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Distributed mass-balance and climate sensitivity modelling of Engabreen, Norway

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Abstract:

Assessing the impact of possible climate change on the water resources of glacierized areas requires a reliable model of the climate–glacier-mass-balance relationship. In this study, we simulate the mass-balance evolution of Engabreen, Norway, using a simple mass-balance model based on daily temperature and precipitation data from a nearby climate station. Ablation is calculated using a distributed temperature-index method including potential direct solar radiation, while accumulation is distributed linearly with elevation. The model was run for the period 1974/75–2001/02, for which annual mass-balance measurements and meteorological data are available. Parameter values were determined by a multi-criteria validation including point measurements of mass balance, mass-balance gradients and specific mass balance. The modelled results fit the observed mass balance well. Simple sensitivity experiments indicate a high sensitivity of the mass balance to temperature changes, as expected for maritime glaciers. The results suggest, further, that the mass balance of Engabreen is more sensitive to warming during summer than during winter, while precipitation changes affect almost exclusively the winter balance.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3189/172756405781812998

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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.

    Beginning in 2016, content will be available at https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology.

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