Mt. Rainer's glaciers

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Old Rocks, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Mt. Rainier's melting glaciers create hazard - Los Angeles Times

    As receding glaciers expose crumbly slopes, vast amounts of gravel and sediment are being sluiced into the rivers that flow from the region's tallest peak. Much of the material sweeps down in rain-driven slurries.

    "The rivers are filling up with stuff," Kennard said from his vantage point atop the pile. He pointed out ancient stands of fir and cedar now standing in water.

    Inside Mt. Rainier National Park, gravel-choked rivers threaten to spill across roads, overtake bridges and flood the historic park complex at Longmire.

    Downstream, communities in King and Pierce counties cast a wary eye at the volcano. As glaciers continue to pull back, the result could be increased flood danger across the Puget Sound lowlands for decades.

    "There is significant evidence that things are changing dramatically at Mt. Rainier," environmental consultant Tim Abbe said. "We need to start planning for it now."

    Similar dynamics are playing out at all of the region's major glaciated peaks, according to research hydrologist Gordon Grant of the U.S. Forest Service. Climate experts blame global warming, triggered by emissions from industries and cars, for much of the ongoing retreat of glaciers worldwide. North Cascades National Park has lost half of its ice area in the last century. Mt. Rainier's glaciers have shrunk by more than a quarter.

    "Every year it's been either bad or really bad," Kennard said. "This year it was really, really bad."
     
  2. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Where you can access some of the current research on glaciers in the American West;

    Glaciers Online
     
  3. sherp
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    sherp Member

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    Right!! Can't wait to see Mann and the Hockey Team holding the silt and water back by hand. Its Mother Nature and neither they or we can do much about it but watch in awe. It is what it is. Glaciers grow and receede and such is the way of the earth for 4 plus Billion years and with any luck will be for the next 4plus Billion years. Sorry we will miss it.
     
  4. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Small problem there, Sherp. The present increase in GHGs and speed of increase in global temperatures and ice melt is matched in geological history only by periods that led to mass extinctions.

    Here is where you can view a lecture from the December, 2009 American Geophysical Union convention on the role of CO2 and climate in geological history;

    A23A
     
  5. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    It is all that outdoor cigarette smoking that is melting the glaciers.
     

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