Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-79b67bcb76-ncjtf Total loading time: 0.2 Render date: 2021-05-15T00:18:03.171Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

Air temperature variability in a high-elevation Himalayan catchment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 March 2016

Martin Heynen
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Evan Miles
Affiliation:
Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Silvan Ragettli
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Pascal Buri
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
Walter W. Immerzeel
Affiliation:
Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Francesca Pellicciotti
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland Department of Geography, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Corresponding
E-mail address:
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Air temperature is a key control of processes affecting snow and glaciers in high-elevation catchments, including melt, snowfall and sublimation. It is therefore a key input variable to models of land–surface–atmosphere interaction. Despite this importance, its spatial variability is poorly understood and simple assumptions are made to extrapolate it from point observations to the catchment scale. We use a dataset of 2.75 years of air temperature measurements (from May 2012 to November 2014) at a network of up to 27 locations in the Langtang River, Nepal, catchment to investigate air temperature seasonality and consistency between years. We use observations from high elevations and from the easternmost section of the basin to corroborate previous findings of shallow lapse rates. Seasonal variability is strong, with shallowest lapse rates during the monsoon season. Diurnal variability is also strong and should be taken into account since processes such as melt have a pronounced diurnal variability. Use of seasonal lapse rates seems crucial for glacio-hydrological modelling, but seasonal lapse rates seem stable over the 2–3 years investigated. Lateral variability at transects across valley is high and dominated by aspect, with south-facing sites being warmer than north-facing sites and deviations from the fitted lapse rates of up to several degrees. Local factors (e.g. topographic shading) can reduce or enhance this effect. The interplay of radiation, aspect and elevation should be further investigated with high-elevation transects.

Type
Paper
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s) 2016

References

Ayala, A, Pellicciotti, F and Shea, J (2015) A new model of air temperature over melting glaciers: common patterns revealed by observations on three alpine glaciers. J. Geophys. Res., 120, 31393157 (doi: 10.1002/2015JD023137)Google Scholar
Blandford, TR, Humes, KS, Harshburger, BJ, Moore, BC and Walden, VP (2008) Seasonal and synoptic variations in near-surface air temperatures in a mountainous basin. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol., 47, 249261 (doi: 10.1175/2007JAMC1565.1)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buri, P, Pellicciotti, F, Steiner, J, Miles, E, Reid, T and Immerzeel, W (2016) A grid-based model of backwasting of supraglacial ice cliffs over debris-covered glaciers. Ann. Glaciol. (doi: 10.3189/2016AoG71A059) (see paper in this issue)Google Scholar
Fujita, K and Sakai, A (2000) Air temperature environment on the debris-covered area of Lirung Glacier, Langtang Valley, Nepal Himalayas. IAHS Publ. 264 (Workshop at Seattle 2000 – Debris-Covered Glaciers), 8388 Google Scholar
Gardner, AS and 7 others (2009) Near-surface temperature lapse rates over arctic glaciers and their implications for temperature downscaling. J. Climate, 22, 42814298 (doi: 10.1175/2009JCLI2845.1)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
GreuellWand Böhm, R (1998) 2m temperatures along melting midlatitude glaciers, and implications for the sensitivity of the mass balance to variations in temperature. J. Glaciol., 44(146), 920 Google Scholar
Immerzeel, W, Petersen, L, Ragettli, S and Pellicciotti, F (2014) The importance of observed gradients of air temperature and precipitation for modeling runoff from a glacierised watershed in the Nepalese Himalayas. Water Resour. Res., 50(3), 22122226 (doi: 10.1002/2013WR014506)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iqbal, M (1983) An introduction to solar radiation. Academic Press, London Google Scholar
Kattel, D, Yao, T, Yang, K, Tian, L, Yang, G and Joswiak, D (2012) Temperature lapse rate in complex mountain terrain on the southern slope of the central Himalayas. Theor. Appl. Climatol., 113(3–4), 671682 (doi: 10.1007/s00704-012-0816-6)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lundquist, J, Pepin, N and Rochoford, C (2008) Automated a lgorithm for mapping regions of cold air pooling in complex terrain. J. Geophys. Res., 113(D22), D22107 (doi: 10.1029/2008JD009879)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marshall, SJ and Sharp, MJ (2008) Temperature and melt modeling on the Prince of Wales ice field, Canadian High Arctic. J. Climate, 22, 14541468 (doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2560.1)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marshall, SJ, Sharp, MJ, Burgess, DO and Anslow, FS (2007) Nearsurface- temperature lapse rates on the Prince of Wales icefield, Ellesmere Island, Canada: implications for regional downscaling of temperature. Int. J. Climatol., 27, 385398 (doi: 10.1002/joc.1396)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Miles, E, Pellicciotti, F, Willis, I, Steiner, J, Buri, P and Arnold, N (2016) Refined energy-balance modelling of a supraglacial pond, Langtang Khola, Nepal. Ann. Glaciol., 57(71), 2940 (doi: 10.3189/2016AoG71A421) (see paper in this issue)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Minder, JR, Mote, P and Lundquist, J (2010) Surface temperature lapse rates over complex terrain: lessons from the Cascade Mountains. J. Geophys. Res., 115(D14), D14122 (doi: 10.1029/2009JD013493)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pellicciotti, F, Raschle, T, Huerlimann, T, Carenzo, M and Burlando, P (2011) Transmission of solar radiation through clouds on melting glaciers: a comparison of parameterizations and their impact on melt modelling. J. Glaciol., 57(202), 367381 (doi: 10.3189/002214311796406013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pepin, N (2001) Lapse rate changes in Northern England. Theor. Appl. Climatol., 68(1–2), 116 (doi: 10.1007/s007040170049)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pepin, N and Losleben, M (2002) Climate change in the Colorado Rocky Mountains: free air versus surface temperature trends. Int. J. Climatol., 22, 311329 (doi: 10.1002/joc.740)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petersen, L and Pellicciotti, F (2011) Spatial and temporal variability of air temperature on melting glaciers: a comparison of different extrapolation methods and their effect on melt modelling, Juncal Norte Glacier, Chile. J. Geophys. Res., 116(D23), D23109 (doi: 10.1029/2011JD015842)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petersen, L, Pellicciotti, F, Juszak, I, Carenzo, M and Brock, B (2013) Suitability of a constant air temperature lapse rate over an alpine glacier: testing the Greuell and Böhm model as an alternative. Ann. Glaciol., 54(63), 120130 (doi: 10.3189/2013AoG63A477)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ragettli, S and 9 others (2015) Unraveling the hydrology of a Himalayan watershed through systematic integration of high resolution in-situ ground data and remote sensing with an advanced simulation model. Adv. Wat. Resour., 78, 94111 (doi: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.01.013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Richner, H and Phillips, P (1984) A comparison of temperatures from mountaintops and the free atmosphere – their diurnal variation and mean difference. Mon. Weather Rev., 112(7), 13281340 2.0.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rolland, C (2002) Spatial and seasonal variations of air temperature lapse rates in Alpine regions. J. Climate, 16(7), 10321046 (doi: 10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016<3C1032:SASVOA>3E2.0.CO;2)2.0.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steiner J, and Pellicciotti, F (2016) On the variability of air temperature over a debris-covered glacier, Nepalese Himalaya. Ann. Glaciol., 57(71), (doi: 10.3189/2016AoG71A066) (see paper in this issue)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steiner, J, Pellicciotti, F, Buri, P, Miles, E, Reid, T and Immerzeel, W (2015) Modeling ice-cliff backwasting on a debris-covered glacier in the Nepalese Himalaya. J. Glaciol. 61(229), 889907 (doi: 10.3189/2015JoG14J194)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thayyen, R and Dimri, A (2014) Factors controlling slope environmental lapse rate (SELR) of temperature in monsoon and coldarid glacio-hydrological regimes of the Himalaya. Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 56455686 (doi: 10.5194/tcd-8-5645-2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
You have Access
Open access

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Air temperature variability in a high-elevation Himalayan catchment
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Air temperature variability in a high-elevation Himalayan catchment
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Air temperature variability in a high-elevation Himalayan catchment
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *