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Alpine Glaciers

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JimD:
The Swiss Alpine glaciers' response to the global '2 °C air temperature target'
Nadine Salzmann et al 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 044001

This paper models the effect on a selection of 101 Swiss glaciers to a 2C temperature rise using the IPCC scenario A1B.  This covers 50% of the glaciated area and 75% of the ice volume in Switzerland.

Under this scenario, which seems very optimistic to me, their conclusion is the following:

--- Quote ---....and all glaciers have fully adjusted to the new climate conditions at around 2150. By this time and relative to the year 2000, the glacierized area and volume are both decreased to about 35% and 20%, respectively, and glacier-based runoff is reduced by about 70%.
--- End quote ---

Under this scenario the runoff from the glaciers will start to plummet circa 2050 with resulting very adverse impacts on agriculture and fresh water supplies.  Making the assumption here that a 2C rise is a bit on the low side it would seem reasonable that this dramatic fall off in water supplies will actually arrive sooner than 2050.  And that the eventual disappearance of Swiss glaciers will occur before 2150.

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/4/044001/article

Edited to change topic title.

Shared Humanity:
The retreating glaciers and thawing alpine permafrost is causing a dramatic increase in rock slides and avalanches.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/specials/climate_change/research/Are_the_Alps_becoming_unstuck.html?cid=33426

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/world/europe/in-swiss-alps-glacial-melting-unglues-mountains.html?pagewanted%253Dall

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Climate_change_causes_more_rock_slides.html?cid=36759038



http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/04/huge-avalancherock-slide-in-french-alps-earlier-this-week-olala-putain/#axzz2iMd8X8iS

JimD:
Holy crap SH!  That is awesome.

On the last one it completely dammed up the stream at the bottom.  If they don't dig it out (pretty hard to do that) it will form a lake and eventually overflow and potentially cause some kind of flood in the future.

JimD:
Climate Progress article on warming in the Alps and impact on glaciers.


--- Quote ---Alps Warming At Double The Average Global Rate, New Study Confirms....Brunot said that at lower lying elevations under 1,000 meters there’s been around 40 percent less snow over the last 50 years....
--- End quote ---

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/16/3068161/alps-warming-rapidly-climate-change/

Shared Humanity:
The hills are alive with the sound of rock slides......

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