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Polar Regions and Glaciers
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27 Articles

Industrial Soot Linked to the Abrupt Retreat of 19th Century Glaciers

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A NASA-led team of scientists has uncovered strong evidence that soot from a rapidly industrializing Europe caused the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the European Alps that began in the 1860s, a period often thought of as the end of the Little Ice Age. Black carbon is the strongest sunlight-absorbing atmospheric particle. When these particles settle on the snow blanketing glaciers, they darken the snow surface, speeding its melting and exposing the underlying glacier ice to sunlight and warmer spring and summer air earlier in the year.

The Melting North? No Increase in the Greenhouse Effect

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The Economist magazine article "The Melting North" claimed that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are causing Arctic warming. We show that the greenhouse effect has not increased in the Arctic since 1979, so CO2 emissions cannot be the cause of the warming.

Greenland Glaciers to have Tiny Impact on Sea Level Rise

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The flow rates from nearly 200 glaciers across Greenland were analyzed by satellite radar data for the decade 2000 to 2010. The paper shows that fast-flowing glaciers sped up by about 30% over the decade. A previous study by Pfeffer et al projected that a 100% increase in flow during the decade would lead to a sea level rise of 9.3 cm by 2100, but could cause up to 47 cm rise by 2100. The new data implies that sea level rise from Greenland's glacier will be only 6 cm by 2100. (9.3 cm x 1.3/2)

Global warming and Glacier Melt-Down Debate

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FoS scientific advisory board member Dr. Madhav Khandekar writes that Himalayan glaciers are not retreating any faster than glaciers elsewhere. The largest and most important glaciers of the Himalayas show very little retreat at this time.


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This November 2009 report on the state of Himalayan glaciers by V.K.Raina, of the Geological Survey of India shows that glaciers are not retreating abnormally and do not show any immediate response to climate change. Himalayan glaciers, although showing a retreating front, have not in exhibited recent abnormal annual retreat. Some glacier's retreat has slowed significantly during the last few years.

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