Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Climate at the Equilibrium Line of Glaciers

  • Atsumu Ohmura (a1), Peter Kasser (a2) and Martin Funk (a3)
Abstract

The relationships between temperature, precipitation and radiation on glacier equilibrium lines are investigated, using 70 glaciers for which the mass balance and meteorological observations have been carried out for sufficiently long periods. It is found that the characteristic climate at glacier equilibrium lines can be described using the summer 3 months’ temperature in a free atmosphere, annual total precipitation, and the sum of global and long-wave net radiation. All of these are measured at or very near the equilibrium-line altitudes. Then, it is shown how the shift of the equilibriumline will occur as a result of a climatic change. Finally, the effect of the shift of the equilibrium line on the annualmean specific mass balance is analytically derived and compared with observations. The present results make it possible to identify the altitudes in climate models where glacierization should begin, and to evaluate the mass-balance changes as a result of possible future changes in the climate.

  • View HTML
    • 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.

      Climate at the Equilibrium Line of Glaciers
      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.

      Climate at the Equilibrium Line of Glaciers
      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.

      Climate at the Equilibrium Line of Glaciers
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Ageta, Y. and Satow, K. 1978. Study of the mass balance of small glaciers in Khumbu Himal during the summer monsoon season. Seppyo, 40, Special Issue, 411.
Ahlmann, H. W. 1948. Glaciological research on the North Atlantic coasts. London, Royal Geographical Society. (Research Series 1.)
Alean, J. 1977. Zum Massenhaushalt des Baby Glaciers auf der Axel Heiberg Insel in der kanadischen Hocharktis (1959/60 bis 1975/76). (Diplomarbeit, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich.)
Ambach, W. 1955. Über den nächtlichen Wärmeumsatz der gefrorenen Gletscheroberfiäche. Arch. Meteorol. Geophys. Bioklimatol., Ser. A, 8(4),411426.
Ambach, W. 1963. Untersuchungen zum Energieumsatz in der Ablationszonc des grönländischen Inlandeises (Camp IV - EGIG, 69°40'05" N, 49°37'58" W). Medd. Grønl., 174(4).
Ambach, W. 1974. The influence of cloudiness on the net radiation balance of a snow surface with high albedo. J. Glaciol., 13(67), 7384.
Ambach, W. 1977. Untersuchungen zum Energieumsatz in der Ablationszone des grönländischen Inlandeises. Nachtrag. Medd. Grønl., 187(5).
Ames, A. 1985. Estudio de mediciones glaciologicas efectuadas en la Cordillera Blanca per Electropern S.A.: variación y balance de masas de los glaciares y su contribución en el caudal de las cuencas. Grenoble, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Géophysique de l’Environnement (Publication 457.)
Andrews, R. H. 1964. Meteorology and heat balance of the ablation area, White Glacier, Canadian Arctic Archipelago — summer 1960 (Lower Ice Station: 79°26’N, 90°39’W, 208m). Axel Heiberg M. Res. Rep., McGill Univ., Meteorot. 1.
Arnold, Κ. C. 1968. Determination of changes of surface height, 1957–1967, of Gilman Glacier, northern Ellesmere Island, Canada. (M.Sc. thesis, McGill University.)
Atmospheric Environment Service. 1982. Canadian climate normals 1951–1980. Vol. 3. Precipitation. Toronto, Environment Canada. Atmospheric Environment Service.
Bai, Ζ. and Xie, W. 1965. Heat balance on the melting surface during the ablation period on Glacier No. 1 in the headwater of Urumqi river, Tianshan. In Glaciological and hydro logical research in the headwater of Urumqi river. Beijing, Science Press, 7582.
Bai, Ζ., Ding, L. and Yuz, T. 1985. Preliminary results of the investigation on the relations among the radiation — and heat balance, glaciers and climate in the headwater of Urumqi river, Tianshan. Annual Report of Work at Tianshan Glaciological Station, 2, 199241.
Benson, C. S. 1962. Stratigraphie studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland ice sheet. SIPRE Res. Rep. 70.
Blatter, H. and Kappenberger, G. 1988. Mass balance and thermal regime of Laika Ice Cap, Coburg Island, N.W.T., Canada. J. Glaciol., 34(116), 102110.
Braithwaite, R. J. 1980. Regional modelling of ablation in West Greenland. Grønl. Geol. Undersøgelse. Rapp. 98.
Braithwaite, R.J. 1987. The last full summer of glacier-climate investigations at Qamanârssûp sermia, West Greenland. Grønl. Geol. Undersøgelse. Rapp. 135, 9599.
Braithwaite, R.J. 1989. Glacier-climate studies 1987–1988 at Qamanàrssûp sermia, West Greenland. Grønl. Geol. Undersøgelse. Rapp.. 145, 5658.
Braithwaite, R.J. and Olesen, O.B. 1985. Ice ablation in West Greenland in relation to air temperature and global radiation. Z. Gletscherfcd. Glazialgeol., 20, 1984, 155168.
British Meteorological Office. 1978. Tables of temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation for the world. Part II. London, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.
Budyko, M.I., ed. 1963. Atlas teplovogo balansa zemnogo shara [Atlas of the heat balance of the Earth]. Moscow, Akademiya Nauk, SSSR.
Calanca, P. -L. and Heuberger, R. 1990. Energy balance. Zürcher Geogr. Sehr. 38, 6073.
Canada. Department of Transport. Meteorological Branch. 1970. Atlas of climatic maps. Toronto, Department of Transport. Meteorological Branch.
Escher-Vetter, H. 1985. Energy balance calculations for the ablation period 1982 at Vernagt ferner, Oetztal Alps. Ann. Glaciol., 6, 158160.
Fujii, Y., Nakawo, M. and Shrestha, M. L. 1976. Mass balance studies of the glaciers in Hidden Valley, Mukut Himal. Seppyo, 38, Special Issue, 17;21.
Funk, M. 1985. Räumliche Verteilung der Massenbihmz auf dem Rhonegletscher und ihre Beziehung zu Klimaelementen. Zürcher Geogr. Sehr. 24.
Funk, M. and Aellen, M. Unpublished. Bericht No. 5026 über die Hydrologie und Glaziologie des Griessccgebi-etes im Jahr 1984/85 mit Uerbersicht der Hauptergebnisse seit 1961/62 im Auftrag der Kraftwckc Acgina AG, Ulrichen und Zürich, Juli 1986.
Haeberli, W., comp. 1985. Fluctuations of glaciers 1975–1980. Vol. IV. Paris, International Association of Hydrological Sciences/UNESCO.
Hattersley-Smith, G. and Scrson, H. 1970. Mass balance of the Ward Hunt ice rise and Ice Shelf: 10 year record. J. Glaciol., 9(56), 247252.
Havens, J. M. 1964. Meteorology and heat balance on the accumulation area, McGill Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic Archipelago — summer 1960 (Upper Ice Station 1: 79°41’N 90°27’W, 1530m). Axel Heiberg Isl. Res. Rep., Mc.Gill Univ., Meteorol. 2.
Higuchi, K. 1977. Effect of nocturnal precipitation on the mass balance of the Rikha Samba Glacier, Hidden Valley, Nepal. Seppyo, 39, Special Issue, 4349.
Hoinkes, H. 1955. Measurements of ablation and heat balance on Alpine glaciers. J. Glaciol., 2(17), 497501.
Hoinkes, H. 1970. Methoden und Möglichkeiten von Massenhaushaltsstudien auf Gletschern. Z. Glctscherkd. Glazialgeol., 6(1–2), 3890.
Hoinkes, H. and Lang, H. 1962. Winterschneedeckc und Gebictsnicdcrschlag 1957/58 und 1958/59 im Bereich des Hintercis- und Kesselwandfcrners (Otztaler Alpen). Arch. Meteorol. Geophys. Bioklimatol., Ser. Β, 11(4), 424446.
Holmgren, Β. 1971. Climate and energy exchange on a sub-polar ice cap in summer. Arctic Institute of North America Devon Island Expedition 1961–1963. Part, E. Radiation climate. Uppsala Universitet. Meteorologiska Institutionen. (Medde-lande 111.)
Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition. 1985. Science in Antarctica. Vol. 9. Data compilation. Tokyo, National Institute of Polar Research.
Johnson, A. M. 1976. The climate of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. In Schwerdtfeger, W., ed. World survey of climatology. Vol. 12. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 147218.
Jordan, E. 1984. Die Verglctscherung des Cotopaxi — Ecuador. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol, 19(1), 1983, 73102.
Källén, Ε., Crafoord, C. and Ghil, M. 1979. Free oscillation in a climate model with ice-sheet dynamics. J. Atmos. Sei., 36(12), 22922303.
Kasser, P., comp. 1973. Fluctuations of glaciers 1965–1910. Paris, International Association of Hydrological Sciences/UNESCO.
Koerner, R. M. 1966. Accumulation on the Devon Island ice cap, Northwest Territories, Canada. J. Glaciol., 6(45), 383392.
Koerner, R. M. 1979. Accumulation, ablation- and oxygen isotope variations on the Queen Elizabeth Islands ice caps, Canada. J. Glaciol., 22(86), 2541.
Kraus, P. 1983. Glacier inventory of southeast Ellesmere Island, N.W.T., Canada and its application for estimating the annual run-off. Zürcher Geogr. Sehr. 9.
Kuhn, M. 1981. Climate and glaciers. International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 131 (Symposium at Canberra 1979 Sea — Level, Ice, and Climatic. Change), 320.
Kuhn, M., Nickus, U. and Pellet, F. 1982. Die Niederschlagsverhältnisse im inneren Ötztal. Kurzfassungen der Vorträge. 17, ITAM, Berchtesgaden, 21. –25. Sept. 1982, 235237.
Lister, H. 1962. Heat and mass balance at the surface, of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, 1960. Montreal, etc., Arctic Institute of North America. (Research Paper 19.)
Loewe, F. 1971. Considerations on the origin of the Quaternary ice sheet of North America. Aret. Alp. Res., 3(4), 331344.
Mani, A. 1980. Handbook of solar radiation dato, for India. New Delhi, etc., Allied Publishers.
Marcus, M. G. 1964. Climate-glacier studies in the Juneau Ice Field region, Alaska. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. (Department of Geography Research Paper 88.)
Marshunova, M.S. and Chernigovskiy, N.T. 1971. Radiatsionnyy rezhim zarubezhmoy Arktiki [Radiation 7regime of the foreign Arctic]. Leningrad, Gidromet-eorologicheskoye Izdatel’stvo.
Meier, M. F., Tangborn, W. V., Mayo, L. R. and Post, A. 1971. Combined ice and water balances of Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers, Alaska and South Cascade Glacier, Washington, 1965 and 1966 hydrologie years. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 725–A.
Miller, A. 1976. The climate of Chile. In Schwerdtfeger, W., ed. World survey of climatology. Vol. 12. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 113145.
Mokievsky-Zubok, O. and Stanley, A. D. 1976a. Canadian glaciers in the International Hydrological Decade Program, 1965–1914- No. 1. Senthiel Glacier, British Columbia — summary of measurements. Ottawa, Inland Waters Directorate. Water Resources Branch (Scientific Series 68.)
Mokievsky-Zubok, O. and Stanley, A.D. 1976b. Canadian glaciers in the International Hydrological Decade Program, 1965–1914- No. 2. Place Glacier, British Columbia — summary of measurements. Ottawa, Inland Waters Directorate. Water Resources Branch. (Scientific Series 69.)
Mokievsky-Zubok, O., Ommanncy, C. S. L. and Power, J. 1985. NHRI glacier mass balance 1964–1984 (Cordillera and Arctic). Ottawa, Environment Canada. National Hydrology Research Institute. Surface Water Division. Glacier Section.
Moser, Η., Escher-Vetter, Η. Oerter, H., Rcinwarth, O. and Zunke, D. 1986. AbjTuss in und von Gletschern. Munich, Gesellschaft für Strahlen- und Umwclt-forschung. (GSF-Bericht 41/86.)
Müller, F., comp. 1977. Fluctuations of glaciers 1910-1915. (Vol. III.) Paris, International Association of Hydrological Sciences/UNESCO.
Nogami, M. 1976. Altitude of the modem snow line in the Andes. Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 7186. (Geographical Report 11.)
Ocrlemíins, J. and van der Veen, C. J. 1984. Ice sheets and climate. Dordrecht, etc., D. Reidel Publishing Company.
Ohmura, A. 1976. The climate of North Water 1972–75. In Müller, F., ed. North Water Project. Progress report 1 October 1974 to 30 September 1975. Zürich, ΕΤΗ; Montreal, McGill University, 1454.
Ohmura, A. 1977. Radiation and heat balance on the surface of North Water. In Müller, F., ed. North Water Project. Progress report 1 October 1975 to 30 September 1916. Zürich, ΕΤΗ; Montreal, McGill University, 4154.
Ohmura, A. 1980. The re-evaluation of the radiation budget and energy balance for the surface of North Water. In Müller, F., ed. North Water Project. Progress report VI. 1 April 1918 to 31 December 1919. Zürich, ΕΤΗ; Montreal, McGill University, 26.
Ohmura, A. 1981. Climate and energy balance on Arctic tundra, Axel Heiberg Island, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, spring and summer 1969, 1970 and 1972. Zürcher Geogr. Sehr. 3.
Ohmura, A. 1982. Climate and energy balance on the Arctic tundra. J. Climatol., 2, 6584.
Ohmura, A. 1987. New temperature distribution maps for Greenland. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 23(1), 145.
Ohmura, A. 1990. On the existence of Glacier No. 1, Urumqi River. Zürcher Geogr. Sehr. 38.
Ohmura, A. and Funk, M. 1986. Report on energy balance measurements on Glacier No. 1 in Tianshan (August-Septembe7- 1985). Zürich, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule. (Berichte und Skripten 24.)
Ohmura, Α., Kasser, P. and Funk, M. 1986. Parameterization of glacierization for a climate model. Proceedings of the ISLSCP Conference, Roma, Italy, 2–6 Dec. 1985.. ESA SP-248, 113123.
Olesen, Ο. Β. 1986. Fourth year of glaciological field work at Tasersiaq and Qapiarfiup sermia, West Greenland. Grøl. Geol. Undersøgelse. Rapp. 130, 121126.
Palz, W., Kasten, F. and Golchert, H.J., eds. 1979. European solar radiation atlas. Vol. 1. Global radiations on horizontal surfaces. Dortmund, W. Grösschen Verlag.
Prohaska, F. 1976. The climate of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. In Schwerdtfeger, W., ed. World survey of climatology. Vol. 12. Amsterdam, Elsevier, 1372.
Sagar, R. B. 1962. Meteoiological and glaciological studies, tee Rise Station, Ward Hunt Island, May to September 1960. Montreal, Arctic Institute of North America. (Research Paper 24.)
Sagar, R. B. 1964. Meteorological and glaciological observations on the Gilman Glacier, northern Ellesmere Island, 1961. Geogr. Bull., 22, 1356.
Scherhag, R. 1969. Klimatische Karten der Nordhemisphäre. Freie Universität Berlin. Institut für Meteorologie und Geophysik. Meteorologische Abhandlungen, 100(1).
Schweiz. Bundesamt für Hydrologie. Unpublished. Internal memorandum with data on the precipitation measured by totalizers in the area of the Rhone. Glacier in 1919–1924. Federal Bureau of Hydrology, Berne, 1977.
Schwerdtfeger, W. 1984. Weather and climate of the. Antarctic. Amsterdam, Elsevier. (Developments in Atmospheric Science 15.)
Schytt, V. 1955. Glaciological investigations in the Thüle Ramp area. SIPRE Rep. 28.
Scvruk, B. 1983. Correction of measured precipitation in the Alps using the water equivalent of new snow. Nord. Hydrol, 14(2), 4958.
Shanklin, J. D. 1981. Measurements of solar and terrestrial radiation at King Edward Point, South Georgia, 1913–81. Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey.
Shi, Y., ed. 1988. Maps of snow, ice and frozen ground in China. Lanzhou, Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology.
Tangborn, W.V., Mayo, L. R., Scully, D. R. and Krimmel, R. M. 1977. Combined ice and water balances of Maclure Glacier, California, South Cascade Glacier, Washington, and Wolverine and Gulkan-i glaciers, Alaska, 1967 Hydrological Year. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 725-B.
Tänzer, G. 1986. Berechnung des Wärmchaushalts an der Gleichgewichtslinie des Hintereisferner. (Diplomarbeit, Universität Innsbruck.)
Timmis, R. J. 1986. Glacier changes in South Georgia and their relationship to climatic trends. (Ph.D. thesis, University of East Anglia.)
U.S. Department of Commerce. 1982. World weather records 1961–1910. Vol. 3. West Indies, South and Central America. Ashville, AL, National Climatic Center.
Wagner, H. P. 1979. Strahlungshaushaltsuntersuchungen an einem Ostalpcngletschcr während der Hauptab-lationspcriode. Teil Π. Langwellige Strahlung und Strahlungsbilanz. Arch. Meteorol. Geophys. Bio-klimatol, Ser. Β, 28, 4162.
Wang, D. and Zhang, P. 1985. On the valley climate of Urumqi River in the Tianshan Mountains. J. Glaciol. Geocryol., 7(3), 239248.
Weidick, A. and Thomsen, Η. H. 1986. A decade of glacier investigations for utilisation of Greenland hydropower. Grønl. Geol. Undersøgclsc. Rapp. 128, 157169.
Weiss, J. 1984. Masscnhaushalt eines Gletschers - Fragen an glaziologischc Untersuchungen und die Resultate der Messreihe am White Glacier in der kanadischen Arktis. (Diplomarbeit, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zürich.)
Wernstedt, F. L. 1985. World climatic data. University Park, PA, Pennsylvania State University.
WMO. 1971. Climatologieal normals (CLINO) for CLIMAT and CLIMAT SHIP stations for the period 1931–1960. Geneva, World Meteorological Organization. (WMO/OMM-117.)
Xiao, S. 1981. On the relation of the atmospheric water vapour and precipitation to the distribution of modern mountain glaciers in China. J. Glaciol. Cryopedol., 3(1), 4552.
Xie, Z. 1984. Studies of ice formation and ice fabric on sthe Law Dome, Antarctica. J. Glaciol. Cryovedol., 6(1), 123.
Yang, D., Jiang, T., Zhang, Y. and Kang, E. 1988. Analysis and correction of errors in precipitation measurement at the head of Urumqi river, Tianshan. J. Glaciol. Geocryol., 10(4), 399407.
Yasunari,, T. and Inoue, J. 1978. Characteristics of monsoonal precipitation around peaks and ridges in Shorong and Khumbu Himal. Seppyo, 40, Special Issue, 2632.
Young, G. J. and Stanley, A. D. 1976a. Canadian glaciers in the International Hydrological Decade Program, 1965-1974- No. 3. Ram River Glacier, Alberta — summary o ƒ measurements. Ottawa, Inland Waters Directorate. Water Resources Branch. (Scientific Series 70.)
Young, G. J. and Stanley, A. D. 1976b. Canadian glaciers in the International Hydrological Decade Program, 1965-1974. No. 4. Peyto Glacier, Alberta — summary of measurements. Ottawa, Inland Waters Directorate. Water Resources Branch. (Scientific Series 71.)
Zhang, J. 1981. Mass balance studies on the No. 1 Glacier of Urumqi River in Tianshan. J. Glaciol. Cryopedol., 3(2), 3240.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0022-1430
  • EISSN: 1727-5652
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-glaciology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed