Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation
Article first published online: 3 DEC 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 23, December 2009
How to Cite
2009), Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L23501, doi:10.1029/2009GL040789., , and (
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 3 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 27 OCT 2009
- Manuscript Received: 11 SEP 2009
- glacier melt;
 A 94-year time series of annual glacier melt at four high elevation sites in the European Alps is used to investigate the effect of global dimming and brightening of solar radiation on glacier mass balance. Snow and ice melt was stronger in the 1940s than in recent years, in spite of significantly higher air temperatures in the present decade. An inner Alpine radiation record shows that in the 1940s global shortwave radiation over the summer months was 8% above the long-term average and significantly higher than today, favoring rapid glacier mass loss. Dimming of solar radiation from the 1950s until the 1980s is in line with reduced melt rates and advancing glaciers.