It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Mountains face meltdown

page: 1

log in


posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 09:21 AM
I found this article in the New Scientist and it would appear that not only are the birds and the fish acting weirdly, even the mountains are melting down. Is this all an indication that we are in for a huge change on Earth, is this change really as rapid as it appears or do we still have 100s of thousands of years before anything drastic will happen? I have posted this article in complete as it is not available to anybody but subscribers online. I apologise if its long.

Mountains face meltdown

New Scientist vol 183 issue 2457 - 24 July 2004, page 6

"If the ice that glues rocks together is thawing, rock faces will disintegrate

ROCK faces on high mountains could start crumbling at alarming rates if summers get hotter as global climate models predict. Higher temperatures could destabilise rocks by thawing the permafrost beneath them.

In Europe, concern about disintegrating rock faces was heightened last year when at least 50 people died in the Alps as a result of falling rock. Many mountain paths, including classic routes on Mont Blanc, were closed because of the danger of rockfalls, and nearly 100 climbers had to be rescued from the normal route on the Matterhorn when part of the ridge collapsed.

"Our model suggests that higher summer temperatures will heat some rock faces to such an extent that the permafrost, which glues the cracks and joints together, will melt and decrease the stability of the rock face," says Gruber. The high temperatures of 2003 would have been enough to do this (Geophysical Research Letters, vol 31, pL13504).

In the past month, at least four massive rock formations have come crashing down in the Italian Dolomites. Local scientists have argued that natural thermo-elastic erosion is largely to blame. This happens when daytime temperatures melt the snow and ice, which then seeps into cracks in the rock, expanding and dislodging the rocks when it freezes at night. But given the size of the rockfalls, including nearly 1000 cubic metres in one case, Gruber argues that it is an unlikely explanation. The rocks must have cracked several metres below the surface. "Day-night cycles don't reach [down] that far," he says. "But it could well be connected to last year's extreme summer."

A quarter of Earth's land surface is permanently frozen, with some of this permafrost in mountain ranges. If global mean temperatures rise by as much as 1.3 C over the next 20 years, as predicted, "mountain ranges from the Himalayas to the Andes will all be affected if permafrost starts to thaw," says Lorenz King, a geographer at the University of Giessen, Germany.The article was edited. If anybody would like to have more details on this please U2U me

[edit on 30-7-2004 by Mynaeris]


posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 09:28 AM
Post a link with a small quote instead of pasting the whole article.

posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 09:52 AM
Thanks for sharing the article Mynaeris,

Its well worth noticing that the birds and fish life have been acting strange to as mentioned in Myn's other thread if you havent seen it.

and now mountains melting down.

my own thought was that the pole change could be affecting the birds but i cant see how that would melt mountains? sounds global warming in this case.

all this does sound pretty rapid now. the earth is supposed to be speeding up though i think.

i thought the pole change is supposed to be in 2012 too so possibly its sooner than later?



posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 02:06 PM

Originally posted by rynaldo82
the earth is supposed to be speeding up though i think.

Well, weather is non-linear system so even small change in start values can lead to dramatic differenre.

And freezed water can really keep things together very tightly, I can assure that!

posted on Jul, 30 2004 @ 02:29 PM
This problem is well known in my area as well however, its not the permafrost that causes it. Geologically, its called Jacking and it happens when water seeps into joints between rock layers and freezes which pushes it farther apart. Upon melting, it can then seep lower, thus freezing again and pushing a little bit farther until it causes a rockfall. I spent about 2 years traveling my state locating and rating our worst rockfall areas for mitigation and this is the cause in at least 50% of the cases with differential errosion of soft layers being the other.


log in