Chapter summary

This chapter offers the reader a synthesis of the theoretical and practical interactions between climate change and glaciers in the past, the potential for an understanding of this interaction to be applied to modelling of future climate change, and the likely response of global glacier systems to predicted climate change. The chapter evaluates possible future orbitally-induced (Milankovitch) climate change, future climate change and glaciation, and greenhouse gas-induced warming. Furthermore, the chapter evaluates natural versus anthropogenic forcing, energy balance models and glacier variations, and global circulation models (GCMs). Finally, future research priorities concerning glaciers and climate change are discussed.

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