by P. Homewood, Nov 3, 2022 in WUWT
Dundee University geographer Dr Martin Kirkbride said a glacier may have survived in the Cairngorms as recently as the 18th Century.
Britain’s last masses of slow-moving ice and snow were understood to have melted 11,500 years ago.
Dr Kirkbride studied the formation of corries in the Cairngorms.
A corrie is a basin-shaped feature created by glaciations in the mountains.
Using a technique called cosmogenic 10Be dating, Dr Kirkbride showed that a small glacier in a Cairngorms corrie piled up granite boulders to form moraine ridges within the past few centuries, during the period of cool climate known as the Little Ice Age.
Dr Kirkbride said: “Our laboratory dating indicates that the moraines were formed within the last couple of thousand years, which shows that a Scottish glacier existed more recently than we had previously thought.
“The climate of the last few millennia was at its most severe between 1650 and 1790.
“There are some anecdotal reports from that time of snow covering some of the mountain tops year-round. What we have now is the scientific evidence that there was indeed a glacier.”
Dundee University said scientists had speculated that glaciers may have re-formed in the Highlands around the time of this Little Ice Age but hard evidence has proved to be elusive.
Dr Kirkbride teamed up with Dr Jez Everest at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, and the Cosmogenic Isotope Analysis Facility at the Scottish Universities Environmental Reactor Centre in East Kilbride, to carry out the research.