Humans 'driving glacier melting'

Humans are now the strongest driver of glacier melting, a new study has found

Humans are now the strongest driver of glacier melting, a new study has found

First published in National News © by

Melting of glaciers caused by human activity has soared in the past 20 years, a study has shown.

Human influence is now the strongest driver of glacier melting, which has been occurring since the end of the "Little Ice Age" in the mid-19th century, it is claimed.

Between 1851 and 2010, only a quarter of glacial mass loss was due to human-induced climate change, scientists calculated. But during the last two decades of that period the human contribution rose to two thirds.

Lead researcher Dr Ben Barzeion, from the University of Innsbruck in Austria, said: "Typically, it takes glaciers decades or centuries to adjust to climate changes.

"In the 19th and first half of 20th century we observed that glacier mass loss attributable to human activity is hardly noticeable but since then has steadily increased.

"While we keep factors such as solar variability and volcanic eruptions unchanged, we are able to modify land use changes and greenhouse gas emissions in our models. In our data we find unambiguous evidence of anthropogenic contribution to glacier mass loss."

The researchers, whose findings appear in the journal Science, used climate computer simulations to map glacier changes everywhere in the world outside Antarctica.

A global glacier database called the Randolph Glacier Inventory made the study possible.

The scientists reconstructed the area and volume of each glacier in 1851. Two different simulations then predicted how those glaciers might have retreated since.

One only included natural factors such as solar variability and volcanic eruptions. The other also incorporated human influences such as changes in land use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Comments (4)

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8:19pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Goat67 says...

Even if the statement is true and we all live minimal emission lives, do you think we will stop having wars which incur great environmental damage or perhaps stop supplying others with the means to do so.

Perhaps they will decide to put an end to Geopolitical ambitions and to Geoenginnering and let us all be friends.

Perhaps they will stop spraying us too?
Even if the statement is true and we all live minimal emission lives, do you think we will stop having wars which incur great environmental damage or perhaps stop supplying others with the means to do so. Perhaps they will decide to put an end to Geopolitical ambitions and to Geoenginnering and let us all be friends. Perhaps they will stop spraying us too? Goat67
  • Score: 2

10:59pm Thu 14 Aug 14

derek james says...

the uss submarine "skate " was able to surface at the north pole in 1958, so it must have been pretty thin then
the uss submarine "skate " was able to surface at the north pole in 1958, so it must have been pretty thin then derek james
  • Score: 3

11:21pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Oh well, sh!t happens, the planet is changing, as it has done in the past.....but it'll be a hell of a long time before all living things are wiped out, for the cycle to start again.
Oh well, sh!t happens, the planet is changing, as it has done in the past.....but it'll be a hell of a long time before all living things are wiped out, for the cycle to start again. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 3

12:01am Fri 15 Aug 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

'Two different simulations then predicted how those glaciers might have retreated since..'

'Predicted' (Computer models all proved wrong to date and 'might.'

All this propaganda to butter us up to being told that 2014 was the warmest year on record. This despite the USA, the middle East and even Summer Antarctica being in record cold.

I wonder how much these people were being paid for this tosh? Note that they are not monitoring Antarctica! Why, because the ice extent is at record levels. No warming there.
'Two different simulations then predicted how those glaciers might have retreated since..' 'Predicted' (Computer models all proved wrong to date and 'might.' All this propaganda to butter us up to being told that 2014 was the warmest year on record. This despite the USA, the middle East and even Summer Antarctica being in record cold. I wonder how much these people were being paid for this tosh? Note that they are not monitoring Antarctica! Why, because the ice extent is at record levels. No warming there. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 4
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