Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Knud Rasmussen pictures: Greenland is melting less quickly than 80 years ago

Knud Rasmussen (1879-1933) was a Danish polar explorer and the father of Eskimology. By an accident, 80-year-old pictures of the Greenland taken during his expeditions were just found in a Danish basement:
Daily Mail, TG Daily, Nature, Live Science, Newswise, Science Codex
The pre-satellite pictures of ice shelves are rare. One may evaluate them in various ways.

For example, 55% of the retreating glaciers were retreating at a faster rate 80 years than in recent years. On the other hand, the average rate of retreat (in meters per year) is higher today than it used to be because there are some isolated very quickly retreating glaciers today.

So whether the retreat of Greenland's glaciers was faster 80 years ago than today may depend on the detailed specification of the "contest". However, one thing is clear.

And the clear fact is following one: the evidence convincingly shows that the dynamics of the Greenland's ice is qualitatively similar to what it was 80 years ago when the carbon dioxide emissions per year were 4 times lower than today.

Via helvio

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