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Author Topic: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions  (Read 16204 times)

J Cartmill

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North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« on: August 22, 2015, 01:52:13 PM »


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 11:38:29 PM »
The linked article indicates that the glaciers in the North Cascades, Washington, are experiencing abrupt mass loss this year:

Extract: "Glaciers across the North Cascades could lose 5 to 10 percent of their volume this year, accelerating decades of steady decline. One scientist estimates the region’s glaciers are smaller than they have been in at least 4,000 years.
In more than three decades of field work, Mauri Pelto has taken the measure of Washington’s glaciers during seasons of record-breaking snow and years that broke skiers’ hearts. But he’s never seen anything like this summer.
“The best word for it is disastrous,” said Pelto, who recently wrapped up his annual survey in the North Cascades."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 06:22:45 AM »
On the topic of the Cascades...

Timberline Lodge is a ski resort located on Mt Hood here in Oregon - apparently one of the few in the US that offer Summer skiing. I was utterly flabbergasted and floored to learn that due to the poor condition of the snow pack, they decided they would not be dumping some 500 tons of salt on the Palmer Glacier to "condition" it for summer skiing in 2015.

In the sense that, apparently, they have been doing this for the last 30 years...

Complete. Shock. I had no idea. And I bet almost nobody did/does.

It is utterly mind blowing and unacceptable that a private company, LEASING our public land in a cushy long standing arrangement with the Forest Service, can degrade our natural resources like this. In the midst of what amounts to a global glacier crisis, no less.

Our environmental regulators are locked in a catch-22. They have to be able to detect the pollution downriver, to be able to stop it. Of course, by that time the damage is already done..

I heard that India is putting blankets on some of their glaciers, to try and protect them. The US? Salt.

It's the American way.... :'(


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 01:24:24 AM »
The Europeans are blanketing some of their glaciers to reduce melt as well. Although I'm an American, and a skier, I am totally blown away by the fact that they would dump salt on a glacier to condition it for skiing.


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2016, 08:08:47 AM »
It angers and shocks me every time I think about it. It's just completely unbelievable....... And it's happening in Oregon, no less. I fear that this is just the tip of the proverbial ice berg as far as environmental atrocities go. They're just not being stopped fast enough, nobody cares or is even aware. Ugh. It just gives you that sinking "We are so, so screwed" feeling....


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2019, 07:19:29 PM »
Massive Boulders, Floodwater Rush Down Mount Rainier After Glacial Outburst

A glacial outburst at about 6:50 p.m. Monday at the Mount Rainier’s South Tahoma Glacier sent debris and boulders as big as pickup trucks flowing down the mountain, said Mount Rainier National Park geologist Scott Beason.

The debris flow registered on seismic monitors and ran for more than 8 miles, Beason said.

Beason suspects warm, sunny weather filled the glacier with melt, rearranged the “internal plumbing” at the glacier’s base, caused water to blast a new channel through the glacier, and then flooded glacial melt into Tahoma Creek.

A glacial blowout on Mount Rainier sent debris as big as a pickup truck flowing for miles.

“The event lasted an hour and had four separate surges,” Beason said of the outburst flooding. “The outlet channel definitely shifted. It picked up a lot of loose material just below the glacier and carried it downstream and mobilized it into a debris flow.”

As the world warms and Mount Rainier’s glaciers thin and retreat over time, these massive debris flows have become a common occurrence on the mountain’s south side. The park is building systems to forecast massive debris flows and send alerts to park staff when they’re triggered, Beason said.

A view of a cavern in the terminus of the South Tahoma Glacier, from where floodwaters burst, carrying debris miles down.

The park has recorded some 32 debris flows along Tahoma Creek. The South Tahoma Glacier that feeds the creek began to retreat in the 1960s, Beason said.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2019, 10:19:44 PM »
Wow ! Impressive pictures


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2019, 10:45:37 PM »
Is that area of the terminus of the South Tahoma Glacier high enough in altitude / cold enough to be in the permafrost zone? If so, a thawing could IMO support sudden outbursts of mud and water.
It is too late just to be concerned about Climate Change


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2019, 10:55:12 PM »
Scary! Hopefully no one was hurt -- that's a popular place to hike.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2019, 11:01:38 PM by petm »


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2019, 10:16:25 PM »
Annual Assessment of North Cascades Glaciers Finds ‘Shocking Loss’ of Volume
Here we review preliminary results from each glacier. Each glacier will have a mass balance loss of  1.5 -2.25 m, which drives continued retreat.  Columbia and Rainbow Glacier are reference glaciers for the World Glacier Monitoring Service, with Easton Glacier joining the ranks later this year.

Below and above is the visual summary. Specific mass balance and retreat data will be published here and with WGMS after October 1.


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Re: North Cascade glaciers Disastrous conditions
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2022, 09:20:03 AM »
Half the glaciers on these WA mountains have melted — the rest are next, study finds

Study (OA):

Glaciers of the Olympic Mountains, Washington—The Past and Future 100 Years

Plain Language Summary
The Olympic Mountains in Washington State contain 255 glaciers and perennial snowfields as of 2015. Their total area is 25.34 ± 0.27 km2, about half of the ice-covered area in 1900. Since 1980, yearly glacier area loss averaged −0.59 km2 yr−1 and 35 glaciers and 16 perennial snowfields have disappeared. Warming winter temperatures are particularly important to the glacier shrinkage. Because the Olympic Mountains are close to the Pacific Ocean winters are mild and air temperatures are close to freezing. Warming winters causes more precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow, which does not nourish the glaciers. With warmer summers causing more ice melt and warmer winters causing less snowfall, the glaciers are being hammered in both seasons. Local air temperatures, and therefore the glaciers, are strongly affected by surface temperature of the nearby ocean. The future of these glaciers is dire, modeling using climate projections suggests that the glaciers will largely disappear by 2070.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.