Breiðamerkurjökull: The Glacier that must not be named.

I came across a random Wiki article about the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in Iceland.  I found it rather interesting, but then I also realized that the next Harry Potter movie is coming out this week.  An article on this glacier is a perfect tribute.  While few people worry about saying the name Voldemort, I dare someone to try to say this name in public.  So here is my tribute article to things that must not be said.


The glacier that must not be named is located in Iceland and it is a beauty.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

Breiðamerkurjökul courtesy of Google Maps

Breidamerkurjoekull: Andreas Tille, Wiki Commons

As everyone knows, Wiki is good to find interesting things, but often times there are inaccuracies.  So generally I end up reading all the sources.  The one interesting source for this one is a book titled: Geography: An Integrated Approach, by David Waugh.

The glacier has been monitored extensively over time.  The average rates of retreat are well known up until about 1998 according to the book.  The table is interesting, but when the data is graphed by time, here is what it shows.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

Breiðamerkurjökull: Retreat of the 4 zones

For all 3 of the 4 zones, the period from 1980-1998 was the one with the lowest rate of retreat, and the west was low from 1965 onwards.  The period from 1945-1965 had double the rate of retreat that the most recent period did.  Do I know what has been happening since 1998, that I do not know.  I was able to find some references as how this particular glaciers retreat is so drastic that it is proof of Anthropogenic Global Warming, but nothing specific about the rate of loss since 1998.  I agree that it has likely increased again as the AMO has been warm since 1995.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

(Blue) Average Rate of Retreat, (Red) Globalt Temperature Anomaly, blended.

Even if the rate of retreat doubled, it would still be less than the same rate of retreat that existed from 1945-1965.  The rate from 1903-1945 is still greater than what has happening in the 1990’s.  It is folly to state that CO2 is the cause of this glacier’s retreat.  This is but one more piece in the puzzle that shows how much natural variation there is in the Earth’s climate.  Statement of cause for things like this is not scientifically valid.

Perhaps that is why this is the glacier that cannot be named.

Posted in Fear and Misinformation by inconvenientskeptic on November 18th, 2010 at 3:45 pm.

1 comment

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  1. Victoria Nov 18th 2010

    I love it. Thank you for this. I needed some new trivia in my day and the Harry Potter plug is priceless!

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