Tuesday, 31 December 2019


Some people think that we are living in the hottest  period in the last 100,000 years. This is simply not the case and the evidence comes from research by a very distinguished Swiss scientist, Dr. Christian Schlüchter, who discovered 4,000-year-old tree stumps lying underneath a retreating Swiss glacier.

This finding indicated that the Alps were pretty nearly glacier-free at that time, disproving accepted theories that they only began retreating after the end of the little ice age in the mid-19th century. As he concluded, the region had once been much warmer than today.

Dr. Schlüchter has a distinguished reputation as a giant in the field of geology and paleoclimatology and has authored/co-authored more than 250 papers and is a professor emeritus at the University of Bern in Switzerland.  However following the ancient forest discovery some scientists tried to undermine its significance. As he observes in a recent interview, “I wasn’t supposed to find that chunk of wood because I didn’t belong to the close-knit circle of Holocene and climate researchers.  My findings thus caught many experts off guard."

Other evidence exists that there is really nothing new about dramatic glacier advances and retreats. In fact the Alps were nearly glacier-free again about 2,000 years ago. Schlüchter points out that “the forest line was much higher than it is today; there were hardly any glaciers. Nowhere in the detailed travel accounts from Roman times are glaciers mentioned.” His studies and analyses of a Rhone glacier area reveal that “the rock surface had [previously] been ice-free in 5,800 of the last 10,000 years."

Such changes can occur very rapidly. His research team was stunned to find trunks of huge trees near the edge of Mont Miné Glacier which had all died in just a single year. They determined that time to be 8,200 years ago based upon oxygen isotopes in the Greenland ice which indicated marked cooling.

Clearly these discoveries leave some interesting questions about what caused the glaciers to grow and then retreat over the past 10,000 years. There must be important mechanisms at work that we are at present unable to understand.

UPDATE - link replaced as it did not work. here it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Climate Science welcomes your views/messages.