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Author Topic: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers  (Read 5418 times)

AbruptSLR

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New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« on: August 10, 2014, 01:01:10 PM »
The following link leads to a web article focused on the glacial volume loss (the first attached image shows the loss since 1977) from New Zealand's Southern Alps going back to the 1890's, with a comparison to the global glacial volume loss (see the second image):

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/7/29/science-environment/nzs-southern-alps-have-lost-third-their-ice

Extracts: "A third of the permanent snow and ice of New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to our new research based on National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research aerial surveys.
Since 1977, the Southern Alps’ ice volume has shrunk by 18.4 km3 or 34%, and those ice losses have been accelerating rapidly in the past 15 years."

"Martin Hoelzle and associates at the World Glacier Monitoring Service have estimated estimate the 1890s extent of ice volume in New Zealand’s Southern Alps was 170 km3, compared to 36.1 km3 now. That disappearance of 75-80 per cent of Southern Alps ice is graphic evidence of the local effects of global warming."

Caption for the first image: "The Southern Alps’ total ice volume (solid line) and annual gains or losses (bars) from 1976 to 2014 in km3 of water equivalent, as calculated from the end-of-summer-snowline monitoring programme.”

Caption for the second image: "Global Glacier Thickness Change: This shows average annual and cumulative glacier thickness change of mountain glaciers of the world, measured in vertical metres, for the period 1961 to 2005. (Mark Dyurgerov, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY)"

« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 07:25:13 PM by AbruptSLR »
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AbruptSLR

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH, Glaciers
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 07:24:41 PM »
As almost all of the threads in this folder focus on Northern Hemisphere glacier, I thought that I would expand this thread to include other Southern Hemisphere (and some tropical) glaciers.

Although over a year old, the following linked reference, with a free access pdf, documents the acceleration in glacial ice melt loss from the tropical Andes since the 1970's (due to climate change):

Rabatel, A., Francou, B., Soruco, A., Gomez, J., Cáceres, B., Ceballos, J. L., Basantes, R., Vuille, M., Sicart, J.-E., Huggel, C., Scheel, M., Lejeune, Y., Arnaud, Y., Collet, M., Condom, T., Consoli, G., Favier, V., Jomelli, V., Galarraga, R., Ginot, P., Maisincho, L., Mendoza, J., Ménégoz, M., Ramirez, E., Ribstein, P., Suarez, W., Villacis, M., and Wagnon, P., (2013), "Current state of glaciers in the tropical Andes: a multi-century perspective on glacier evolution and climate change", The Cryosphere, 7, 81-102, doi:10.5194/tc-7-81-2013, DOI: 10.5194/tc-7-81-2013

http://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/81/2013/tc-7-81-2013.html

Abstract: "The aim of this paper is to provide the community with a comprehensive overview of the studies of glaciers in the tropical Andes conducted in recent decades leading to the current status of the glaciers in the context of climate change. In terms of changes in surface area and length, we show that the glacier retreat in the tropical Andes over the last three decades is unprecedented since the maximum extension of the Little Ice Age (LIA, mid-17th–early 18th century). In terms of changes in mass balance, although there have been some sporadic gains on several glaciers, we show that the trend has been quite negative over the past 50 yr, with a mean mass balance deficit for glaciers in the tropical Andes that is slightly more negative than the one computed on a global scale. A break point in the trend appeared in the late 1970s with mean annual mass balance per year decreasing from −0.2 m w.e. in the period 1964–1975 to −0.76 m w.e. in the period 1976–2010. In addition, even if glaciers are currently retreating everywhere in the tropical Andes, it should be noted that this is much more pronounced on small glaciers at low altitudes that do not have a permanent accumulation zone, and which could disappear in the coming years/decades. Monthly mass balance measurements performed in Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia show that variability of the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean is the main factor governing variability of the mass balance at the decadal timescale. Precipitation did not display a significant trend in the tropical Andes in the 20th century, and consequently cannot explain the glacier recession. On the other hand, temperature increased at a significant rate of 0.10 °C decade−1 in the last 70 yr. The higher frequency of El Niño events and changes in its spatial and temporal occurrence since the late 1970s together with a warming troposphere over the tropical Andes may thus explain much of the recent dramatic shrinkage of glaciers in this part of the world."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2014, 07:40:11 PM »

The following linked reference verifies that the accelerating melting of the world's largest tropical glacier, Peru's Qori Kalis outlet glacier is related to increasing temperatures rather that due to reduced precipitation (and correlated this trend with other glaciers worldwide, including other Southern Hemisphere glaciers):


Justin S. Stroup, Meredith A. Kelly, Thomas V. Lowell, Patrick J. Applegate and Jennifer A. Howley, (2014), "Late Holocene fluctuations of Qori Kalis outlet glacier, Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peruvian Andes", Geology, doi: 10.1130/G35245.1


http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2014/02/24/G35245.1.abstract


Abstract: "The temporal and spatial patterns of late Holocene climate conditions provide valuable information for testing hypothesized mechanisms of recent climate changes. As a proxy for late Holocene climate in the southern tropics, we present a 10Be chronology of moraines deposited by Qori Kalis, an outlet glacier of Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru. The Qori Kalis moraines are located downflow from the Quelccaya ice cores and provide the first glacial extent record that can be compared directly to annually resolved tropical ice core records. Qori Kalis advanced to its late Holocene maximum extent prior to 520 ± 60 yr before CE 2009, when Quelccaya ice core net accumulation values were at or below their late Holocene average. Subsequent glacial retreat between ∼520 and 330 yr before CE 2009 coincides with the highest net accumulation values of the ∼1800-yr-long ice core record. Therefore, we suggest that temperature, rather than net accumulation, was the primary driver of these glacial fluctuations. Comparison of the late Holocene fluctuations of Qori Kalis glacier with glaciers in the southern tropical Andes, Patagonian Andes, Switzerland, Alaska, and New Zealand suggests globally synchronous, centennial-scale cold events."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 08:03:50 PM »
In the linked 2011 reference the researchers found that 270 of the largest glaciers between Chile and Argentina have melted “10 to 100 times” faster in the past 30 years than they have during any period since 1650.


N. F. Glasser, S. Harrison, K. N. Jansson, K. Anderson & A. Cowley, (2011), " Global sea-level contribution from the Patagonian Icefields since the Little Ice Age maximum", Nature Geoscience , 4, pp303 - 307
 doi:10.1038/ngeo1122

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n5/pdf/ngeo1122.pdf

Abstract: "The melting of mountain glaciers and ice caps is expected to contribute significantly to sea-level rise in the twenty-first century, although the magnitude of this contribution is not fully constrained. Glaciers in the Patagonian Icefields of South America are thought to have contributed about 10% of the total sea-level rise attributable to mountain glaciers in the past 50 years. However, it is unclear whether recent rates of glacier recession in Patagonia are unusual relative to the past few centuries. Here we reconstruct the recession of these glaciers using remote sensing and field determinations of trimline and terminal moraine location. We estimate that the North Patagonian Icefield has lost 103±20.7 km3 of ice since its late Holocene peak extent in AD 1870 and that the South Patagonian Icefield has lost 503±101.1 km3 since its peak in AD 1650. This equates to a sea-level contribution of 0.0018±0.0004 mm yr−1 since 1870 from the north and 0.0034±0.0007 mm yr−1 since 1650 from the south. The centennial rates of sea-level contribution we derive are one order of magnitude lower than estimates of melting over the past 50 years, even when we account for possible thinning above the trimline. We conclude that the melt rate and sea-level contribution of the Patagonian Icefields increased markedly in the twentieth century."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 05:36:22 PM »
The following linked reference demonstrates that global glacier mass loss is accelerating due to recent anthropogenic forcing above the extant natural component:


Ben Marzeion, J. Graham Cogley, Kristin Richter, & David Parkes, (2014), "Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes", Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1254702


http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/08/13/science.1254702


Abstract: "The ongoing global glacier retreat is affecting human societies by causing sea-level rise, changing seasonal water availability, and increasing geohazards. Melting glaciers are an icon of anthropogenic climate change. However, glacier response times are typically decades or longer, which implies that the present-day glacier retreat is a mixed response to past and current natural climate variability and current anthropogenic forcing. Here, we show that only 25 ± 35% of the global glacier mass loss during the period from 1851 to 2010 is attributable to anthropogenic causes. Nevertheless, the anthropogenic signal is detectable with high confidence in glacier mass balance observations during 1991 to 2010, and the anthropogenic fraction of global glacier mass loss during that period has increased to 69 ± 24%."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Clare

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2015, 02:56:20 AM »
Newspaper article (+ a link in it to a NYT one) about the economic impact of glacial retreat on NZ's West Coast. There is a significant tourist industry associated with this pair of glaciers, which this year have now retreated so far up their valleys as to become inaccessible by foot:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/64643146/plight-of-new-zealand-glaciers-is-global-news


AbruptSLR

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2015, 07:35:45 PM »
The linked article discusses how global warming will rapidly degrade tropical glaciers in the Andes:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/27/global-warming-glacier-depletion-andes
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
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AbruptSLR

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2015, 08:37:16 PM »
The linked article discusses the influence of air pollution from 16th century silver mines on glaciers in the Andes:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0210/Andean-ice-cap-yields-signs-of-16th-century-pollution
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson


LRC1962

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2015, 06:17:55 PM »
The linked article discusses how global warming will rapidly degrade tropical glaciers in the Andes:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/27/global-warming-glacier-depletion-andes

A consequence can be seen in the article. Chacaltaya Glacier, Bolivia
La Paz and the neighboring city of El Alto, Bolivia, compose one of the fastest-growing urban areas in Latin America.2,3 La Paz, the world's highest capital city, depends on runoff from Andean glaciers for around 30 percent of its water supply.2,4
That is just one of the cities in the high Andeas and all of them are in the same situation. BTW Pop of La Laz is around 800,000.
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Clare

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Tor Bejnar

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 04:05:52 PM »
In December 1977 I hitch hiked (via motorcycle from the coast!) to the toe of Frans Josef Glacier and walked on some beautiful blue ice.  Without hobnails or cleats, footing was rather precarious!

Image from the internet shows approximate extent then.  Curious that this glacier advanced from 1985 to 2006.
http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/10735/franz-josef-glacier-advances-and-retreats
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

viddaloo

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Re: New Zealand's Southern Alps, & Other SH & Tropical, Glaciers
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 04:26:05 PM »
Tor, a lot of the Norwegian glaciers in the West (lots of precipitation) expanded as well around 2000. Likely explanation is the increased snowfall from a warmer climate, but that doesn't help a decade or so later when much of that snow falls as rain.
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