|Rate of length change in meters per year. Retreat rates accelerated after the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 until the 1940's and have decelerated since.|
The Cryosphere, 6, 1339-1343, 2012
Brief communication "Historical glacier length changes in West Greenland"
1IMAU, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2GEUS, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
3Department of Geography, University of Zürich-Irchel, Zürich, Switzerland
4Institute for Cartography, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
Abstract. Past glacier fluctuations provide insight into glacier dynamics, climate change, and the contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Here, the length fluctuations since the 19th century of 18 local glaciers in West and South Greenland are presented, extending and updating the study by Weidick (1968). The studied glaciers all showed an overall retreat with an average of 1.2 ± 0.2 km over the 20th century, indicating a general rise of the equilibrium line along the west coast of Greenland during the last century. Furthermore, the average rate of retreat was largest in the first half of the 20th century.