More than two-thirds of the recent rapid melting of the world’s glaciers can be blamed on humans, a new study finds. Scientists looking at glacier melt since 1851 didn’t see a human fingerprint until about the middle of the 20th century. Even then only one-quarter of the warming wasn’t from natural causes. But since 1991, about 69 percent of the rapidly increasing melt was man-made, said Ben Marzeion, a climate scientist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.
Glaciers are really shrinking rapidly now. I think it’s fair to say most of it is man-made.
Climate scientist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria Ben Marzeion
The research is the first to calculate just how much of the glacial melting can be attributed to people. Scientists fault global warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas as well as changes in land use near glaciers and soot pollution. Glaciers in Alaska and the Alps in general have more human-caused melting than the global average, Marzeion said. The study is published Thursday in the journal Science.
This study makes perfect sense. The authors have quantified what I believe most scientists would have expected.
Pennsylvania State University glacier expert Richard Alley