Der natürliche Klimaherzschlag: Die Gletscher schrumpfen und wachsen und schrumpfen und…

Wir befinden uns in einer Wärmeperiode, da ist es verständlich, dass die Gletscher der Erde schrumpfen. Ähnliches ist in den letzten 10.000 Jahren wiederholt vorgekommen. Jim Steele hat ein Video gemacht, in dem er die natürlichen Gletscherschwankungen herausarbeitet. Weitere Informationen und ein Script des Videos gibt es auf WUWT.


Eine Übersicht der Gletscherveränderungen der letzten 10.000 Jahre gab Solomina et al. 2015:

Holocene glacier fluctuations
A global overview of glacier advances and retreats (grouped by regions and by millennia) for the Holocene is compiled from previous studies. The reconstructions of glacier fluctuations are based on 1) mapping and dating moraines defined by 14C, TCN, OSL, lichenometry and tree rings (discontinuous records/time series), and 2) sediments from proglacial lakes and speleothems (continuous records/time series). Using 189 continuous and discontinuous time series, the long-term trends and centennial fluctuations of glaciers were compared to trends in the recession of Northern and mountain tree lines, and with orbital, solar and volcanic studies to examine the likely forcing factors that drove the changes recorded. A general trend of increasing glacier size from the early–mid Holocene, to the late Holocene in the extra-tropical areas of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) is related to overall summer temperature, forced by orbitally-controlled insolation. The glaciers in New Zealand and in the tropical Andes also appear to follow the orbital trend, i.e., they were decreasing from the early Holocene to the present. In contrast, glacier fluctuations in some monsoonal areas of Asia and southern South America generally did not follow the orbital trends, but fluctuated at a higher frequency possibly triggered by distinct teleconnections patterns. During the Neoglacial, advances clustered at 4.4–4.2 ka, 3.8–3.4 ka, 3.3–2.8 ka, 2.6 ka, 2.3–2.1 ka, 1.5–1.4 ka, 1.2–1.0 ka, 0.7–0.5 ka, corresponding to general cooling periods in the North Atlantic. Some of these episodes coincide with multidecadal periods of low solar activity, but it is unclear what mechanism might link small changes in irradiance to widespread glacier fluctuations. Explosive volcanism may have played a role in some periods of glacier advances, such as around 1.7–1.6 ka (coinciding with the Taupo volcanic eruption at 232 ± 5 CE) but the record of explosive volcanism is poorly known through the Holocene. The compilation of ages suggests that there is no single mechanism driving glacier fluctuations on a global scale. Multidecadal variations of solar and volcanic activity supported by positive feedbacks in the climate system may have played a critical role in Holocene glaciation, but further research on such linkages is needed. The rate and the global character of glacier retreat in the 20th through early 21st centuries appears unusual in the context of Holocene glaciation, though the retreating glaciers in most parts of the Northern Hemisphere are still larger today than they were in the early and/or mid-Holocene. The current retreat, however, is occurring during an interval of orbital forcing that is favorable for glacier growth and is therefore caused by a combination of factors other than orbital forcing, primarily strong anthropogenic effects. Glacier retreat will continue into future decades due to the delayed response of glaciers to climate change.

Interessant auch Balascio et al. 2015:

Glacier response to North Atlantic climate variability during the Holocene
Small glaciers and ice caps respond rapidly to climate variations, and records of their past extent provide information on the natural envelope of past climate variability. Millennial-scale trends in Holocene glacier size are well documented and correspond with changes in Northern Hemisphere summer insolation. However, there is only sparse and fragmentary evidence for higher-frequency variations in glacier size because in many Northern Hemisphere regions glacier advances of the past few hundred years were the most extensive and destroyed the geomorphic evidence of ice growth and retreat during the past several thousand years. Thus, most glacier records have been of limited use for investigating centennial-scale climate forcing and feedback mechanisms. Here we report a continuous record of glacier activity for the last 9.5 ka from southeast Greenland derived from high-resolution measurements on a proglacial lake sediment sequence. Physical and geochemical parameters show that the glaciers responded to previously documented Northern Hemisphere climatic excursions, including the “8.2 ka” cooling event, the Holocene Thermal Maximum, Neoglacial cooling, and 20th century warming. In addition, the sediments indicate centennial-scale oscillations in glacier size during the late Holocene. Beginning at 4.1 ka, a series of abrupt glacier advances occurred, each lasting ~100 years and followed by a period of retreat, that were superimposed on a gradual trend toward larger glacier size. Thus, while declining summer insolation caused long-term cooling and glacier expansion during the late Holocene, climate system dynamics resulted in repeated episodes of glacier expansion and retreat on multi-decadal to centennial timescales. These episodes coincided with ice rafting events in the North Atlantic Ocean and periods of regional ice cap expansion, which confirms their regional significance and indicates that considerable glacier activity on these timescales is a normal feature of the cryosphere. The data provide a longer-term perspective on the rate of 20th century glacier retreat and indicate that recent anthropogenic-driven warming has already impacted the regional cryosphere in a manner outside the natural range of Holocene variability.

Und schießlich ist da noch das GLIMS-Projekt mit dem Randolph Glacier Inventory. Hier kann man sich die Daten der globalen Gletscher selber anschauen.