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Crisis in the Andes: 1,600 years of ice melts in just 25 years

Catawba

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"It’s a stunning development in the world of climate change. Masses of ice that took South America’s Andes mountain range 1,600 years to form have reportedly melted in full in the last 25 years, another consequence of warming temperatures worldwide, according to a study published April 4 in the journal Science.


The study, led by Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, documents the massive ice loss that the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru has suffered in recent decades. The formation, they report, is now the smallest it has been in 5,200 years.


Quelccaya, located in far eastern Peru, is the largest tropical glacier on Earth, but it’s been withering under as global temperatures rise, in particular by El Niño — a temporary climate shift driven by wind and ocean patterns in the Pacific. Members of Thompson’s team have spent time photographing the glacier since 1978, and year by year photographs show steady glacial retreat and the emergence of plant life in what had been frozen ground years before.
One landmark discovery was a mass of plants that the team found near a lake formed from the meltwater. These plants turned out to be 4,700 years old, which meant that when the glacier’s margin had stopped at their location, it was at its lowest point in nearly 5,000 years.
And yet it’s at an even lower point today.


Thompson’s group later found another crop of exposed plants that turned out to be 6,300 years old. The 1,600 years that separate the first plant group from the second, the researchers explained, indicate 1,600 years of ice that melted since 1978.


Thompson and his colleagues back up their visual collage with their data that they compiled from ice-core samples that they extracted over a period of years. Through analyses of the samples, they have been able to reconstruct the region’s last 1,800 years of climate history. They could also discern the age of the glacier’s margins by carbon-dating of plant matter—in eons past, when the glaciers were expanding, they submerged and froze over plant life, remains of which are once again exposed as the glaciers now withdraw.


And what’s happening to Quelccaya is happening to many other tropical glaciers around the world. The researchers noted that its ice cores showed strong similarities to ice cores that other groups had obtained from the Himalayas and the mountains of Tibet. All the core samples bear similar chemical compositions, and their glaciers are likewise losing ground at continuous rates.


Meanwhile, the findings are especially devastating for Peru, which has played witness to an extraordinary decline in its glacier area. According to scientists, the 1970 at least 22 percent of the country’s glacier area has melted, and ice is said to be retreating at average rate of 200 feet per year. As a result, the country has taken unprecedented measures to curb the effects of warming, even going as far as covering large swaths of its glaciers in white paint.


The discovery is likely to only add fuel to the debate over the effects of global warming. According to researchers, rising global temperatures will speed the melting of glaciers and ice caps and cause early ice thaw on rivers and lakes. Over the course of the past decade, a number of massive ice shelves have felt the impact of rising temperatures. After existing for many millennia, the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica — a section larger than the state of Rhode Island — collapsed between January and March 2002, far sooner than scientists had predicted. Meanwhile, a series of studies released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the Earth continuing to warm at an alarming rate. According to NOAA scientists, 2012 was the warmest year since global instrumental temperature records began over 130 years ago."

 

radioman

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"It’s a stunning development in the world of climate change. Masses of ice that took South America’s Andes mountain range 1,600 years to form have reportedly melted in full in the last 25 years, another consequence of warming temperatures worldwide, according to a study published April 4 in the journal Science.


The study, led by Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, documents the massive ice loss that the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru has suffered in recent decades. The formation, they report, is now the smallest it has been in 5,200 years.


Quelccaya, located in far eastern Peru, is the largest tropical glacier on Earth, but it’s been withering under as global temperatures rise, in particular by El Niño — a temporary climate shift driven by wind and ocean patterns in the Pacific. Members of Thompson’s team have spent time photographing the glacier since 1978, and year by year photographs show steady glacial retreat and the emergence of plant life in what had been frozen ground years before.
One landmark discovery was a mass of plants that the team found near a lake formed from the meltwater. These plants turned out to be 4,700 years old, which meant that when the glacier’s margin had stopped at their location, it was at its lowest point in nearly 5,000 years.
And yet it’s at an even lower point today.


Thompson’s group later found another crop of exposed plants that turned out to be 6,300 years old. The 1,600 years that separate the first plant group from the second, the researchers explained, indicate 1,600 years of ice that melted since 1978.


Thompson and his colleagues back up their visual collage with their data that they compiled from ice-core samples that they extracted over a period of years. Through analyses of the samples, they have been able to reconstruct the region’s last 1,800 years of climate history. They could also discern the age of the glacier’s margins by carbon-dating of plant matter—in eons past, when the glaciers were expanding, they submerged and froze over plant life, remains of which are once again exposed as the glaciers now withdraw.


And what’s happening to Quelccaya is happening to many other tropical glaciers around the world. The researchers noted that its ice cores showed strong similarities to ice cores that other groups had obtained from the Himalayas and the mountains of Tibet. All the core samples bear similar chemical compositions, and their glaciers are likewise losing ground at continuous rates.


Meanwhile, the findings are especially devastating for Peru, which has played witness to an extraordinary decline in its glacier area. According to scientists, the 1970 at least 22 percent of the country’s glacier area has melted, and ice is said to be retreating at average rate of 200 feet per year. As a result, the country has taken unprecedented measures to curb the effects of warming, even going as far as covering large swaths of its glaciers in white paint.


The discovery is likely to only add fuel to the debate over the effects of global warming. According to researchers, rising global temperatures will speed the melting of glaciers and ice caps and cause early ice thaw on rivers and lakes. Over the course of the past decade, a number of massive ice shelves have felt the impact of rising temperatures. After existing for many millennia, the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica — a section larger than the state of Rhode Island — collapsed between January and March 2002, far sooner than scientists had predicted. Meanwhile, a series of studies released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the Earth continuing to warm at an alarming rate. According to NOAA scientists, 2012 was the warmest year since global instrumental temperature records began over 130 years ago."

----------------
Well.....this country, this world, isn't going to wean itself off fossil-fuels anytime soon.
We would be well advised to think about ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.
 

Catawba

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----------------
Well.....this country, this world, isn't going to wean itself off fossil-fuels anytime soon.
We would be well advised to think about ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.


I agree we have waited to long to act to avoid warming altogether. Our choice now is to how much worse do we want to make it on ourselves.

The statistics show that we have made reductions in our CO2 output.

"According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, the U.S. has seen the greatest reduction in carbon dioxide pollution within the past six years in comparison to any other country, even as global carbon dioxide pollution has reached record highs.

“CO2 emissions in the United States in 2011 fell by 92 Mt (million tonnes), or 1.7%, primarily due to ongoing switching from coal to natural gas in power generation and an exceptionally mild winter, which reduced the demand for space heating,” the IEA writes on its website.

“US emissions have now fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions. This development has arisen from lower oil use in the transport sector (linked to efficiency improvements, higher oil prices and the economic downturn which has cut vehicle miles travelled) and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector,” the IEA states.[related_articles]

It is enough to give people some hope that perhaps humanity will not continue to send the environment into a doomsday scenario, Bruce Nilles, director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, said.

“Obviously, for years, we found ourselves in the U.S. being the largest contributor to global warming, and seemingly ever-increasing emissions. The biggest part of the problem was continuing to get worse,” Nilles told IPS.

“Finally, we’re no longer in situation of doing nothing. We’ve achieved greater reductions than any other country over the last eight years. We’re finally getting serious about leadership. It’s a mix of the Obama Administration and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) rules, and community after community, state after state doing their part,” Nilles said.

The U.S. Congress gets less credit from environmentalists for taking action on pollution, however.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the average U.S. resident are now at the same levels that they were in 1964, according to an analysis by the Vancouver Observer newspaper. Yet, that does not mean overall U.S. carbon dioxide pollution is at 1964 levels. The average per-person pollution is lower, in part, because the U.S. population has grown since 1964, Nilles said."

IPS - Inter Press Service » IPS – U.S. Sees Greatest Reduction in CO2 Emissions
 
T

thorax232

The idea of global warming has been a scientific failure for... well it seems like ages now. I remember the big embarrassment when things started to turn around thanks to Al Gore's movie. People saw that, asked questions and realized the only reason the notion continues is because of a HUGE political spectrum behind it and all the jobs built to justify (not prove) the assumptions of the global warming crowd.


The graph on this page blows apart the ‘scientific basis’ for Britain reshaping its entire economy and spending billions in taxes and subsidies in order to cut emissions of greenhouse gases. These moves have already added £100 a year to household energy bills.

article-2294560-18B8846F000005DC-184_634x427.jpg

The evidence shows CO2 levels follow temperature, not the other way around.
Indeed, there may be many factors that determine our climate. Australian scientist David Archibald has shown a remarkable correlation between the sun’s activity and our climate over the past 300 years. Climate scientists insist we must accept the ‘carbon’ orthodoxy or be cast into the wilderness.

But the scientists behind the theory have a vested interest – it’s a great way to justify new taxes, get more money and guarantee themselves more work.

Source
 

MoSurveyor

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"It’s a stunning development in the world of climate change. Masses of ice that took South America’s Andes mountain range 1,600 years to form have reportedly melted in full in the last 25 years, another consequence of warming temperatures worldwide, according to a study published April 4 in the journal Science.


The study, led by Ohio State University glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, documents the massive ice loss that the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru has suffered in recent decades. The formation, they report, is now the smallest it has been in 5,200 years.


Quelccaya, located in far eastern Peru, is the largest tropical glacier on Earth, but it’s been withering under as global temperatures rise, in particular by El Niño — a temporary climate shift driven by wind and ocean patterns in the Pacific. Members of Thompson’s team have spent time photographing the glacier since 1978, and year by year photographs show steady glacial retreat and the emergence of plant life in what had been frozen ground years before.
One landmark discovery was a mass of plants that the team found near a lake formed from the meltwater. These plants turned out to be 4,700 years old, which meant that when the glacier’s margin had stopped at their location, it was at its lowest point in nearly 5,000 years.
And yet it’s at an even lower point today.


Thompson’s group later found another crop of exposed plants that turned out to be 6,300 years old. The 1,600 years that separate the first plant group from the second, the researchers explained, indicate 1,600 years of ice that melted since 1978.


Thompson and his colleagues back up their visual collage with their data that they compiled from ice-core samples that they extracted over a period of years. Through analyses of the samples, they have been able to reconstruct the region’s last 1,800 years of climate history. They could also discern the age of the glacier’s margins by carbon-dating of plant matter—in eons past, when the glaciers were expanding, they submerged and froze over plant life, remains of which are once again exposed as the glaciers now withdraw.


And what’s happening to Quelccaya is happening to many other tropical glaciers around the world. The researchers noted that its ice cores showed strong similarities to ice cores that other groups had obtained from the Himalayas and the mountains of Tibet. All the core samples bear similar chemical compositions, and their glaciers are likewise losing ground at continuous rates.


Meanwhile, the findings are especially devastating for Peru, which has played witness to an extraordinary decline in its glacier area. According to scientists, the 1970 at least 22 percent of the country’s glacier area has melted, and ice is said to be retreating at average rate of 200 feet per year. As a result, the country has taken unprecedented measures to curb the effects of warming, even going as far as covering large swaths of its glaciers in white paint.


The discovery is likely to only add fuel to the debate over the effects of global warming. According to researchers, rising global temperatures will speed the melting of glaciers and ice caps and cause early ice thaw on rivers and lakes. Over the course of the past decade, a number of massive ice shelves have felt the impact of rising temperatures. After existing for many millennia, the northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica — a section larger than the state of Rhode Island — collapsed between January and March 2002, far sooner than scientists had predicted. Meanwhile, a series of studies released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the Earth continuing to warm at an alarming rate. According to NOAA scientists, 2012 was the warmest year since global instrumental temperature records began over 130 years ago."

You know the obvious conclusion here, don't you? The AGW Conspiracy started clear back in 1978!!! :lol:
 

Catawba

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You know the obvious conclusion here, don't you? The AGW Conspiracy started clear back in 1978!!! :lol:


Some must believe the AGW "conspiracy" goes back much further:

"The existence of the greenhouse effect was argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824. The argument and the evidence was further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838, and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859, and more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect#cite_note-anrev-12
 

MoSurveyor

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Some must believe the AGW "conspiracy" goes back much further:

"The existence of the greenhouse effect was argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824. The argument and the evidence was further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838, and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859, and more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect#cite_note-anrev-12
LOL! Yeah - but it's hard to argue against undoctored pictures over a 35 year span. On the other hand, there are still people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked. You just can't fix stupid.
 

Catawba

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LOL! Yeah - but it's hard to argue against undoctored pictures over a 35 year span. On the other hand, there are still people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked. You just can't fix stupid.


LOL! No, you sure can't! But I'm sure the deniers will claim the pictures were photoshopped, or the Peruvian Andes is actually a Hollywood set, or some such ****. :cool:
 
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