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

Cadastre, were used for producing new maps of the region in the early 1930s, as Denmark and Norway were fighting over the right of disposal of East Greenland, a fight without casualties which Denmark won at the International Court in Haag in the Netherlands in 1933.

Photos get a renaissance

With help from the scientists and the Danish National Survey and Cadastre, the unique aerial photos have now gained a renaissance in a different setting where climate change and theories as "The Tipping Point" where nature reaches a point where changes cannot be reversed are discussed.

"We have investigated no less than 132 glaciers on a 600 km coastal stretch in Southeast Greenland, both those who terminate on land and those who calve in the ocean. The historical photos have proven to be extremely valuable, and with these photos and other aerial photos recorded later during WWII and satellite imagery we are able to observe glacier change in very long historical context. In the early 1920s and 1930s, temperatures were high, similar to that of the present, and this affected the glacial melt. At the time many glaciers underwent a melt similar or even higher than what we have seen in the last ten years. When it became colder again in the 1950s and 1960s, glaciers actually started growing," says Dr. Kurt H. Kjr and underlines:

"There should be no doubt that if the current temperature rise in Greenland continues then we will have problems with the melting of the glaciers. We are already seeing it now on the marine terminating glaciers where changes in temperature and ocean currents are influencing their stability. Another remarkable discovery we did was that the observed changes are not just local, it is happening in the entire region," says Dr. Kjr.

Kurt H. Kjr has previously worked with his colleague Svend Funder from Center for GeoGenetics on investigating sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean. Results showed that the sea ice exten
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Contact: Anders Bjoerk
andersb@snm.ku.dk
01-145-299-21742
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

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