Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Melting glaciers reveal future alpine world

Date:
December 14, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
In a hundred years trees may be growing where there are now glaciers. The warm climate of the last few years has caused dramatic melting of glaciers in the Swedish mountains. Remains of trees that have been hidden for thousands of years have been uncovered. They indicate that 13,000 years ago there were trees where there are now glaciers. The climate may have been as much as 3.5 degrees warmer than now. In other words, this can happen again, according to a new study.

Subfossil of birch, 9,060 years old, shows how high the treeline has been in the Swedish mountains.
Credit: Image courtesy of Expertanswer

In a hundred years trees may be growing where there are now glaciers. The warm climate of the last few years has caused dramatic melting of glaciers in the Swedish mountains. Remains of trees that have been hidden for thousands of years have been uncovered. They indicate that 13,000 years ago there were trees where there are now glaciers. The climate may have been as much as 3.5 degrees warmer than now. In other words, this can happen again, according to Lisa Öberg, a doctoral candidate at Mid Sweden University in a new study.

Related Articles


In her study Lisa Öberg shows that soon after the inland ice receded, about 13,100 years ago, pines colonized high altitudes in the mountains. A few thousand years later there was a massive invasion of both pines and birches at levels up to 600 m higher than today's treeline. Subsequently the treeline for both pine and birch was gradually lowered as a result of ever-lower temperatures, until the climate made it impossible for trees to grow and glaciers began to form, about 4,400 years ago.

"We used to think that the glaciers were remnants of the latest ice age. The fact that trees grew there so recently shows that the glaciers are no older than 4,400 years," says Lisa Öberg

Lisa Öberg's study is based on finds of tree remains from Helags-Sylarna, Tärna, and Abisko. The age of the tree remains shows that the climate warming of the last century is unique in a perspective of several thousands of years. If any melting corresponding to what is happening today had taken place previously, the wood would probably have been degraded.

"The knowledge we gain by exploiting this unique opportunity is important for our understanding of how alpine plant growth may be impacted by the future climate," says Lisa Öberg.

The fact that nearly 10,000 years ago birches grew 600 m above today's treeline in a climate that was some 3.5 degrees warmer than today shows that trees ought to be able to grow at the same level again, if the temperature rises a few more degrees. "By studying where the treeline ran in the past, we can see what it can be like in the future if it continues to get warmer," says Lisa Öberg.

Read the article "Recent Glacier Recession -- a New Source of Postglacial Treeline and Climate History in the Swedish Scandes" by Lisa Öberg & Leif Kullman here: http://www.LandscapeOnline.de


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Melting glaciers reveal future alpine world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094650.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2011, December 14). Melting glaciers reveal future alpine world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094650.htm
Expertanswer. "Melting glaciers reveal future alpine world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094650.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins