Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.790 IF 4.790
  • IF 5-year value: 5.921 IF 5-year
    5.921
  • CiteScore value: 5.27 CiteScore
    5.27
  • SNIP value: 1.551 SNIP 1.551
  • IPP value: 5.08 IPP 5.08
  • SJR value: 3.016 SJR 3.016
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 63 Scimago H
    index 63
  • h5-index value: 51 h5-index 51
Volume 10, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 10, 695-712, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-695-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 10, 695-712, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-695-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 18 Mar 2016

Research article | 18 Mar 2016

Analysis of the mass balance time series of glaciers in the Italian Alps

Luca Carturan1,6, Carlo Baroni2,3,6, Michele Brunetti4, Alberto Carton5,6, Giancarlo Dalla Fontana1,6, Maria Cristina Salvatore2,6, Thomas Zanoner5,6,7, and Giulia Zuecco1 Luca Carturan et al.
  • 1Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro-Forestali, University of Padova, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020, Legnaro, Padova, Italy
  • 2Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, University of Pisa, Via S. Maria 53, 56126, Pisa, Italy
  • 3IGG-CNR, Via Giuseppe Moruzzi 1, 56124, Pisa, Italy
  • 4ISAC–CNR, Via Gobetti 101, 40129, Bologna, Italy
  • 5Dipartimento di Geoscienze, University of Padova, Via Gradenigo 6, 35131, Padova, Italy
  • 6Comitato Glaciologico Italiano, Corso Massimo d'Azeglio 42, 10125, Torino, Italy
  • 7CNR-IRPI, Strada delle Cacce 73, 10135, Torino, Italy

Abstract. This work presents an analysis of the mass balance series of nine Italian glaciers, which were selected based on the length, continuity and reliability of observations. All glaciers experienced mass loss in the observation period, which is variable for the different glaciers and ranges between 10 and 47 years. The longest series display increasing mass loss rates, which were mainly due to increased ablation during longer and warmer ablation seasons. The mean annual mass balance (Ba) in the decade from 2004 to 2013 ranged from −1788 to −763mmw.e.yr−1. Low-altitude glaciers with low range of elevation are more out of balance than the higher, larger and steeper glaciers, which maintain residual accumulation areas in their upper reaches. The response of glaciers is mainly controlled by the combination of October–May precipitations and June–September temperatures, but rapid geometric adjustments and atmospheric changes lead to modifications in their response to climatic variations. In particular, a decreasing correlation of Ba with the June–September temperatures and an increasing correlation with October–May precipitations are observed for some glaciers. In addition, the October–May temperatures tend to become significantly correlated with Ba, possibly indicating a decrease in the fraction of solid precipitation, and/or increased ablation, during the accumulation season. Because most of the monitored glaciers have no more accumulation area, their observations series are at risk due to their impending extinction, thus requiring a replacement soon.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This work analyses the longer mass balance series of Italian glaciers. All glaciers experienced mass loss in the observation period, with increasing mass loss rates mainly due to increased ablation during longer and warmer ablation seasons. Low-altitude glaciers with low range of elevation are more out of balance than the higher, larger and steeper glaciers, which maintain accumulation areas. Because most of the monitored glaciers are at risk of extinction, they require a soon replacement.
This work analyses the longer mass balance series of Italian glaciers. All glaciers experienced...
Citation
Share