Scientists from the universities of Lausanne, Bern and Zurich have developed a computer model that shows the evolution of glaciers in the Alps over the past 120 thousand years. Study published in the Journal of Glaciology.
To create the model, scientists used the results of complex climate modeling, taking into account the accumulation, dynamics and melting of ice. It took them six years. The resulting simulation showed how, during cycles of cooling and melting, glaciers formed a unique topography dotted with valleys.
Scientists tested the accuracy of their results using moraine and random boulders left behind when glaciers retreated. However, it is impossible to trace this data back more than 24 thousand years ago, since the last ice age destroyed all previous evidence. Despite this, the scientists’ model and the available data coincided.
The study is expected to help understand the impact of climate on glaciers in the past and more accurately predict the effects of global warming on the region.