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The pre-last glacial maximum paleolake sediments at Baumkirchen, western Austria, are well known in Alpine Quaternary stratigraphy as being the type locality of the Middle to Upper Würmian transition. Their location provides a rare opportunity to investigate the vegetation history of the interior of the Alps during the last glacial cycle. A recent renewed research effort involving new drilling revealed a 250-m-thick lacustrine sequence with an older, ca. Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 4 phase and a younger, mid- to late MIS 3 phase. Pollen analysis reveals generally poor preservation and very low pollen concentration due to very high sedimentation rates. On the basis of pollen percentages and influx rates, six pollen zones (PZ) were assigned. PZ1 and 2 correspond to the entire ca. MIS 4 section and are characterized by only scattered vegetation representing an extremely cold and dry climate. Two stadials and two interstadials were identified in the MIS 3 section. The interstadials are characterized by well-developed open vegetation with some stands of trees, with the upper PZ6 being better developed but still forest-free. On the basis of previous radiocarbon dating, this zone (PZ6) is correlated to Greenland Interstadial (GI) 7 and the lower interstadial (PZ4) tentatively to GI 8.
The characteristics of summer energy budgets in the ablation zones during the summer at the surface of two glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula are investigated and compared to the findings of previous studies. The study areas are located on King George Island (62° S) and in Marguerite Bay (68° S). The summer energy balance was computed from automatic weather station data. The results reveal that turbulent heat fluxes dominate over radiation balance in Marguerite Bay whereas on King George Island ablation is driven by net radiation. The summer energy balance on King George Island reflects the more maritime subpolar climate along the northwest tip of the peninsula in contrast to a more continentally toned polar climate in Marguerite Bay and areas further south. The terms of the energy balances are partitioned very differently but ad-vection from northerly directions causes the highest summer snowmelt rates at both study sites. It is concluded that sensitivity studies should consider not only the mean air-temperature increase, but also possible changes in other climate parameters.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
A degree-day model extended for surface mass-balance calculations has been applied to derive the sensitivity of Gran Campo Nevado ice cap (GCN), southwest Patagonia, to climate change. Seasonal sensitivity characteristics were computed using automatic weather station data gathered in the period 2000–05. Results indicate pronounced mass-balance sensitivity to temperature during the summer, with monthly values of –0.27±0.01mw.e. K–1. Monthly sensitivity to a 10% precipitation perturbation fluctuates around +0.03mw.e The sensitivity characteristics obtained were used to model the surface mass-balance evolution of GCN during the 20th and 21 st centuries based on monthly means of air temperature and precipitation derived from bias-corrected weather station data and statistically downscaled re-analysis and general climate model data. Surface mass balance shows a persistently negative trend ranging from around +1mw.e. a–1 at the beginning of the 20th century down to almost –1.5mw.e. a–1 during the first years of the 21st century, with only a few positive years occurring occasionally during the second half of the 20th century. The scenario for the end of the 21 st century totals approximately –4.5mw.e. a–1, i.e. an estimated ice volume loss for GCN of 59 km3 during 1900–2099.
A glacier inventory for península Córdova, isla Riesco, Chilean Patagonia (53°14’ S, 73°00’W), has been compiled based on stereoscopic interpretation of aerial photographs of March and December 1984 and 1:100 000 topographic maps. Three small icefields comprising 33 glacier outlets, in addition to 12 small separate glaciers, have been identified, with a total area of 57 km2. Glaciers are located on mountain peaks with a maximum altitude of 1183 mand a lowermost elevation of 100 m. All glaciers terminate on land, except for three glaciers calving into small fresh-water lakes. A Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) image of 6 October 1986 has been rectified and analyzed using a supervised classification to estimate snow- and glacier-covered surfaces. Glacier-area data derived from satellite-image analyses have been adjusted at península Córdova using photo-interpreted data, and extrapolated to estimate a glacier area of 215 ±40km2 for all of isla Riesco. The presence of trimlines and moraines beyond the present position of the glaciers indicates a generalized retreat from a maximum neoglacial position at península Córdova, most probably as a result of regional warming and precipitation decrease observed during the last century.
The volume- and area-change evolution of glaciers can be obtained by employing the volume–area scaling approach during mass-balance modelling. This method usually requires information on the initial surface area and ice volume to adjust the volume–area relation to the specific ice body. However, absolute volumetric data on glaciers are very rare, so the applicability of volume–area scaling is limited. In order to use volume–area scaling on glaciers for which only limited information is available, a new method is presented to calibrate the volume–area relation without prior knowledge of this relation by using glacier extent information from different times. To validate the method and illustrate its practicability, we model the range of probable future changes in ice volume and surface area of ‘Glaciar Noroeste’, an outlet glacier of Gran Campo Nevado ice cap, southern Chilean Patagonia, during the 21st century, based on IPCC SRES scenarios B1 and A2.
Vestfonna ice cap, northeastern Svalbard, is one of the largest ice bodies in the European Arctic, but little is known about the evolution of its mass balance. This study presents a reconstruction of the climatic mass balance of the ice cap for the period 1979/80-2010/11. The reconstruction is based on calculations using a mass-balance model that combines a surface-elevation-dependent accumulation scheme with a spatially distributed temperature-index ablation model that includes net shortwave radiation. Refreezing is included, based on the basic Pmax approach. The model accounts for cloud-cover effects and surface albedo variations that are calculated by a statistical albedo model. ERA-Interim derived air temperature, precipitation and total cloud-cover data are used as input. Results reveal a mean climatic mass-balance rate of +0.09 ± 0.15 m w.e. a–1 for the study period. Annual balances show a slight, insignificant trend towards less positive values over the study period. Refreezing is estimated to contribute about one-third to annual accumulation, and a significant positive trend in refreezing is present over the study period. The modelling results reveal a significant steepening of the climatic mass-balance gradient and indicate a lengthening of the characteristic 3 month ablation period in recent years.
Most glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau are difficult to assess as they are located in remote regions at high altitude. This study focuses on the surface energy-balance (SEB) and mass-balance (MB) characteristics of Purogangri ice cap (PIC). A ‘COupled Snowpack and Ice surface energy and MAss balance model’ (COSIMA) is applied without observational data from the ground. The model is forced by a meteorological dataset from the High Asia Refined analysis. Model results for annual surface-elevation changes and MB agree well with the results of a previous remote-sensing estimate. Low surface velocities of 0.026 ± 0.012 m d−1 were measured by repeat-pass InSAR. This finding supports the validation of the steady-state COSIMA against satellite-derived surface changes. Overall MB of PIC for the period 2001–11 is nearly balanced (−44 kg m−2 a−1). Analysis of the model-derived SEB/MB components reveals that a significant amount of snowfall in spring is responsible for high surface albedo throughout the year. Thus, the average surface energy loss through net longwave radiation is larger than the energy gain through net shortwave radiation. The dry continental climate favours mass loss through sublimation, which accounts for 66% of the total mass loss.
Precipitation downscaling in mountainous regions with sparse station data is challenging, but needed to link global climate datasets with high-resolution glacier models. In this study, we apply a linear orographic precipitation model (OPM) to generate orographic precipitation fields for mass-balance studies at Gran Campo Nevado (GCN), Southern Patagonia. The OPM is driven by large-scale atmospheric input variables taken from the reanalysis data of the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research. The orographic precipitation fields are compared to precipitation fields assessed by a linear precipitation gradient, widely used in earlier mass-balance studies of GCN and elsewhere. Both downscaling methods are implemented into a degree-day model to analyze the sensitivity of mass-balance modeling to different precipitation inputs. Significant spatio-temporal differences are found, particularly in the summit region. The mass-balance modeling shows high sensitivity to the different precipitation distribution methods, leading to differences in the mass-balance gradients on the east side of GCN.
Climate variables that control the annual cycle of the surface energy and mass balance on Zhadang glacier in the central Tibetan Plateau were examined over a 2 year period using a physically based energy-balance model forced by routine meteorological data. The modelled results agree with measured values of albedo, incoming longwave radiation, surface temperature and surface level of the glacier. For the whole observation period, the radiation component dominated (82%) the total surface energy heat fluxes. This was followed by turbulent sensible (10%) and latent heat (6%) fluxes. Subsurface heat flux represented a very minor proportion (2%) of the total heat flux. The sensitivity of specific mass balance was examined by perturbations of temperature (±1 K), relative humidity (±20%) and precipitation (±20%). The results indicate that the specific mass balance is more sensitive to changes in precipitation than to other variables. The main seasonal variations in the energy balance were in the two radiation components (net shortwave radiation and net longwave radiation) and these controlled whether surface melting occurred. A dramatic difference in summer mass balance between 2010 and 2011 indicates that the glacier surface mass balance was closely related to precipitation seasonality and form (proportion of snowfall and rainfall).
The glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula are believed to react rapidly to climatic fluctuations. Thus it is of great interest to find methods for monitoring regional climate variability in this region, Two small glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula were chosen to monitor the accumulation and ablation pattern of the snow cover in respect to climate variations. During two summer seasons, synthetic aperture radar pulse-repetition interval images from the European ERS-1 active microwave satellite instrument were collected. Simultaneously, micro-meteorological measurements with simple automatic weather stations were carried out at three locations on the glaciers. Energy available for snowmelt was computed using the bulk transfer equations. Incorporating a digital terrain model and a model for shortwave irradiance, estimates of the energy available for melt were then calculated for the entire glaciers. The resulting time series of spatially distributed information on available energy can be used to separate periods and areas with snow-melt from periods and areas with completely frozen snow cover. The same separation can be achieved from the ERS-1 imagery. Integrating both the remote-sensing technique and the ground observations, it may be possible to establish a combined method to monitor the effects of weather patterns on a seasonal basis.
Supraglacial deposits are known for their influence on glacier ablation. The magnitude of this influence depends on the thickness and the type of the deposited material. The effects of thin layers of atmospheric black carbon and of thick moraine debris have been intensively studied. Studies related to regional-scale deposits of volcanic tephra with thicknesses varying between millimetres and metres and thus over several orders of magnitude are scarce. We present results of a field experiment in which we investigated the influence of supraglacial deposits of tephra from Grímsvötn volcano on bare-ice ablation at Svínafelsjökull, Iceland. We observed that the effective thickness at which ablation is maximized ranges from 1.0 to 2.0 mm. At ~10 mm a critical thickness is reached where sub-tephra ablation equals bare-ice ablation. We calibrated two empirical ablation models and a semi-physics-based ablation model that all account for varying tephra-layer thicknesses. A comparison of the three models indicates that for tephra deposits in the lower-millimetre scale the temperature/radiation-index model performs best, but that a semi-physics-based approach could be expected to yield superior results for tephra deposits of the order of decimetres.
Using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Level 1 radiance Swath Data (MOD02QKM) with a spatial resolution of 250 m, we derive snowlines during July–September 2001–12 for several mountain ranges distributed across the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Radiance bands 1 and 2 are projected to the study area and processed automatically. The discrimination between snow and ice is done using a k-mean cluster analysis and the snowlines are delineated based on a fixed percentile of the snow-cover altitude. The highest transient snowline altitude is then taken as a proxy for the equilibrium-line altitude (ELA). In the absence of measured glaciological, meteorological or hydrological data, our ELA time series enable better understanding of atmosphere-cryosphere couplings on the TP. Interannual ELA variability is linked to local and remote climate indices using a correlation analysis. Southerly flow and higher temperatures are linked with a higher ELA in most regions. Eastern and Trans-Himalayan sites show positive correlations between winter temperatures and ELA. As winter temperatures are substantially below zero, this suggests an enhancement of winter sublimation as opposed to a reduction in accumulation. It appears that large-scale atmospheric forcing has varying and sometimes opposite influences on the annual ELA in different regions on the TP.
We use numerical modelling of glacier mass balance combined with recent and past glacier extents to obtain information on Little Ice Age (LIA) climate in southeastern Tibet. We choose two glaciers that have been analysed in a previous study of equilibrium-line altitudes (ELA) and LIA glacier advances with remote-sensing approaches. We apply a physically based surface energy- and mass-balance model that is forced by dynamically downscaled global analysis data. The model is applied to two glacier stages mapped from satellite imagery, modern (1999) and LIA. Precipitation scaling factors (PSF) and air temperature offsets (ATO) are applied to reproduce recent ELA and glacier mass balance (MB) during the LIA. A sensitivity analysis is performed by applying seasonally varying gradients of precipitation and air temperature. The calculated glacier-wide MB estimate for the period 2000–12 is negative for both glaciers (–992±366 kgm–2 a–1 and –1053±258 kgm–2 a–1). Relating recent and LIA PSF/ATO sets suggests a LIA climate with ~8–25% increased precipitation and ~1–2.5°C lower mean air temperature than in the period 2000–12. The results only provide an order of magnitude because deviations in other input parameters are not considered.
Placebo responses raise significant challenges for the design of clinical trials. We report changes in agitation outcomes in the placebo arm of a recent trial of citalopram for agitation in Alzheimer's disease (CitAD).
In the CitAD study, all participants and caregivers received a psychosocial intervention and 92 were assigned to placebo for nine weeks. Outcomes included Neurobehavioral Rating Scale agitation subscale (NBRS-A), modified AD Cooperative Study-Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGIC), Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (CMAI), the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) Agitation/Aggression domain (NPI A/A) and Total (NPI-Total) and ADLs. Continuous outcomes were analyzed with mixed-effects modeling and dichotomous outcomes with logistic regression.
Agitation outcomes improved over nine weeks: NBRS-A mean (SD) decreased from 7.8 (3.0) at baseline to 5.4 (3.2), CMAI from 28.7 (6.7) to 26.7 (7.4), NPI A/A from 8.0 (2.4) to 4.9 (3.8), and NPI-Total from 37.3 (17.7) to 28.4 (22.1). The proportion of CGI-C agitation responders ranged from 21 to 29% and was significantly different from zero. MMSE improved from 14.4 (6.9) to 15.7 (7.2) and ADLs similarly improved. Most of the improvement was observed by three weeks and was sustained through nine weeks. The major predictor of improvement in each agitation measure was a higher baseline score in that measure.
We observed significant placebo response which may be due to regression to the mean, response to a psychosocial intervention, natural course of symptoms, or nonspecific benefits of participation in a trial.
A layered composite coating material with favorable properties for application as a transparent conductor is presented. It is composed of layers of three nanoscopic materials, namely zinc oxide nanoparticles, single wall nanotubes, and graphene oxide nanosheets. The electrically conducting layer consists of single wall nanotubes (SWNTs). The layer of zinc oxide nanoparticles acts as a primer. It increases the adhesion and the stability of the films against mechanical stresses. The top layer of graphene oxide enhances the conductivity of such coatings. Such three-layer composite coatings show better conductivity (without compromising transparency) and improved mechanical stability compared to pure SWNT films. The processes used in the preparation of such coatings are easily scalable.
'Ain Ghazal is among the earliest large population centers known in the Middle East. A total of four major stratigraphic cultural units have been identified: 1) The oldest Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (MPPNB) unit (10.2 to 9.5 cal ka BP) clearly corresponds with the early Holocene maximum Dead Sea levels. 2) The second unit consists of Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (LPPNB) in situ walls and hearths. 3) In the subsequent PPNC (8.9 to 8.6 cal ka BP) the population density at the settlement drops dramatically, which corresponds with a significant drop in the Dead Sea level. 4) The 4th stratigraphic unit is characterized by the “Yarmoukian rubble layer”. Additionally, there is evidence for a previously unrecognized use of the site by Chalcolithic pastoralists. Sedimentological analyses reveal a constant increase in dust from a remote source during the entire human occupation period, which correlates well with the detectable drops in climatic humidity from the Dead Sea. As the major focus of this study, we can now rule out previous notions that the “Yarmoukian” rubble layer could have been produced by (catastrophic) slope-scale gravitational movements. To this point, it appears that the Neolithic mega-site was abandoned due to a climatic aridification.