Volcanic drivers during LIA

vics fig cryosph oct 18 webThe fast retreat of Alpine glaciers since the mid-19th century, documented in photographs, is used as a symbol for the human impact on global climate, yet the key driving forces remain elusive.

In a new paper from VICS working group, authors, led by Michael Sigl, argue that volcanic eruptions, and not industrial soot, were responsible for an apparently accelerated deglaciation starting in the 1850s.

Their findings, published in The Cryosphere, support a negligible role of human activity in forcing glacier recession at the end of the Little Ice Age, highlighting the role of natural drivers.

The paper, titled "19th century glacier retreat in the Alps preceded the emergence of industrial black carbon deposition on high-alpine glaciers" was inspired by talks and presentations from Olga Solomina and Summer Pretorious during the 1st VICS workshop in 2016, and strongly benefited from the new volcanic forcing reconstruction of Matt Toohey published last year.

Access the new paper, plus a Swiss television interview, here.

Find out more about the VICS working group and sign up to its mailing list here.