Next Article in Journal
An Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Variability and Change in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa
Previous Article in Journal
Particulate Matter and Associated Metals: A Link with Neurotoxicity and Mental Health
Previous Article in Special Issue
Spatial Variability of Glaciochemistry along a Transect from Zhongshan Station to LGB69, Antarctica
Article

Atmosphere Driven Mass-Balance Sensitivity of Halji Glacier, Himalayas

1
Geography Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin, Germany
2
Chair of Climatology, Technische Universität Berlin, 12165 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Renato R. Colucci and Edward Hanna
Atmosphere 2021, 12(4), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12040426
Received: 20 January 2021 / Revised: 17 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 26 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between the Cryosphere and Climate (Change))
The COupled Snowpack and Ice surface energy and mass balance model in PYthon (COSIPY) was employed to investigate the relationship between the variability and sensitivity of the mass balance record of the Halji glacier, in the Himalayas, north-western Nepal, over a 40 year period since October 1981 to atmospheric drivers. COSIPY was forced with the atmospheric reanalysis dataset ERA5-Land that has been statistically downscaled to the location of an automatic weather station at the Halji glacier. Glacier mass balance simulations with air temperature and precipitation perturbations were executed and teleconnections investigated. For the mass-balance years 1982 to 2019, a mean annual glacier-wide climatic mass balance of −0.48 meters water equivalent per year (m w.e. a−1) with large interannual variability (standard deviation 0.71 m w.e. a−1) was simulated. This variability is dominated by temperature and precipitation patterns. The Halji glacier is mostly sensitive to summer temperature and monsoon-related precipitation perturbations, which is reflected in a strong correlation with albedo. According to the simulations, the climate sensitivity with respect to either positive or negative air temperature and precipitation changes is nonlinear: A mean temperature increase (decrease) of 1 K would result in a change of the glacier-wide climatic mass balance of −1.43 m w.e. a−1 (0.99 m w.e. a−1) while a precipitation increase (decrease) of 10% would cause a change of 0.45m w.e. a−1 (−0.59 m w.e. a−1). Out of 22 circulation and monsoon indexes, only the Webster and Yang Monsoon index and Polar/Eurasia index provide significant correlations with the glacier-wide climatic mass balance. Based on the strong dependency of the climatic mass balance from summer season conditions, we conclude that the snow–albedo feedback in summer is crucial for the Halji glacier. This finding is also reflected in the correlation of albedo with the Webster and Yang Monsoon index. View Full-Text
Keywords: High Mountain Asia; Himalayas; Halji glacier; COSIPY; cryosphere; climatic mass balance variability; atmospheric forcing; seasonal sensitivity characteristics; energy and mass balance modeling; atmospheric downscaling High Mountain Asia; Himalayas; Halji glacier; COSIPY; cryosphere; climatic mass balance variability; atmospheric forcing; seasonal sensitivity characteristics; energy and mass balance modeling; atmospheric downscaling
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Arndt, A.; Scherer, D.; Schneider, C. Atmosphere Driven Mass-Balance Sensitivity of Halji Glacier, Himalayas. Atmosphere 2021, 12, 426. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12040426

AMA Style

Arndt A, Scherer D, Schneider C. Atmosphere Driven Mass-Balance Sensitivity of Halji Glacier, Himalayas. Atmosphere. 2021; 12(4):426. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12040426

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arndt, Anselm, Dieter Scherer, and Christoph Schneider. 2021. "Atmosphere Driven Mass-Balance Sensitivity of Halji Glacier, Himalayas" Atmosphere 12, no. 4: 426. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12040426

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop