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Implications for the dynamic health of a glacier from comparison of conventional and reference-surface balances

Annals of Glaciology

By:
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DOI: 10.3189/172756409787769654

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Abstract

Conventional and reference-surface mass-balance data from Gulkana and Wolverine Glaciers, Alaska, USA, are used to address the questions of how rapidly these glaciers are adjusting (or 'responding') to climate, whether their responses are stable, and whether the glaciers are likely to survive in today's climate. Instability means that a glacier will eventually vanish, or at least become greatly reduced in volume, if the climate stabilizes at its present state. A simple non-linear theory of response is presented for the analysis. The response of Gulkana Glacier is characterized by a timescale of several decades, but its stability and therefore its survival in today's climate are uncertain. Wolverine seems to be responding to climate more slowly, on the timescale of one to several centuries. Its stability is also uncertain, but a slower response time would make it more susceptible to climate changes.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Implications for the dynamic health of a glacier from comparison of conventional and reference-surface balances
Series title:
Annals of Glaciology
DOI:
10.3189/172756409787769654
Volume
50
Issue:
50
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Annals of Glaciology
First page:
25
Last page:
30
Number of Pages:
6