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Rapid Retreat Of Glaciers In Early 20thC

April 24, 2017

By Paul Homewood


matt d licence front

HH Lamb – Climate, History and the Modern World – p 262


Further to yesterday’s post about glaciers, it is worth noting what HH Lamb had to say on the matter.

The above panels show how far some of Switzerland’s glaciers retreated between 1820 and 1974.

Lamb writes:




Note the rapid retreat between 1925 and 1960, when it appears to have more or less stopped. (The book was written in 1982, since when melting has of course begun again).

Note as well the global nature of the process.


The other interesting comment concerns poleward movement of the range of birds and fish during the earlier period, something which again was reversed after 1960.

We often hear claims that such recent expansion of ranges is “proof of global warming”. In fact it is simply part of a natural process that began at the end of the Little Ice Age, long before mankind made any difference.

  1. April 24, 2017 9:06 am

    The abstract of this 2013 paper says: ‘we argue that the last glaciers in the Cairngorm Mountains (and perhaps elsewhere in upland Britain) existed in the LIA within the last few hundred years, rather than during the Younger Dryas.’

  2. 1saveenergy permalink
    April 24, 2017 9:59 am

    Shame the slimytologists don’t read or understand HH Lamb.

  3. A C Osborn permalink
    April 24, 2017 10:43 am

    Everybody to do with the CAGW movement has done their best to erase History from the dialogue and data.
    It is manipulation on a massive scale, thank God for books and the Internet.

    • Paddy permalink
      April 25, 2017 6:15 am

      The first thing you learn from History is that Man never learns from History.

  4. Broadlands permalink
    April 24, 2017 12:12 pm

    By J. B. KINCER Weather Bureau, Washington, D.C., Sept. 29, 1933

    “In concluding this study, other weather features directly related to general temperature conditions were examined such as the occurrence of frost in the fall and spring, the number of days in winter with certain low temperatures, the occurrence of freezing weather in the fall and spring seasons, the length of the winters, as indicated by the first frost in fall and the last in spring, etc. All of these confirm the general statement that we are in the midst of a period of abnormal warmth, which has come on more or less gradually for many years.”


    “Recent studies indicate that the tendency to higher temperatures which set in about 1900 has been definitely outstanding in the last decade. Temperature records for the past 20 years show 1929 as the only year appreciably cooler than normal, for the country as a whole; 1919 and 1924 were slightly below normal. The remaining years had above-normal warmth.”

  5. April 24, 2017 12:21 pm

    The waxing and waning of glaciers is a natural fluctuation. As usual alarmists claim the waning is something we caused and that we can fix.
    Case in point is a glacier in northern Canada.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 24, 2017 1:04 pm

      Ron… “alarmists claim the waning is something we caused and that we can fix.”

      They also assert that’s true for the whole planet… but we must “act now”. And, pay trillions to do it.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    April 24, 2017 9:44 pm

    The ASSUMPTION is that glaciers are good.

    Glaciers coming and going has no relevance to my life. Though I find land covered with ice horrible. I hate it when my yard is covered. Why should I wish it on the Swiss?

    • Cassio permalink
      April 25, 2017 12:47 pm

      Aren’t glaciers of significant value in areas like the Himalayas, because they store great volumes of water that is released more slowly into the rivers than would otherwise be the case ?

  7. lapogus permalink
    April 25, 2017 4:47 pm

    Just for the record, here’s the USGS page with the map of the historic recession from 1760 to 2001, in Glacier Bay (south-eastern Alaska):

    This historical evidence (the early mapping was undertaken by John Muir no less) is incontrovertable. It strongly suggests that all we have witnessed is a long slow thaw since the end of the LIA, and that CO2 has feck all to do with it.

  8. April 27, 2017 4:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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