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What The IPCC Said About Glaciers In 1990

April 23, 2015

By Paul Homewood   



When we talk about glaciers retreating, it is worth recalling what the first IPCC Report in 1990 had to say about the matter:






In other words, glaciers began receding in the second half of the 19thC, and the fastest rate of retreat was 1920-60, before CO2 emissions could have had any significant impact.

The IPCC also added the following chart showing how, on a range of glaciers, rapid retreat began in the 19thC.




They also added:









For more information on the advance of glaciers during the Little Ice Age, check out my earlier post, Glacial Advance During The Little Ice Age, here.

  1. April 23, 2015 11:58 am

    They talk drivel.
    If you read “Scrambles in the Alps” by Edward Whymper, dated 1867 I think, you’ll find that the local people had been commenting on glacial retreat since their grandfathers’ times at the latest!
    We all know the IPCC isn’t scientific – well it is, to the same degree as renowned scientist John Gummer.

  2. April 23, 2015 1:41 pm

    It’s worth noting that Grove and Switsur 94 was intended as rebuttal to Bradley and Jones 92:
    See top, page 144. –AGF

  3. April 23, 2015 4:13 pm

    Reblogged this on eliquidassets and commented:
    Good read, always look at all the options. If glaciers are advancing, you are heading into an ice age, if they are retreating you are leaving one. Nothing is ever static.

  4. Robert permalink
    April 23, 2015 4:16 pm

    Interesting papers on the Glaciers de Bossons and the Mer de Glace in the Chamonix region of France

    Click to access nussbaumer_zumbuehl_2012.pdf

    Click to access Nussbaumer_et_al_2007.pdf

    The maximum Little Ice Age advance was in 1818 for the Glacier de Bossons and in 1644 for the Mer de Glace. In the 19th century the largest advance of the Mer de Glace was in 1821 some 40m behind the advance of 1644.

    Glacier reconstruction of the Mer de Glace back to 1570 and the Glacier de Bossons to 1580 is available due the reliable records.

  5. April 23, 2015 4:35 pm

    you guys are all still missing the point.
    Clearly, the change in length alone [of the glacier] is not a measure for climate change.
    You have to look at square km and depth of ice as well; that sounds reasonable?
    In the case of Aletsch, the square km of ice increased from 86.6 in 1973 to 117,6.
    the consideration here is that increase in precipitation and ice causes more melt water, so if a gletscher grows in size – such as Aletsch – you would have more melting water coming out at the bottom eroding some of the older ice that flows into the river. Making the glacier look shorter…..bit the ice is more.
    Explaining the “so-called” shrinking of glaciers in Switzerland – 101
    I found the reason. Remember my name.

    • April 23, 2015 5:01 pm

      Is there any reliable data on thickness though?

      • April 23, 2015 5:07 pm

        I suspect that there must be data on that as well but I could not find it. Must be important for the guides who take tourists out on the ice. I would not be surprised when somebody hid those data from people with inquiring minds like us.

  6. April 23, 2015 7:25 pm

    Always worth remembering too, when talking about glaciers, that there are perhaps more than 160,000 glaciers world-wide. Of which perhaps a hundred have been monitored in any kind of systematic way and perhaps a few hundred more named, but not given more that cursory study.

  7. Paul2 permalink
    April 23, 2015 8:19 pm

    In terms of research articles on this and other subjects Google books is a good place to start. It’s amazing how much stuff is out there. For example:

    …..Not that I understood much of the jargon. Hey ho.

  8. April 23, 2015 9:32 pm

    Thanks, Paul.
    A lot of people think glaciers started retreating in 1910, suggesting, if not proving, they melt because of global warming,

  9. emsnews permalink
    April 24, 2015 2:52 pm

    The smallest bump in the statistics is a huge mountain if it is even the tiniest bit warmer than the previous year.


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