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Some illustrations I have put together
The Rhône glacier during the second half of the 18th century:
The Jakobshavn Isbræ in Greenland:
Most melting took place under very low CO2 forcing, but notice the huge melting from 2003 to 2007, a time when temperatures were not increasing.
Several points can be made:
– Glacier melting is a post-LIA feature.
– No clear link to CO2
– No linear immediate response to temperature increases. The response appears delayed.
– The decrease in global glaciers goes against Neoglacial trends and it has proceeded beyond what should be expected based on previous trends for this time in the Holocene.
Two non mutually exclusive possibilities:
– Temperatures as high or probably higher than during the MWP.
– CO2 has specifically a stronger effect on the cryosphere.
In both cases an effect of GHGs on global warming is the most likely explanation for the excessive glacier retreat. At this time in the Holocene our glaciers shouldn’t be this short. It is however a good thing that they are, because we have a better climate than we were entitled to.

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