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A re-analysis of the 58 year mass-balance record of Storglaciären, Sweden

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The use of glacier mass-balance records to assess the effects of glacier volume change from climate change requires high-quality data. The methods for measuring glacier mass balance have been developed in tandem with the measurements themselves, which implies that the quality of the data may change with time. We have investigated such effects on the mass-balance record of Storglaciären, Sweden, by re-analyzing the records using a better map base and applying successive maps over appropriate time periods. Our results show that errors <0.8 m occur during the first decades of the time series. Errors decrease with time, which is consistent with improvements in measurement methods. Comparison between the old and new datasets also shows improvements in the relationships between net balance, equilibrium-line altitude and summer temperature. A time-series analysis also indicates that the record does not contain longer-term (>10 year) oscillations. The pseudo-cyclic signal must thus be explained by factors other than cyclically occurring phenomena, although the record may still be too short to establish significant signals. We strongly recommend re-analysis of long mass-balance records in order to improve the mass-balance records used for other analyses.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-08-01

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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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