According to this study, the Swiss glaciers where melting faster in the 1940s than today.
Some of the reasons where:
1. Solar radiation as the decisive factor
This is because, taking into account the data recorded for the level of solar radiation, the scientists made a surprising discovery: in the 1940s and in the summer of 1947 especially, the glaciers lost the most ice since measurements commenced in 1914. This is in spite of the fact that temperatures were lower than in the past two decades.2. Less snow fall and longer melt periods
Temperature-based opposing mechanisms came into play around 30 years ago. These have led to a 12% decrease in the amount of precipitation that falls as snow as a percentage of total precipitation, accompanied by an increase of around one month in the length of the melt period ever since this timeHere's a graph of the temperature based on hadcrut3 data set. I have plotted linear trends to show the "trends" and what it looked like in the 1940s. You can play around with the data here.
- We see that the glacier melting variations are not caused only by the increase in temperature or CO2 levels
- We see from this graph, that between 1910 and 1945 (35 years warming) we had a longer warming period with the same trend as of 1975 to 1999 (24 years warming) and nobody panicked at that time.
- Always remember the historical view of the climate to put this in perspective.