Melting ice (of all types)

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Sun Dec 1 20:04:09 MST 2002

José again:

> I did a little research today (I was back at work, as a sci-tech
> editor/producer) on the ice melting thing.

Journal of Climate has an article on a subject dear to your heart,
distinguishing natural from anthropogenic sources for climate change:

CLIMATE SCIENCE: Beyond Natural Variation

In their efforts to determine whether physical processes provide any
evidence that anthropogenic activity has begun to affect Earth's
climate, researchers have long pointed out that the historical and
geologic records of mountain glaciers show that they have receded
substantially in the past few centuries. In order to ascertain whether
this retreat lies within the range of natural variation, Reichert et
al. have conducted calculations of mountain glacier (from Norway and
Switzerland) fluctuations, using a mass balance model of intermediate
complexity and a dynamic ice flow model. Fluctuations were produced
exclusively by internal variations in the climate system. Their
simulations indicate that the preindustrial fluctuations of these
glaciers can be explained by internal climate variability,
independently of external forcing factors such as solar irradiation
changes or volcanic or anthropogenic effects. In contrast, the
observed present-day retreat is too large to be due to natural causes
alone and must result from external events, with anthropogenic climate
forcing being a likely candidate. -- HJS

J. Clim. 15, 3069 (2002).

les schaffer

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