has actually happend, no?
        I think I cited a source that is saying that this has happened before and it looks like it is going to happen again...I'll try and reword it.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "Additionally, the Dakshin Gangotri Glacier, a small outlet glacier..." Where is this glacier? Small outlet for what?
        Reworded this to show it is off the Antartic icesheet.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    • Impacts of glacier retreat
      • "Alterations to the ocean currents and the thermohaline circulation of the worlds oceans may seriously impact the fisheries of the world, which may mean less fish and shellfish for human consumption." This needs a reference to support this statement. Otherwise the opposite statement, which may mean more fish and shellfish for human consumption, is equally valid since at least in theory, the consequences of a disturbance in the current balance could just as easily cause increases of some species that would outweigh the decreases in other species.
        Did a minor rewording of this section.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
      • "Since at least the end of World War II, glaciologists and those in related professions have been informing the scientific community and the public that glacier retreat is a situation of potential concern." I really don't like this sentence in the article. I really don't think it is adding anything worthwhile, and in my opinion, detracts from the neutral, scientific tone of the rest of the article.
      • "It is this rise in what is referred to as Greenhouse gases that are raising the temperature of the planet..." As I stated in my previous comments:
        I don't mean to sound like a denier of global warming (I'm not) but isn't the causation between the rising temperatures and greenhouse gases actually a widely-accepted theory, and not a proven cause? At least the global warming article lists it as a theory. I would suggest a rewording here along the lines of "It is this rise in what is referred to as greenhouse gases that are presumed to be raising the temperature of the planet..." ('presumed' could also be 'assumed' or 'considered'...even 'widely assumed', 'widely presumed' or 'widely considered' would be fine)
      • "The organization has also claimed..." This is the only place in the entire article where the conclusion of a scientific study is characterized as a "claim". Is this really less scientificly supported than the rest of the references in the article? If not, can it be reworded to be more neutral?
        Reworded this passage.--MONGO 04:29, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
    Doug Bell talkcontrib 21:58, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Comment: the first graph under 'Glacier mass balance impact on terminus behavior' containts a grammatical error. The caption should read '1980s', not '1980's'. You may think this is a minor point, and you would be right, but nevertheless since a featured article is supposed to represent the best of wikipedia, it really isn't good enough to have this simple grammatical error. Otherwise, great article. Bigdaddy1204 00:42, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Just curious, where is the WP style guideline that specifies decades are listed w/o apostrophes? I'm not denying it, but different external manuals of style vary on this, so WP correct usage is not immediately obvious. Are you by chance Commonwealth, Bigdaddy1204? Not that it matters, but the "1980's" style seems more common in American usage (but not uniform here either). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 03:04, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the specific guidelines are on this point for wikipedia, but certainly I was taught in English class that 1980's with an apostrophe was wrong. The reason was that there is nothing ommitted: all you need is the plural form of '1980' to indicate any year from that decade, which is accomplished by putting an 's' after 1980, like so: 1980s. As it happens I am Commonwealth, (England), but I am weary of bringing nationality into it: before long, people will be hurling accusations of cultural imperialism at each other, and users will be lining up on both sides of the Atlantic to declare that their version of the language is the only correct one. Over the top, I know, but it happened during a long-running argument over whether to call the article on 'gasoline' by the British English name 'petrol' instead! Anyway, I would recommend the form '1980s' as the one most likely to be correct, but I'm not forcing it on anyone. Bigdaddy1204 19:05, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I changed the ones I could find that had apostrophes...I am a big fan of finding balance between British and American english spelling conventions...my personal style is to make sure if an article is about an American, or an American event or taks place in America, that the spelling be in American English...and vice versa if it be about Britian or non American english subject matter...in the case of Glacier retreat, this is an international article, so hopefully the editors thathave worked on it, who are mostly American, haven't misspelled things that appear biased to our perspective...this is entirely possible. With that said, I prefer your style of plural numeration...1980s looks better than 1980's.--MONGO 20:15, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with the no-apostrophe decades, naturally. It just seemed like Bigdaddy1204 was alluding to something in WP:STYLE rather than a personal/regional preference, which seems not to be so now. The article mostly tends towards American spellings where they differ, but I don't really care about that. The only thing, up with which I cannot put, is the use of a space-padded n-dash where God intended a non-spaced m-dash :-). (...and maybe that perverse "-ise" verbal suffix to spell words that end in '-ize'). Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 20:48, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with your personal approach - I think it is the best way to do things. My thanks to you for making the changes :-) Bigdaddy1204 20:34, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Support. I also like the way MONGO responded to my comments. Bigdaddy1204 20:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)