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Common climatic signal from glaciers in the European Alps over the last 50 years

  • Vincent, C. Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble, France
  • Fischer, A. Mountain Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Interdisciplinary, Innsbruck, Austria
  • Mayer, C. Commission for Geodesy and Glaciology, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich, Germany
  • Bauder, Andreas Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • Galos, S. P. Institute of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, University of Innsbruck, Austria
  • Funk, Martin Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • Thibert, E. IRSTEA, Université Grenoble Alpes, St-Martin d'Hères, France
  • Six, D. Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble, France
  • Braun, L. Commission for Geodesy and Glaciology, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich, Germany
  • Huss, Matthias Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zürich, Switzerland - Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
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    16.02.2017
Published in:
  • Geophysical Research Letters. - 2017, vol. 44, no. 3, p. 1376–1383
English Conventional glacier-wide mass balances are commonly used to study the effect of climate forcing on glacier melt. Unfortunately, the glacier-wide mass balances are also influenced by the glacier's dynamic response. Investigations on the effects of climate forcing on glaciers can be largely improved by analyzing point mass balances. Using a statistical model, we have found that 52% of the year-to-year deviations in the point mass balances of six glaciers distributed across the entire European Alps can be attributed to a common variability. Point mass balance changes reveal remarkable regional consistencies reaching 80% for glaciers less than 10 km apart. Compared to the steady state conditions of the 1962–1982 period, the surface mass balance changes are −0.85 m water equivalent (w.e.) a⁻¹ for 1983–2002 and −1.63 m w.e. a⁻¹ for 2003–2013. This indicates a clear and regionally consistent acceleration of mass loss over recent decades over the entire European Alps.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Géosciences
Language
  • English
Classification
Hydrology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/305521
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