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Temperature reconstruction from glacier length fluctuations in the Himalaya

  • Argha Banerjee (a1) and Mohd Farooq Azam (a2)

A temperature reconstruction in the glacierized Himalaya over the past centuries using glacial length fluctuation records is challenging due to the abundance of debris-covered glaciers and a scarcity of glacial length fluctuation data. Using idealized flowline model simulations, we show that supraglacial debris cover significantly alters the length fluctuations only when the debris cover is very thick. An expanded database of length fluctuation records for 43 glaciers in the Himalaya and Karakoram is compiled and a standard linear inversion procedure is applied to a subset of 34 glaciers in this database. The reconstructed temperature anomaly during 1860-2010 indicates a continued warming of the region with a total temperature change of ~1.6 K. A close resemblance of the regional temperature anomaly to global trends is seen.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Correspondence: Argha Banerjee <>
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