Glacier Melting at Twice the Rate of Previous Decades

Thomas Schueneman

The World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich Switzerland reported recently that in 2007 glaciers worldwide have thinned by an average of 29 inches (74 centimeters), an indication that glaciers are now melting twice as fast as they were in the 1980's and 1990's.

Glacial ice melt doubles this decade

The new data continues the global trend in accelerated ice loss over the past few decades”, notes the report.

The research from the Glacier Monitoring Service confirms previous studies of the continued trend of accelerated ice loss over the past years and decades (see our previous post "Data Shows Rapid and Accelerating Ice Loss" and "Himalayan Glaciers 'Decapitated'" from Global ice melt data consistently exceeds recent climate modeling predictions.

Reinforcing that the trend is the key to interpreting yearly data, University of Zurich researcher Michael Zemp said in an interview,

One year doesn’t tell us much, it’s really these long-term trends that help us to understand what’s going on”.

2007 was the sixth year this decade that the glaciers lost on average more than 20 inches (50 centimeters) thickness.

This means that the rate of melting during the 1980s and 1990s has more than doubled," Zemp said.

Sources and Further Reading:

Associated Press


Climate Progress


Living Planet