Spatial patterns of North Atlantic Oscillation influence on mass balance variability of European glaciers 1Center of Climate and Cryosphere, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
14 Jun 2012
2Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, and Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Received: 18 November 2011 – Published in The Cryosphere Discuss.: 03 January 2012 Abstract. We present and validate a set of minimal models of glacier
mass balance variability. The most skillful model is then
applied to reconstruct 7735 individual time series of mass
balance variability for all glaciers in the European Alps and
Scandinavia. Subsequently, we investigate the influence of
atmospheric variability associated with the North Atlantic
Oscillation (NAO) on the glaciers' mass balances.
Revised: 05 April 2012 – Accepted: 18 May 2012 – Published: 14 June 2012
We find a spatial coherence in the glaciers' sensitivity to
NAO forcing which is caused by regionally similar mechanisms
relating the NAO forcing to the mass balance: in southwestern
Scandinavia, winter precipitation causes a correlation of mass
balances with the NAO. In northern Scandinavia, temperature
anomalies outside the core winter season cause an anti-correlation between NAO and mass
balances. In the western Alps, both temperature and winter
precipitation anomalies lead to a weak anti-correlation of
mass balances with the NAO, while in the eastern Alps, the
influences of winter precipitation and
temperature anomalies tend to cancel each other, and only on the southern side a slight
anti-correlation of mass balances with the NAO prevails.
Citation: Marzeion, B. and Nesje, A.: Spatial patterns of North Atlantic Oscillation influence on mass balance variability of European glaciers, The Cryosphere, 6, 661-673, doi:10.5194/tc-6-661-2012, 2012.