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Reconstruction of past temperatures for Arctic glaciers subjected to intense subsurface melting

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Many glaciers are subject to melting due to high summer air temperatures. Here, the presence of meltwater in the subsurface layers of the glacier bulk, and its subsequent percolation and refreezing are implemented in the calibration of a paleothermometer. Accounting for the melt feature index and the measured oxygen-isotope ratio allows for calibration of the paleothermometer and comparison of different climatic proxies. The results of reconstructions agree with previous reconstructions at the depth of attenuation of the seasonal climate signals, which supports the validity of the paleothermometer calibration. The sensitivity of the reconstruction to variations of the model parameters was also studied. It was found that most likely snow–firn sequence and temperature fields were subjected to significant change due to current warming. Temperature changes in the snow–firn thickness of Akademii Nauk (Severnaya Zemlya, Russian High Arctic) and Austfonna (Svalbard) ice caps exceed by ∼6°C the average Arctic temperature anomalies for the last 150 years. The reconstruction of the past surface temperatures and the parameters of the subsurface heat source due to refreezing of meltwater lead to the conclusion that meltwater spreads inside two to four annual layers for Akademii Nauk and Austfonna ice caps, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756405781813654

Publication date: January 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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