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Another Wild Alarmist Prediction Bites The Dust

December 24, 2012
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By Paul Homewood



Well known glaciologist and uber warmist, Lonnie Thompson, likes to keep reminding us how quickly the glaciers are disappearing.

One of his favourite locations is the Quelccaya Ice Cap, in the Peruvian Andes. On a visit there in 2007, he expressed concernsthat the entire Qori Kalis glacier (one of the main glaciers on the icecap) may likely be gone within the next five years, providing possibly the clearest evidence so far of global climate change. “

Below is the photo taken of the glacier at the time in 2007.



And now the same glacier in July 2012.






See much difference? Good, neither can I.

Only in climatology would “scientists” be allowed to get away with junk like this. And yet, the media still continue to lap up every little catastrophic forecast they make, without for one minute standing back and asking how their last lot of predictions turned out.


Warmer Holocene

In the same article for Science Daily, Thompson mentions that, as the glacier has receded, it has uncovered remains of plants that have been carbon dated to 5000 years BP. Lonnie readily acknowledges that temperatures then must have been warmer than now. He has also found more than 50 additional sites where the same evidence has been found, and most date to around the 5000 year mark.

This, of course, should come as no surprise. HH Lamb, in his “Climate: Past, Present and Future” confirms that tree line studies have shown temperatures in the Andes were 2C higher than now about 5000BC.

And studies by the Missouri Botanical Garden of the Paramo Ecosystem in the Andes, (the landscape unit  of the high altitude above continuous forest line and below the perpetual snow line), show similar results. They found that:-

During the period from 7500 yr BP to ca. 3000 yr BP temperatures rose about 2°C more, causing another upward shift in the forest line of about 300-400 m higher than today, and thereby reducing the area occupied by páramo.  Finally, at about 2900 yr BP, there was a noticeable lowering of the temperature that marked the last downward movement of the forest and páramo belts to their present-day positions.

Why is this of any importance? There is abundant evidence, from much of the Northern Hemisphere, that the climate was warmer than now during most of the Holocene, and that the last 3000 years or so has seen a “neoglaciation”, when glaciers began to advance again. Most evidence suggests that temperatures dropped to their lowest levels, since the end of the ice age, during the 19thC, and that glaciers also reached their maximums.

(For more on the Holocene, check here.)

This is, of course, problematic for some scientists, who try to argue that Southern Hemisphere temperatures were lower during the Holocene.

Thompson, while accepting that temperatures were higher 5000 years ago, worries that “about 5,000 years ago, we had perhaps 300 million people living on the planet. Now there are more than 6.5 billion covering the globe. If you change the climate for many of these people, where will they go? There are fewer options today than there were back then.”  Perhaps he might care to consider that it was the warming of the climate at that time which led to the blooming of human civilisation.



Medieval Warming Period & Little Ice Age

In any event, how unusual is the melting of glaciers, when placed in a historical context? There are many studies which confirm the existence of a MWP in South America, despite what the dwindling band of Mannists will tell you. There is an excellent summary of them at CO2 Science. I will draw your attention to just one of these,”Tropical glacier and ice core evidence of climate change on annual to millennial time scales”. written in 2003 by …………………..Lonnie Thompson.

The study used ice core records and found that:-

For the Quelccaya Ice Cap (13.93°S, 70.83°W), this work revealed that peak temperatures of the MWP were warmer than those of the last few decades of the 20th century.




Thompson kindly also offers up another paper, “The Little Ice Age as Recorded in the Stratigraphy of the Tropical Quelccaya Ice Cap” which finds that:-

The analyses of two ice cores from a southern tropical ice cap provide a record of climatic conditions over 1000 years for a region where other proxy records are nearly absent. Annual variations in visible dust layers, oxygen isotopes, microparticle concentrations, conductivity, and identification of the historical (A.D. 1600) Huaynaputina ash permit accurate dating and time-scale verification. The fact that the Little Ice Age (about A.D. 1500 to 1900) stands out as a significant climatic event in the oxygen isotope and electrical conductivity records confirms the worldwide character of this event.


Another paper, “Historical records of Cipreses glacier (34°S): combining documentary-inferred ‘Little Ice Age’ evidence from Southern and Central Chile “, by Araneda et al, comes to similar conclusions in Chile. They find that :-

These data allow us to infer that the last maximum advance of Cipreses glacier attributable to the ‘Little Ice Age’ occurred around AD 1842. The first historical retreat was recorded in 1858 and, since then, the glacier has shown a clear retreating trend with no new advances. All this information was compared with the historical data gathered for San Rafael glacier, which shows the occurrence of a cold period contemporary with the European LIA.


Significantly, Thompson’s paper was written as far back as 1986, before climate science became corrupted by the billions of research funding thrown at it.


So, as far as Peru is concerned, we have:-

  • A warmer Holocene
  • A MWP as warm or warmer than now.
  • A decline in temperatures to the 19thC, followed by a steady recovery.


Perhaps Lonnie should go back to doing real science again.

  1. December 24, 2012 10:48 pm

    When I look closely at the photos taken in 2007 and 2012 I cannot discern any significant change in the glacier position – ie no significant advance or retreat. I have seen references to the glacier retreating by about 200 metres per year in recent years, but this doesn’t seem to be true. Surely there are some accurate ground measurements of any retreat or advance, but I cannot find any.

  2. March 17, 2013 7:52 pm

    I’ve added a link and note about this at , a page on the “Glacial Retreat of 5,000-7,000 Years Ago”. Thanks!

  3. miked1947 permalink
    March 18, 2013 12:42 am

    This is a good find to use against Thompson and the rest of the Chicken Little Brigade. It was bringing up things like plants found under ice that got me kicked off a number of web sites. A warming world will allow more room for human expansion.

  4. agfosterjr permalink
    August 25, 2013 10:02 pm

    At Exit Glacier in Alaska:

    Click to access The%20Retreat%20of%20Exit%20Glacier.pdf

    “The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a time
    of global cooling from approximately 1350
    to 1870 AD. During this time glaciers
    expanded in the northern regions, moving
    down the mountains and scouring the
    vegetation that had been in the valleys
    below. Park Service personnel recently
    discovered evidence of a buried forest
    dating back to at least 1170 AD high in the
    Forelands near the current glacier’s edge.
    Exit Glacier advanced from the Harding
    Icefield during the Little Ice Age, burying
    this existing forest and advancing to a
    maximum marked by the terminal moraine
    dated to 1815.”

    And at Jorge Montt Glacier in Patagonia:

    “This retreat has revealed trees laying subglacially until 2003. These trees were
    dated using radiocarbon, yielding burial ages between 460
    and 250 cal yrs BP. The presence of old growth forest during
    those dates indicates that Glaciar Jorge Montt was upvalley
    of its present position before the commonly recognized Lit-
    tle Ice Age (LIA) period in Patagonia.”

    Click to access cp-8-403-2012.pdf

    –A little qualitative anecdote to supplement your blog.


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