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Sensitivities of glacier mass balance and runoff to climate perturbations in Norway

  • Markus Engelhardt (a1), Thomas V. Schuler (a1) and Liss M. Andreassen (a2)

Abstract

This study evaluates sensitivities of glacier mass balance and runoff to both annual and monthly perturbations in air temperature and precipitation at four highly glacierized catchments: Engabreen in northern Norway and Ålfotbreen, Nigardsbreen and Storbreen, which are aligned along a west–east profile in southern Norway. The glacier mass-balance sensitivities to changes in annual air temperature range from 1.74 m w.e. K−1 for Ålfotbreen to 0.55 m w.e. K−1 for Storbreen, the most maritime and the most continental glaciers in this study, respectively. The runoff sensitivities of all catchments are 20–25% per degree temperature change and 6–18% for a 30% precipitation change. A seasonality of the sensitivities becomes apparent. With increasing continentality, the sensitivity of mass balance and runoff to temperature perturbations during summer increases, and the sensitivity of annual runoff to both temperature and precipitation perturbations is constricted towards changes during the ablation period. Comparing sensitivities in northern and southern Norway, as well as the variability across southern Norway, reveals that continentality influences sensitivities more than latitude does.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence: Markus Engelhardt <Markus.Engelhardt@geo.uio.no>

References

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