Famous Glacier Rapidly EXPANDING

By: By Alexandre Aguiar / MetSul Weather Center (Brazil) (from icecap.us)
By: By Alexandre Aguiar / MetSul Weather Center (Brazil) (from icecap.us)

It was news worldwide last July. “A huge ice dam on Argentina’s Perito Moreno glacier broke apart for the first time during the southern hemisphere winter”. The news got great attention and all-news cable TV stations in Argentina transmitted the event live. At that time we published here at ICECAP the opinions of local experts dismissing the global warming connection. For example, Victor Jorge Leis, operational director of the National Weather Service of Argentina, expressed doubt last July about global warming as the cause of the last rupture of the glacier. "It is too difficult to establish a connection with the greenhouse effect because temperature has not been much above normal in the region in the last few months. Besides, temperature is just one factor in the ice behavior and wind and oceans tide should not be ignored", he told. Also, Ricardo Villalba, director of the Argentinean Institute of Glaciology, Snow and Enviromental Sciences (Ianigla) told the Los Andes newspaper at the time that the position of the ice and the tides could be blamed for the unusual breakup in the winter.

Well, six months have passed since the unusual breakup of the Perito Moreno and this morning I was surprised to read a Reuters news agency report that the glacier is expanding, The Perito Moreno ice field, known as “The White Giant”, is gaining as much as 3 meters (10 feet) a day in some parts, pushed forward by heavy snowfalls in the Patagonia region. “Glaciers don’t respond solely to temperature changes,” said Martin Stuefer, a Patagonian expert from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He said the area’s heavy precipitation has apparently increased along with the world’s recent climatic shifts, combining with strong, cold Patagonian winds to reinforce the glacier. The creaking Perito Moreno is one of the largest glaciers in South America and by far the most famous because it is so accessible to tourists. There are limits to the Perito Moreno's aggressive advance, however. It periodically reaches as far forward as it can toward the Magallanes Peninsula and then sheds a large section of its front in a spectacular phenomena known as “la ruptura” or the rupture. That what happened last July and despite massive media reporting, it was not caused by global warming. It took only six months to the alarmist theory regarding Perito Moreno to fail, or if you prefer, to be frozen.

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