Skip to comments.Photos 'show Himalayan glaciers receding'
Posted on 07/16/2010 2:11:05 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK (AFP) When British climbing legend George Mallory took his iconic 1921 photo of Mount Everest's north face, the mighty, river-shaped glacier snaking under his feet seemed eternal.
Decades of pollution and global warming later, modern mountaineer David Breashears has reshot the picture at the same spot -- and proved an alarming reality.
Instead of the powerful, white, S-shaped sweep of ice witnessed by Mallory before he died on his conquest of Everest, the Main Rongbuk Glacier today is shrunken and withered.
The frozen waves of ice pinnacles -- many .. the size of office buildings -- are still there. But they are far fewer, lower and confined to a narrow line.
Comparing precisely matched photographs, Breashears determined that the Rongbuk had dropped some 320 feet (97 meters) in depth.
"The melt rate in this region of central and eastern Himalaya is extreme and is devastating," Breashears said Wednesday at New York's Asia Society, which is hosting the exhibition July 13 to August 15.
Amid bad-tempered political debates over the causes and reality of global warming, Breashears speaks literally from the ground.
He went in the footsteps of three great early mountaineer-photographers: Mallory, Canadian-born mapping pioneer Edward Wheeler, and Italy's Vittorio Sella, whose work spanned the 19th and 20th centuries.
The result is then-and-now sets from Tibet, Nepal and near K2 in Pakistan showing seven glaciers in retreat -- not only much diminished, but in one case having dissolved into a lake.
"If this isn't evidence of the glaciers in serious decline, I don't know what is," the soft-spoken Breashears said.
Himalayan glaciers are the world's third largest reserve of ice after the north and south poles, and their seasonal melt water is a crucial source for Asia's great rivers, including the Ganges, Indus, Mekong and Yellow.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
A 1921 view taken by George Mallory of the Main Rongbuk Glacier (left), on the northern slope of Mount Everest and a 2007 view of the same glacier taken by David Breashears, courtesy of GlacierWorks. Decades of pollution and global warming appear to have left the glacier shrunken and withered. (AFP/Asia Society)
Looks about the same if not bigger to me......
Are you kidding me? I don’t see any major differences between the two photos at all. What I do see are some minor differences in ice and snow coverage and some illusions created by black and white vs color, and by the difference in exposure (such as an area on the slope to the left that appears to be snow or ice in the 1921 photo, but which is actually just a difference in shading of the dirt or rock below it.
As far as the glacier, it actually looks wider today to me than it did in 1921. Am I missing something?
Seems to me that any ‘warmth’ would have affected the whole area. When you look at the outlines of the other areas -— they seem the same. What time of year were the first pics and what time the 2nd?
And the Abominable Snowman will have nowhere to go!
The difference between a fresh hard snowfall and a summertime snow draught....this is just more bullshit ecoterrorist reporting.
Were these shot at the same time of the year?
They were clearly not shot with the same type of gear or film.
The B&W shot was shot with orthochromatic film, which was not sensitive to all colors in the spectrum.
On top of that, the two photos were shot with different focal length lenses, with changes most evident in the foreground.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, Vikings were living on the West coast of Greenland growing row crops and raising livestock outdoors. Seal and Walrus hunters ventured high into the Arctic in search of prey as late as October. Archaeological findings show Western explorers overwintered on the north coasts of Baffin Island and Hudson Bay.
Proof! Proof! that we need to elect more Democrats. Don't delay, the fate of the entire solar system depends upon it.
Guess I'd better increase the output on my ice maker!
not sure of time of year taken or specific equipment. I just post ‘em, and only sometimes research them.. :-}
This thread is destined for the cheese file.
Well the mountains are much more bare.
Were the pictures both taken at the same time of the year? Were the preceding snowy periods as heavy?
Much to the chagrin of the French, brandy was first distilled in Ireland from Irish grapes.
Somehow I’ve misplaced the snapshots I took back “in the day” when glaciers covered Central Park in NYC and scooped out the Great Lakes. But any comparison pictures now would show they’re long gone due to “global warming.”
“Instead of the powerful, white, S-shaped sweep of ice witnessed by Mallory before he died on his conquest of Everest, the Main Rongbuk Glacier today is shrunken and withered.”
Ooooh I love, love love hyperbole!
You and Sebastian should team up and write trashy romance novels.
“Powerful Himalayan S curve thrusting powerfully through undulating Vally's.” Ok, I kinda made up that quote.
Consider the research of Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson ... he who predicted in a 10/02 paper in Science an end to Kilimanjaro's glaciers by 2020, more or less, according to current trends. I remember when ABC news picked this up. Well. much of modern environmental journalism displays a pervasive lack of critical insight toward environmental scares and the scientific papers on which they are supposedly based. An inspection of Thompson's own data, also published in Science, shows that Kilimanjaro's glaciers would be dying even if Homo sapiens ancestors were still the dominant hominid in the Rift Valley, a few hundred miles to the West. That is to say, humans are not to blame for the glacial recession.
Thonpson cited five surveys of Kilimanjaro from 1912, 1953, 1976, 1989, and 2000, as per your graphic.
From 1912 to 1953, global temperatures rose (as measured controversially by surface thermometers) 0.4° C (0.74° F). This rise occurred before most of the industrial emissions of so-called "greenhouse gases" , mainly CO2 and CH4. As a result. most scientists think the warming of the 20th century had mainly to do with changes in Mr. Sun. In fact, slight changes in solar output have modulated the earth's surface temperature plus or minus about 1.0° C (1.8° F) over millennia.
Kilimanjaro's glaciers lost 45% of their areal extent during that era of solar warming. If the glaciers had continued to decline at the pace established in that period, they would already be gone by now, pfffft, even with no additional warming from the emissions of greenhouse gases.
But the glaciers are still here. From 1953 through 1976, another 21 percent of the original area was uncovered. This occurred during a period of global cooling of 0.07° C (0.13° F). OSU's press office could logically have written the following hype in 1976: "Kilimanjaro's glaciers will completely disappear by 2015 if this cooling trend continues".
It is patently obvious that global temperatures and their behavior of Kilimanjaro's glaciers are pretty independent, at least on the time scale of decades. Local climate, however, is apparently critical. A glacier cares what happens from its head to its toe, not elsewhere.
The local climate record around Kilimanjaro is confusing. There is very little cohesion between nearby thermometers which argues more that the data are bad than it does for any local cooling or warming. Poor (unsubsidized by Kyoto) countries have little income to spend on a quality climate-monitoring network.
Since, 1976, another 12% of the original mass has disappeared - and despite all the hoopla, a loss of 12% represents the slowest decline since 1912. Although the local temperature measurements are clearly questionable, more recent decades' measurements area as close to perfect as possible. In 1979 satellite monitoring began. All scientists - even the most ardent Anthropogenic Global Warming apocalyptics - acknowledge that the satellite is excellent at measuring temperatures at the altitude of Kilimanjaro's glaciers - about 19,000 feet. In fact, it may measure temperatures at that altitude better than it does at sea level.
Around Kilimanjaro, satellite data shows a cooling of 0.22°C (0.40°F) since 1979, which is the same as the global warming rate between 1912 and 1953 (0.09°C or 0.17°F per decade). Still, Kilimanjaro's glaciers continue to shrink.
In his Science article, Thompson noted that the period from 4,000 to 11,000 years ago was warmer in Africa than it is today, and yet Kilimanjaro was much more glaciated because it was also wetter than it is today. Some estimates place today's precipitation at only 50% of what it was during the warmer period. Obviously, precipitation, not Anthropogenic Global Warming temperature, is the key to the glaciation of Kilimanjaro.
Did people make it stop snowing? Precipitation in East Africa is highly correlated with El Niño activity in the tropical Pacific ocean. During the last big one, 1997-8, how many news stories promulgated the notion that El Niños are becoming more frequent because of AGW?
So someone could argue that humans cause global warming, global warming causes more El Niños, more El Niños affect precipitation, and therefore humans are causing the glaciers to recede. But, if people are causing more El Niños, then in fact it should be snowing more and more on Kilimanjaro - more than it did back in the day when it was even warmer, thousands of years ago.
My theory: Weather happens, then.. it happens again.
It always a difference in between summer and winter pictures,,,but then again it snows more some years than others .
But even if the differences are significant, the melting of glaciers means more liquid water was released into the general environment. It may have been awhile since I studied Biology, but I seem to recall something about water being important and necessary for life. I also remember that the warmer climes on this planet seem to have the most and widest varieties of life, so ... now I'm confused. Could somebody remind me why we should worry if it's getting warmer?
you need to put on the Global Warming Glasses:
I actually see no difference....
I see no significant difference. A fresh snowfall can make the mountains appear to have a much bigger snow pack than they actually do. See it all the time here in the Rockies. The glacier itself looks the same to me.
NOAA: EARTH TEMPS ‘HOTTEST ON RECORD’...
Meteorologist disputes: Weather stations placed in warmer urban areas...
Thank you. Nothing like a bunch of little ET’s who turned green, lol.
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