Glacier melt: interesting and surprising

The glaciology group in VAW, ETHZ, lead by Professor Funk, is one of the strongest groups in the world working on glacier problems. The question of glacier advance/retreat is highly relevant to present concerns about climate change. This latest result on glacier melting in the 1940s is very interesting although somewhat surprising to me.
The main author of the GRL paper, Dr. Huss is obviously a very talented young researcher already with several first-class papers in the scientific literature. The role of solar radiation claimed in this study could only have been assessed by the long-term monitoring of the Davos institute. However, the outstanding role of Professor Ohmura, recently retired from ETHZ, must also be acknowledged as he has greatly expanded our understanding of temporal and geographical variations of solar radiation.
It is only sad that other mountain ranges are not as well documented as the Alps. This work by Huss and others (2009) will be widely cited in the glacier literature!

Roger Braithwaite - 14.12.09

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