RESPONSE OF A MONTENEGRO GLACIER TO EXTREME SUMMER HEATWAVES IN 2003 AND 2007
The Debeli Namet glacier in the Durmitor massif, Montenegro, is one of the lowest altitude glaciers (2050–2300 m) at this latitude (42–44°N) in the northern hemisphere. The glacier survives well below the climatological equilibrium line altitude because of substantial inputs from avalanching and windblown snow. The glacier survived two of the hottest summers on record in 2003 and 2007, although it experienced significant retreat. However, during the intervening years (2004–2006) the glacier increased in size and advanced, forming a new frontal moraine. This rapid advance was primarily in response to much cooler summer temperatures, close to or cooler than average, and a marked increase in winter precipitation. The rapid growth and decay of the Debeli Namet glacier in response to inter-annual climate variability highlights the sensitivity of small cirque glaciers to short-term climate change.