Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Sensitivity of mass balance of five Swiss glaciers to temperature changes assessed by tuning a degree-day model

  • Roger J. Braithwaite (a1) and Yu Zhang (a1)
Abstract

A degree-day model is used to assess the sensitivity of the mass balance of five Swiss glaciers to temperature changes. The model uses temperature data extrapolated from nearby climate stations, and is tuned by varying precipitation to make the model fit the observed distribution of mass balance with altitude. Once the model is tuned, the effect of temperature change is simulated by recalculating the mass balance with the same parameters as before, but with a temperature increase of 1°C throughout the year. The largest mass-balance changes, involving increased ablation of > 1 m w.e. a−1 °C−1, occur at the snout, with a progressively smaller increase with altitude. The area-averaged sensitivities for the five glaciers are −0.7 to −0.9 m w.e. a−1 °C−1. If annual precipitation also increased by 20% it would partly offset the effect of the 1°C higher temperatures but could not compensate for it.

  • 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.

      Sensitivity of mass balance of five Swiss glaciers to temperature changes assessed by tuning a degree-day model
      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.

      Sensitivity of mass balance of five Swiss glaciers to temperature changes assessed by tuning a degree-day model
      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.

      Sensitivity of mass balance of five Swiss glaciers to temperature changes assessed by tuning a degree-day model
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Ambach, W. 1963. Untersuchungen zum Energieumsatz in der Ablationszone des grönländischen Inlandeises (Camp IV–EGIG, 69°40′05″ N, 49°37′58″ W). Medd. Grnnl, 174(4).
Ambach, W. 1988. Heat balance characteristics and ice ablation, western EGIG-profile, Greenland. In Thomsen, T., Sögaard, H. and Braithwaite, R. J., eds. Applied hydrology in the development of northern basins. Copenhagen, Danish Society for Arctic Technology, 5970.
Braithwaite, R. J. 1977. Air temperature and glacier ablation — a parametric approach. (Ph.D. thesis, Interdisciplinary Studies in Glaciology, McGill University.)
Braithwaite, R. J. 1980. Regional modelling of ablation in West Greenland. Grønlands Geol. Undersøgelse, Rapp. 98.
Braithwaite, R. J. 1981. On glacier energy balance, ablation, and air temperature. J. Glaciol., 27(97), 381391.
Braithwaite, R. J. 1985. Calculation of degree-days for glacier-climate research. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol, 20, 1984, 18.
Braithwaite, R. J. 1995a. Aerodynamic stability and turbulent sensible-heat flux over a melting ice surface, the Greenland ice sheet. J. Glaciol, 41(139), 562571.
Braithwaite, R. J. 1995b. Positive degree-day factors for ablation on the Greenland ice sheet studied by energy-balance modelling. J. Glaciol, 41(137), 153160.
Braithwaite, R. J. and Olesen, O. B.. 1989. Calculation of glacier ablation from air temperature, West Greenland. In Oerlemans, J., ed. Glacier fluctuations and climatic change. Dordrecht, etc., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 219233.
Braithwaite, R. J. and Thomsen, H. H.. 1989. Simulation of run-off from the Greenland ice sheet for planning hydro-electric power, Ilulissat/Jakobshavn, West Greenland. Ann. Glaciol., 13, 1215.
Braithwaite, R. J., Konzelmann, T., Marty, C. and Olesen, O. B.. 1998. Re-connaisance study of glacier energy balance in North Greenland, 199394. J. Glaciol, 44(147), 239247.
Chen, J. and Funk, M.. 1990. Mass balance of Rhonegletscher during 1882/83–1986/87. J. Glaciol, 36(123), 199209.
Davidovich, N. V. and Ananicheva, M. D.. 1996. Prediction of possible changes in glacio-hydrological characteristics under global warming: southeastern Alaska, U.S.A. J. Glaciol, 42(142), 407412.
De Quervain, M. 1979. Schneedeckenablation und Gradtage im Versuchsfeld Weissfluhjoch. Eidg. Tech. Hochschule, Zürich. Versuchsanst. Wasserbau, Hydrol. Glaziol. Mitt. 41, 215232.
Funk, M. 1985. Räumliche Verteilung der Massenbilanz auf dem Rhonegletscher und ihre Beziehung zu Klimaelementen. Zürcher Geogr. Schr. 24.
Funk, M., Morelli, R. and Stahel, W.. 1997. Mass balance of Griesgletscher 1961–1994: different methods of determination. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 33(1), 1996, 4155.
Haeberli, W., comp. 1985. Fluctuations of glaciers 1975–1980 (Vol. IV). Paris, International Commission on Snow and Ice of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences/UNESCO.
Haeberli, W. and Hoelzle, M., comps. 1993. Fluctuations of glaciers 1985–1990 (Vol. VI). Wallingford, Oxon, IAHS Press; Nairobi, UNEP; Paris, UNESCO.
Haeberli, W. and Müller, P., comps. 1988. Fluctuations of glaciers1980–1985 (Vol. V). Wallingford, Oxon, IAHS Press; Nairobi, UNEP; Paris, UNESCO.
Hock, R. 1999. A distributed temperature-index ice- and snowmelt model including potential direct solar radiation. J. Glaciol., 45(149), 101111.
Huybrechts, P., Letréguilly, A. and Reeh, N.. 1991. The Greenland ice sheet and greenhouse warming. Global and Planetary Change, 3(4), 399412.
Jóhannesson, T., Sigurdsson, O., Laumann, T. and Kennett, M.. 1993. Degree-day glacier mass balance modelling with applications to glaciers in Iceland and Norway. Reykjavík, Orkustofnun. (Nordic Hydrological Programme. Rapport 33.)
Kasser, P. 1959. Der Einfluss von Gletscherrückgang und Gletschervorstoss auf den Wasserhaushalt. Wasser-und Energiewirtschaft, 51(6), 155168.
Kasser, P. 1967. Fluctuations of glaciers 1959–1965[Vol. I]. Paris, International Commission of Snow and Ice of the International Association of Scientific Hydrology/UNESCO.
Kasser, P., comp. 1973. Fluctuations of glaciers 1965–1970 [Vol. II]. Paris, International Commission on Snow and Ice of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences/UNESCO.
Krenke, A. N. and Khodakov, V. G.. 1966. O svyazi poverkhnostnogo taya-niya lednikov s temperaturoy vozdukha [The relationship between surface ice melting and air temperature]. Mater. Glyatsiol. Issled. 12, 153164.
Kuhn, M. 1993. Possible future contributions to sea level change from small glaciers. In Warrick, R. A., Barrow, E. M. and Wigley, T. M. L., eds. Climate and sea level change: observations, projections and implications. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 134143.
Lang, H., Schadler, B. and Davidson, G.. 1977. Hydroglaciological investigations on the Ewigschneefeld — Gr. Aletschgletscher: ablation, melt-water infiltration, water table in firn, heat balance. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol, 12(2), 1976, 109124.
Laumann, T. and Reeh, N.. 1993. Sensitivity to climate change of the mass balance of glaciers in southern Norway. J. Glaciol., 39(133), 656665.
Laumann, T. and Tvede, A. M.. 1989. Simulation of the effects of climate changes on a glacier in western Norway. In Huttunen, L., ed. Conference on Climate and Water. Helsinki, Finland, 11–15 September 1989. Proceedings. Vol. 1. Helsinki, Suomen Akatemia/Academy of Finland, 339352. (Suomen Akatemian Julkaisuja / Publications of the Academy of Finland 9/89.)
Liestøl, O. 1967. Storbreen glacier in Jotunheimen, Norway. Nor. Polarinst. Skr. 141.
Martin, S. 1975. Correlation bilans de masse annuels — facteurs métérologiques dans les Grandes Rousses. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialgeol., 10(1–2), 1974, 89100.
Meier, M. F. 1984. Contribution of small glaciers to global sea level. Science, 226(4681), 14181421.
Müller, F., comp. 1977. Fluctuations of glaciers 1970–1975 (Vol. III). Paris, International Commission on Snow and Ice of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences/UNESCO.
Müller-Lemans, H., Funk, M., Aellen, M. and Kappenberger, G.. 1995. Langjährige Massenbilanzreihen von Gletschern in der Schweiz. Z. Gletscherkd. Glazialged., 30, 1994, 141160.
Oerlemans, J. and Fortuin, J. P. F.. 1992. Sensitivity of glaciers and small ice caps to greenhouse warming. Science, 258(5079), 115117.
Oerlemans, J. and Hoogendoorn, N. C.. 1989. Mass-balance gradients and climatic change. J. Glaciol., 35(121), 399405.
Ohmura, A., Kasser, P. and Funk, M.. 1992. Climate at the equilibrium line of glaciers. J. Glaciol., 38(130), 397411.
Orheim, O. 1970. Glaciological investigations of Store Supphellebre, west-Norway. Nor. Polarinst. Skr. 151.
Pfeffer, W. T. and 7 others. 1997. Numerical modeling of late glacial Lauren-tide advance of ice across Hudson Strait: insights into terrestrial and marine geology, mass balance, and calving flux. Paleoceanography, 12(1), 97110.
Schytt, V. 1964. Scientific results of the Swedish Glaciological Expedition to Nordaustlandet, Spitsbergen, 1957 and 1958. Geogr. Ann., 46(3), 243281.
Takeuchi, Y., Naruse, R. and Skvarca, P.. 1996. Annual air-temperature measurement and ablation estimate at Moreno Glacier, Patagonia. Bull. Glacier Res. 14, 2328.
Van de Wal, R. S. W. 1992. Ice and climate. (Ph.D. thesis, Utrecht University.)
Vincent, C. and Vallon, M.. 1997. Meteorological controls on glacier mass balance: empirical relations suggested by measurements on glacier de Sarennes, France. J. Glaciol., 43(143), 131137.
Warrick, R. A. and Oerlemans, J.. 1990. Sea level rise. In Houghton, J. T., Jenkins, G. J. and Ephraums, J. J., eds. Climate change: the IPCC scientific assessment. Cambridge, etc., Cambridge University Press, 257281.
Woo, M.-k and Fitzharris, B. B.. 1992. Reconstruction of mass balance variations for Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand, 1913–1989. Arct. Alp. Res., 24(4), 281290.
Zingg, T. 1951. Beziehung zwischen Temperatur und Schmelzwasser und ihre Bedeutung für Niederschlags- und Abflüssfragen. International Association of Scientific Hydrology Publication 32 (General Assembly of Brussels 195 — Snow and Ice), Vol. 1, 266269.
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

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 11
Total number of PDF views: 363 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 280 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 8th September 2017 - 17th August 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.