By Robert Felix
This is not as far-fetched as you may think. In fact, if history is any guide it is inevitable. Not only inevitable, the process may have already begun.California’s Squaw Valley ski resort, just west of Lake Tahoe, has been buried beneath more than 58 feet of snowfall this season. That’s enough snow to completely cover a five-story building.With such copious amounts of snow, Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth announced last week that some ski trails may stay open all summer and into next season.In other words, the snow may not entirely melt this summer. [My Emphasis]
I don’t know if Mr. Wirth fully understood the import of his words, but readers of this website ( iceagenow.info ) certainly do.
“Isn’t this how glaciers are formed?” asked one reader.
“Snow in one year still existing the following year?” “Golly! Wouldn’t that start a glacier?” asked another.
“Ski all Summer thru Fall? That’s called a glacier,” exclaimed yet another reader.
“Glaciation of the Sierras.”Those readers are correct. That is indeed how glaciers form.That is also how ice ages begin – not because some huge ice sheet starts grinding southward (or northward if coming from the bottom of the globe), but because the more the snow accumulates, the less chance it has to melt.And even though it may take years to create a full-fledged glacier, when the previous season’s snowfall doesn’t entirely melt away, the glaciation process has begun.
Once the snow reaches about 100 feet (30 meters) deep, the bottom layers begin compressing into ice. If the snow keeps piling on, year after year after year, well, you get the picture.This doesn’t necessarily mean that temperatures plummet, mind you, just that more and more precipitation falls in the winter as snow.The idea that Tahoe glacier might make a comeback should not surprise Californians. Indeed, they should expect it.
During the Quaternary Period (the last 2.6 million years) the Sierra Nevada mountains experienced more than 60 – You read that right, more than 60! – periods of glacial expansion interrupted by briefer periods of warmth. We are enjoying such a period of warmth right now.From Yosemite Park north, these glacial episodes were typified by large, thick, upland ice fields. The ice fields completely covered the mountains except for a few nunataks; jagged peaks poking up through the ice like lonely glacial islands.
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Remember a few years ago, the local left had declared in the future children would soon not be abe to experience the pleasure of snowflakes on their noses Now they may get to see a glacier reborn.