Ecology, Climate Change and Related News

Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Mountain glaciers are showing some of the strongest responses to climate change

Leave a Comment

December 12, 2016 University of Washington read full ScienceDaily article here

Mountain glaciers have long been a favorite poster child of climate change…But the scientific basis for their retreat has been less clear…..Now, using statistical techniques to analyze 37 mountain glaciers around the world, a University of Washington study finds that for most of them the observed retreat is more than 99 percent likely due to climate change. In the climate report’s wording, it is “virtually certain” that the retreat of these mountain glaciers is due to climate change over the past century.

Using statistical techniques to analyze 37 mountain glaciers around the world, a study finds that for most of them, observed retreat is more than 99 percent likely due to climate change.Credit: © Photosquirrel / Fotolia

Because of their decades-long response times, we found that glaciers are actually among the purest signals of climate change,” said Gerard Roe, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences….Overall, the results show that changes in the 37 glaciers’ lengths are between two and 15 standard deviations away from their statistical means. That represents some of the highest signal-to-noise ratios yet documented in natural systems’ response to climate change.

…These glaciers are stunningly far away from where they would have been in a preindustrial climate.”

Gerard H. Roe, Marcia B. Baker & Florian Herla. Centennial glacier retreat as categorical evidence of regional climate change. Nature Geoscience, December 2016 DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2863

View all articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *