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Old aerial photos supply new knowledge on glaciers in Greenland
Date:5/29/2012

The glaciers in southeast Greenland are retreating rapidly with the ongoing global climate change. But now research from the University of Copenhagen shows that the glaciers can recuperate within a short timeframe if temperatures are to drop. The results are based on a collection of Danish aerial photos combined with both old and modern satellite imagery as well as field work. The scientific results have created international attention and have been published as a cover story in the highly esteemed journal Nature Geoscience.

"We have managed to get an overview of the glacial evolution over a period of 80 years. This is the first time ever this has been done in a study of glaciers in Greenland. Results show that glaciers can recuperate within a short time frame if climate changes and temperatures drop, as it has in a period after the 1940s," says PhD student and lead-author on the project Anders Bjrk, from Professor Eske Willerslev's Centre for GeoGenetics from University of Copenhagen.

Anders Bjrk adds:

"Most of the scientific foundation, models, and theories on glaciers in Greenland and how global warming affects them are based on observations from satellites over the last ten years. Otherwise scientists have had to use previous warming events way into the past when wanting to compare today's massive retreat."

A fight for land between Denmark and Norway

The Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen and his seventh Thule-expedition in 1932-33 is a significant cause for the recent publication from Anders Bjrk and Dr. Kurt H. Kjr from the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen. Results have created international attention as Greenland stands as an important region for northern latitudes are affecting the rest of the earth's climate including changes in glacial conditions and related sea-level rise.

Originally, the many aerial photos, which have been achieved Danish National Survey and
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Contact: Anders Bjoerk
andersb@snm.ku.dk
01-145-299-21742
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

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