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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sunshine Speeded 1940s Swiss Glacier Melt

A surge in sunshine more than 60 years ago helped Swiss mountain glaciers melt faster than today, even though warmer average temperatures are being recorded now, Swiss researchers said Monday.

Yet, average temperatures have been rising in the past two decades and scientists have said glacier melt is accelerating at unprecedented levels under the impact of climate change.

"The surprising thing is that this paradox can be explained relatively easily with radiation," said one the ETHZ researchers, Matthias Huss, in the university's online review.

"This should not lead people to conclude that the current period of global warming is not really as big of a problem for the glaciers as previously assumed," he added.


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