Articles | Volume 6, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 6, 1339–1343, 2012

Special issue: Ice2sea – estimating the future contribution of continental...

The Cryosphere, 6, 1339–1343, 2012

Brief communication 15 Nov 2012

Brief communication | 15 Nov 2012

Brief communication "Historical glacier length changes in West Greenland"

P. W. Leclercq1, A. Weidick2, F. Paul3, T. Bolch3,4, M. Citterio2, and J. Oerlemans1 P. W. Leclercq et al.
  • 1IMAU, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 2GEUS, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3Department of Geography, University of Zürich-Irchel, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 4Institute for Cartography, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

Abstract. Past glacier fluctuations provide insight into glacier dynamics, climate change, and the contribution of glaciers to sea-level rise. Here, the length fluctuations since the 19th century of 18 local glaciers in West and South Greenland are presented, extending and updating the study by Weidick (1968). The studied glaciers all showed an overall retreat with an average of 1.2 ± 0.2 km over the 20th century, indicating a general rise of the equilibrium line along the west coast of Greenland during the last century. Furthermore, the average rate of retreat was largest in the first half of the 20th century.