Learn how plants respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations

How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic


Arctic Glaciers: Are They Succumbing to Global Warming?
Reference
Dowdeswell, J.A., Hagen, J.O., Bjornsson, H., Glazovsky, A.F., Harrison, W.D., Holmlund, P. Jania, J., Koerner, R.M., Lefauconnier, B., Ommanney, C.S.L. and Thomas, R.H.  1997.  The mass balance of circum-Arctic glaciers and recent climate change.  Quaternary Research 48: 1-14.

What was done
The authors analyzed the mass balance histories of the 18 Arctic glaciers that have the longest observational records.

What was learned
Just over 80% of the 18 glaciers studied displayed negative mean net mass balances over their periods of record.  However, the authors note that "ice-core records from the Canadian High Arctic islands indicate that the generally negative glacier mass balances observed over the past 50 years have probably been typical of Arctic glaciers since the end of the Little Ice Age," and that "Arctic glaciers may have responded to a step-like warming in the early twentieth century [our italics] associated with the end of the Little Ice Age."

What it means
These observations are clearly in harmony with our contention that There Has Been No Global Warming for the Past 70 Years (see also our Editorials of 15 June, 15 July and 2 August 2000).  In addition, these observations also suggest that Arctic glaciers are not succumbing to an anthropogenically induced warming of the globe.  In fact, in the words of the authors, "there is no compelling indication of increasingly negative balance conditions which might, a priori, be expected from anthropogenically induced global warming."  Quite to the contrary, they report that "almost 80% of the mass balance time series also have a positive trend, toward a less negative mass balance."  Hence, although most Arctic glaciers continue to lose mass, as they have probably done since the end of the Little Ice Age, they are losing smaller amounts each year, in the mean, which is hardly what one would expect in the face of what climate alarmists call (falsely) the "unprecedented warming" of the latter part of the twentieth century.


Reviewed 8 November 2000