Thursday, 15 October 2009

Climate change impact on glaciers

Blog Action Day   Climate change impact on glaciers

About 7.500 people participate today in Blog Action Day and Blog about climate change

Last week on our visit to Hokitika we drove along the West Coast to see the glaciers. Frans Josef is 23 m long glacier and Fox glacier is a 20km long glacier on the West Coast of New Zealands South Island. Ice is pushed down from the Southern Alps to the coast. The ice melts down just above sealevel amidst temparate rainforest and the glaciers terminal is very near the coastline.

Fox glacier

The retreat of glaciers is a big sign of global warming. Many are retreating rapidly and may vanish  in decades. The retreat started within the last 200 years and scientists say this is due to human activity which increased the amount of carbon dioxide and other green house gases into the atmosphere.

Franz Josef Glacier

Waterfall along the riverbed

We had a one and a half hour return walk over the wide river bed with its polished stones towards the mouth of the glacier. At the terminal the ice melts and the meltwater forms a river.

Frans Josef and Fox glacier are very sensitive to climate change. Frans Josef began a rapid retreat in the 1930's. Both glaciers have since retreated but Frans Josef advanced in 1982. This was however due to short time climate cycles such as El nino and therefore only a temporary change. El Nino causes lower temperatures in the Southern Alps which results in greater snowfall.

Brain Anderson of Victoria University predicts that within the next century Frans Josef will shrink about 4 km. This will of course change the sealevel.

The effects of climate change are numerous and wide ranging such as increasing storms and flooding. Therefore help to fight climate change. Please Sign On.

Here another great post on climate change and what you can do. Even the prime Minister Gordon Brown of the UK wrote for Blog Action Day. The number of participants haven gone up to 10.000 So thumbs up

The latest news is that test results from a polar research team have shown that the ice is so thin that the artic cap is going to dissappear in 20 to 30 years

Take care, also about the world, Aroha Marja


  1. Great to see some photos of the glacies and the West Coast.

  2. Great photos of the glaciers, sadly the global warming is reducing them and also the ice flow in both Arctics. it is certainly a concern for the future of the world, it will have a big impact on life for the future generations.

  3. Thanks sixstars

    Glennis yes I know I heard this morning on the radio that the icecap is much thinner than expected and a huge piece of the Antartic will dissappear within 20 to 30 years Things are going to change big time

  4. I 've got a lot of photos of Franz Josef and Fox glaciers. We made a tour in a helicopter and landed on Franz Josef in the snow,. which the children loved as they don't see snow where they live. How awful that all those glaciers in the world are rapidly melting. I saw in Norway too.

  5. Great photos and post! running slightly late but I have my blog action post up now.

    Speaking strictly about Americans it especially disheartening to see recent polls suggesting that the many more of us question whether climate change is man made or some natural occurrence that we can't change. Overlooking whether climate change is natural or man made for the moment the impact of climate change on those in the developing world will strain and threaten us all. Of course, that is overlooked with many of my fellow Americans wanting to keep their heads in the sand ignoring the situation.

  6. WOW! Those are amazing pictures. I made my husband come and see. Thank you for this informative post.

  7. Such interesting pictures of the glaciers!
    Thank you for alerting us to this personally.
    I would love to see one...
    while they last.
    Sorry I have been out of touch.
    All best wishes from New York

  8. Hi Marg

    Great pictures and most informative. Yes, global warming must be everybody's concern; it has dire effects on each country in unique ways yet requiring all nations and all people to do their part to slow down this problem of global warming. For over thirty-three years I have done away with gas water heaters for my homes; replaced such with solar water heating technology but still working on others ways within my scope since fighting global warming is an ongoing process.

  9. Wonderful pictures, thanks for sharing.

    Nature does go in cycles, some that we don't fully grasp I believe.

  10. Oh Wil what a great experience. That's on my wish list to go with a helicopter over the glaciers Seems awesome.

  11. BB I think that is a western world problem to deny the cause of climate change because otherwise it would be a threat to industry and capitalism

  12. muchtoponder the west coast is very beautiful the glaciers are indeed amazing

    Elizabeth yes you might have to be quicker than you think

  13. Paterika so good to see you Have missed you. Yes great you do that and we all should be responsible. Hope all is well

  14. Dear Mark Climate change is indeed normal but in the last decades it has been hotter than ever before and the rising is faster than ever before.
    The scientists finding that excess carbon dioxide contributes directly to global warming is based on sound research and facts. I have a book from 1992 in which everything is explained into detail. They know this already for a very long time


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