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Variation in glacier length and ice volume of Rabots Glaciär, Sweden, in response to climate change, 1910–2003

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Historical records, photographs, maps and measurements were used to determine changes in the length, geometry and volume of Rabots Glaciär, Sweden, in response to a ∼1°C warming that occurred early in the 20th century. The glacier's initial rate of retreat from its 1910 maximum was ∼2.0 m a−1. After a sharp increase to ∼11.7 m a−;1 between 1933 and 1946, the mean retreat rate decreased to ∼5.5 m a−;1 between 1946 and 1959. Thereafter the rate of retreat increased to ∼11.0 m a−1 and has remained relatively constant to the present time. Concomitant decreases in ice volume were estimated to be 77.3 × 106 m3 between 1910 and 1959, 51.1 × 106 m3 between 1959 and 1980, at least 10.4 × 106 m3 between 1980 and 1989, and 14.4 × 106 m3 between 1989 and 2003. The total volume change over the last 93 years is estimated at ∼153.2 × 106 m3 corresponding to 1.6 × 106 m3 a−1. The magnitude of the ongoing changes in length and volume suggests that Rabots Glaciär has not yet completed its response to the earlier climatic warming. In contrast, several nearby glaciers, most notably Storglaciären, have completed their adjustments and established new steady-state profiles as a result of having shorter response times.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2005

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  • 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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