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Long-term change, interannual and intra-seasonal variability in climate and glacier mass balance in the central Greater Caucasus, Russia

  • M. Shahgedanova (a1), V. Popovnin (a2), A. Aleynikov (a2), D. Petrakov (a2) and C.R. Stokes (a1)...
Abstract

Long-term trends, interannual and intra-seasonal variability in the mass-balance record from Djankuat glacier, central Greater Caucasus, Russia, are related to local climate change, synoptic and large-scale anomalies in atmospheric circulation. A clear warming signal emerged in the central Greater Caucasus in the early 1990s, leading to a strong increase in ablation. In the absence of a compensating change in winter accumulation, the net mass balance of Djankuat has declined. The highest value of seasonal ablation on record was registered in the summer of 2000. At the beginning of the 21st century these trends reversed. Ablation was below average even in the summer of 2003, which was unusually warm in western Europe. Precipitation and winter accumulation were high, allowing for a partial recovery of net mass balance. The interannual variability in the components of mass balance is weakly related to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Scandinavian teleconnection patterns, but there is a clear link with the large-scale circulation anomalies represented by the Rossby pattern. Five synoptic categories have been identified for the ablation season of 2005, revealing a strong separation between components of radiation budget, air temperature and daily melt. Air temperature is the main control over melt. The highest values of daily ablation are related to the strongly positive NAO which forces high net radiation, and to the warm and moist advection from the Black Sea.

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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
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