Greenland Glaciers: “Unprecedented Retreat” Similar to 1930’s warming

Posted: May 30, 2012 by tallbloke in climate, Ice ages, Measurement

There’s that ~60 year cycle again. Rediscovered photographs taken from aircraft show that glacier retreat in the warm 1930’s matches the rate observed in the 1990’s. Something is collapsing, but rather than glaciers, it’s the AGW narrative.

H/T Ned Nikolov

An aerial view of 80 years of climate-related
glacier fluctuations in southeast Greenland

Anders A. Bjørk et al 2012


Widespread retreat of glaciers has been observed along the southeastern margin of Greenland. This retreat has been
associated with increased air and ocean temperatures. However, most observations are from the satellite era; presatellite
observations of Greenlandic glaciers are rare. Here we present a unique record that documents the frontal positions for
132 southeast Greenlandic glaciers from rediscovered historical aerial imagery beginning in the early 1930s. We combine
the historical aerial images with both early and modern satellite imagery to extract frontal variations of marine- and
land-terminating outlet glaciers, as well as local glaciers and ice caps, over the past 80 years. The images reveal a regional
response to external forcing regardless of glacier type, terminal environment and size. Furthermore, the recent retreat was
matched in its vigour during a period of warming in the 1930s with comparable increases in air temperature. We show that
many land-terminating glaciers underwent a more rapid retreat in the 1930s than in the 2000s, whereas marine-terminating
glaciers retreated more rapidly during the recent warming.

The full pdf is available here.

  1. Tim Folkerts says:

    The link to the paper does not seem to work correctly. 😦

  2. Roger Andrews says:

    The pdf link doesn’t work, at least not for me

    [Reply] Try this

  3. clazy8 says:

    a space seems to have been accidentally introduced to the address. Correct one here:

  4. clazy8 says:

    for me, the space was here “klimforan[here]dringer”

    [Reply] Than ks! fixed 😉

  5. tallbloke says:

    OK Tim F, the link is fixed, read and enjoy. 🙂

  6. Roger Andrews says:

    It’s a pity the photos don’t go back a little farther because the major warming episode in Greenland occurred in the 1920s, not the 1930s.

    Note also that temperatures in Greenland are no higher now than they were in 1930.

  7. tallbloke says:

    Roger A: Who’s dataset?

  8. Roger Andrews says:

    I think the 1920s warming was a mini D-O event. Any takers? 🙂

  9. Thanks Tallbloke for the post. Most interesting. Roger A -thanks for the temp graph, it gives weight to the correctness of Becks’ CO2 construction here (do not know how to add graph 2 maybe someone else can do it) -higher sea temperatures lead to reduced CO2 solubility and some out gassing ie CO2 follows temperature. The CAGW theory is being shot to pieces in all directions. Of course any engineer (chemical or mechanical) who has some understanding of heat and mass transfer knows the CAGW theory was false and made up by people who have no understanding. (have I mentioned that Gavin Schmidt commented on a blog that he did not know the relevance of the Schmidt number, after it appeared he looked up what it was on Wiki)

  10. Brian H says:

    Hard to hit fish in a barrel when the water is so clouded by blood!


  11. Orly says:

    Err, not wanting to burst your bubble or anything, but let’s check the paper.
    Quoting from the very same paper you refer to.

    ”However, recorded annual temperatures are 0,45 C warmer in the recent decade than during the peak of the ECW.”
    and later
    ”However, more glaciers retreated during the 2000’s.”


  12. tchannon says:

    Orly, the author is on extended absence so any comment will have to wait.