Monday, 23 November 2015

Abrupt climate change Down-Under

I keep a reaonsable eye on the media (although not so much on the useless NZ media) I am left wondering why it took me 3 days to learn of this from the British media.

No one seems to think twice about this event if the person who photographed it links it with climate change.

Makes me remember when there was a huge iceberg that had calved off Antarctica a few years ago. That was treated as a huge bit of fun and people were taking tours out to see it.

But then I am perplexed generally at human beings and their infinite capacity for deflection and denial.
Force of nature: Breathtaking footage captures the moment an enormous glacier collapses sending an avalanche of ice and rock down a mountain

  • Ryan Taylor was in Mount Cook National Park when rocks began to tumble
  • After 30 seconds of falling, a massive block of ice dislodges and breaks up
  • Chunks of rock, snow and ice thunder down mountain and flow like a river

Rocks below the ice began to break free and small pieces tumbled down the mountain for around 30 seconds
Rocks below the ice began to break free and small pieces tumbled down the mountain for around 30 seconds


20 November, 2015


This is the breathtaking moment an enormous glacier collapsed just inches from a skier to send thousands of tonnes of rock, snow and ice thundering down a mountain.

Ryan Taylor, 22, who was seconds away from skiing down the slope in Mount Cook National Park in New Zealand, watched as rocks beneath the ice began to break free and fall.


The amateur adventure photographer filmed 30 seconds of tumbling rubble before one large block of ice dislodged, smashing into a thousand pieces and plummeting down the mountain.

The video shows more chunks of ice cascading to the bottom as Ryan watches in amazement at the incredible natural spectacle taking place in front of him.
Later in the clip Ryan points the camera at the thousands of tonnes of rock and ice flowing down the steep decline like a raging river


As he is filming, Ryan can be heard saying: 'I don't know if I want to go down there anymore. It is huge, it is just flying. It is like a liquid.

'The snow line is now lowering so I guess we can ski further down.' Adding: 'It is still flowing down there, crazy. The mountainside is going to collapse.'

A large block of ice dislodges, smashes into a thousand pieces and plummets down the mountain
A large block of ice dislodges, smashes into a thousand pieces and plummets down the mountain

Ryan captured the footage of the incredible glacier collapse, which is known as a serac fall, from the Whymper Saddle pass in Mount Cook National Park on November 9.

The amateur photographer from Christchurch, New Zealand, said: 'After weaving through crevasses and ice fall we were glad to relax on the high ground of Whymper Saddle.

'Our map suggested good skiing terrain below us. Looking down into the valley it was obvious our intended ski line was threatened by a few dangers.

'The large mass of loose rock and ice was a big concern along with the rapidly warming temperatures increasing the risk of avalanches.

'While we were talking the amount of rock fall began to steadily increase.
'It looked as if something was going to happen so I started filming. The collapse was quite loud sounding similar to the ocean crashing on a rocky coastline.

'Rock and ice mixed into a massive slurry that gouged its way down the mountain at impressive speed.

'The avalanche slowed down, spread out, adding its mass to the glacier below. It was cool to see up close and was a spectacular natural process.' 

More chunks of ice are sent cascading down the mountain as Ryan watches the spectacle in amazement
More chunks of ice are sent cascading down the mountain as Ryan watches the spectacle in amazement

Ryan, who has worked as a ski patroller and has previously studied avalanches, later noted that glacier collapses like this happen several times a day due to climate change.

He said: 'It is evident climate change is causing glaciers to recede at an unprecedented rate.

'I assume with increasing average temperatures we are seeing more melting and consequently an increasing ratio of rainfall to snowfall in the accumulation areas of glaciers.

'For those who don't care about the glaciers disappearing it has potential to effect economies through loss of tourism and means less water available for irrigation.'

The thousands of tonnes of rock and ice flowing down the steep decline of the mountain look like a raging river
The thousands of tonnes of rock and ice flowing down the steep decline of the mountain look like a raging river


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