Wednesday, August 1st 2012, 3:31 AM EDT
NASA satellites detected widespread melting in July 2012.
Melting glaciers are once again in the news, along with the associated threat of rising sea levels. NASA satellites have reported wide spread melting across Greenland which has the climate change alarmists all atwitter. But the NASA satellites are providing data never before available, so it is hard to say if the summer melting pattern is unusual. Meanwhile, some 80 year old scientific data has revealed that this is not the first time that there has been a period of glacial retreat in Greenland. This formerly lost data shows that many land-terminating glaciers underwent a more rapid retreat in the 1930s than in the 2000s. Even more interesting is that the two periods of retreat were interrupted by a period of widespread advance from 1943 to 1972. Greenland's glaciers seems to be oscillating with a period of around a century.
Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. A series of photos detailing the extent of Greenland's glaciers were collected during 1932 and 1933 by an expedition led by the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen. Due to political conflict between Norway and Denmark at the time, most of those photos were classified as secret and effectively lost for 80 years. Recently rediscovered, the photos document glacier conditions at the start of a previous warming event that was comparable in magnitude to the present one for southeast Greenland. This warm period persisted from the early 1930s to the early 1950s, and featured anomalously warm temperatures of both air and ocean.
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