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Glacier Bay National Park. Two and a half centuries ago, the entire area was covered by thick sheets of ice.
High snowfall and cold weather to blame.

A bitterly cold Alaskan summer has had surprising results. For the first time in the area's recorded history, area glaciers have begun to expand, rather than shrink. Summer temperatures, which were some 3 degrees below average, allowed record levels of winter snow to remain much longer, leading to the increase in glacial mass.

"In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound", said glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years".

"On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface [in] late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying [did] not become snow free until early August."

Molnia, who works for the US Geological Survey, said it's been a "long time" since area glaciers have seen a positive mass balance -- an increase in the total amount of ice they contain.

Since 1946, the USGS has maintained a research project measuring the state of Alaskan glaciers. This year saw records broken for most snow buildup. It was also the first time since any records began being that the glaciers did not shrink during the summer months.

Those records date from the mid 1700s, when the region was first visited by Russian explorers.  Molnia estimates that Alaskan glaciers have lost about 15% of their total area since that time -- an area the size of Connecticut.

One of the largest areas of shrinkage has been at the national park of Glacier Bay. When Alexei Ilich Chirikof first arrived in 1741, the bay didn't exist at all -- only a solid wall of ice. From that time until the early 1900s, the ice retreated some 50 miles, to form the bay and surrounding area.

Accordingly to Molnia, a difference of just 3 or 4 degrees is enough to shift the mass balance of glaciers from rapid shrinkage to rapid growth. From the 1600s to the 1900s, that’s just the amount of warming that was seen, as the planet exited the Little Ice Age.

Molnia says one cold summer doesn't mean the start of a new climatic trend. At least years like this, however, might mark the beginning of another Little Ice Age.

As DailyTech reported earlier, Arctic sea ice this year has also increased substantially from its low in 2007.

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RE: Son of a...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 10/17/2008 11:10:36 AM , Rating: 5
"The argument that liberals are socialist is funny when we want to cut government spending by leaving Iraq to the Iraqis"
What's funny is reading peoples thoughts on government who have never really studied the subject.... Never has the Socialist Democratic party ever want to cut spending - never. They want to pull out of the war because it was popular with the media. They would not give you money back nor would they lower your taxes. They want to spend that money on their pet projects and raise your taxes. Read Obama's tax plan on his web page.... NO YOU DO NOT KNOW HIS TAX PROGRAM. What he is going to do, what he say on TV are 2 100% different plans...Do not argue with me on this, go to his page and read it. Remember Congress really controls the economic state of the country (not the President – he just reports it to the people). During the Clinton years when a budget was actually met guess what. It was the first Republican control Congress since the 1930's. Because the Republican could not make thing perfect in 6 years (after 60 plus years of Democrats in control) the people voted more Democrats into office and not the economy is going into the tank once again, go figure. If you want to see change then change the way you vote and stop voting the same people back into the office. For those missing the point, this would mean for many people voting republican for the first time in their life (that would be a change). Democrats have been the socialist non-workers party for decades. Now they are pushing to be Communist. The more government has control of things the more we become communist. The democrats want the government to control everything... Insurance, all school, racial quotes to jobs and neighborhoods, how much TV I can watch… When you really start to listen to the speeches and not the bias news sources, it is very, very scary to what they are saying.
Just FYI of course neither party is perfect…. Just need to see who is going to do the least amount of damage to your personal pocket book.

RE: Son of a...
By eyebeeemmpawn on 10/24/2008 12:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
They want to pull out of the war because it was popular with the media.

hmm...and here I thought it was because the occupation of Iraq was never justified...Don't believe me? How about a Senate investigation that was led by a Republican?

They did a great job of burying this story, releasing it on a Friday. It got a 10 second mention of NBC by Brian Williams and the Daily show did a whole segment on it. Where is this liberal media you speak of? Oh right, they didn't want to take side in an election year, right.

I think its hilarious that you go on to blame our issues on Congress. Give me a break. You then go on to claim credit for the Republican Congress for Clinton's financial responsibility. Either you make over $250,000 a year, have a brain and you're just a liar, or you're a brainwashed-republican-serf/drone who thinks that abortion is bad and Mccain would actually do something about it. What we have in our great nation is socialism for the rich and cut-throat capitalism for everyone else. Where else in the world can your entire financial world be destroyed if you get seriously sick?

Check out who's going to be looking out for your personal pocketbook...
find your own if you don't trust my quick google results.

You scumbag terrorist rich people (sarc) shouldn't be so afraid to pay your share of taxes to protect our great nation. The Revenue Act of 1945 reduced individual income tax rates 3 percentage points and 5% (top rate fell from 94% to 86.45%). It could be a lot worse for you poor little rich folks.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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