Mass balance and local characteristics of three glaciers in southern Norway, between 1980 and 2018 : An analysis of the mass balance and the local characteristics of Ålfotbreen, Storbreen and Gråsubreen
Glaciers are known as climate indicators because of their sensitivity towards climatic perturbations and fluctuations. A majority of the world’s glaciers are currently melting as a response to climatic perturbations. Glaciers in Norway display the same pattern, and the loss of mass have accelerated...
Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för naturgeografi
|Summary:||Glaciers are known as climate indicators because of their sensitivity towards climatic perturbations and fluctuations. A majority of the world’s glaciers are currently melting as a response to climatic perturbations. Glaciers in Norway display the same pattern, and the loss of mass have accelerated during the 1990s to this day. The glaciers of interest in this paper is situated in a west to east transect with the maritime Ålfotbreen in the west, to the continental Gråsubreen in the east, with the intermediate Storbreen in between. Differences in the local climate have a significant impact on the future state of glaciers. This paper aims to compare the mass balance, mass turnover and mass balance sensitivity of the three glaciers of interest, between the years 1980 and 2018, to demonstrate the importance of the local climate and characteristics for glacial existence. Mass balance data series of each glaciers’ mass balance was analysed. In addition, development trends of the mean annual summer air temperature for respective glaciers’ region were also conducted. A literature review of relevant reports and publications will be presented and analysed to complement the result of this paper. The results of this paper indicate that the characteristics of respective glacier vary along the increasing continentality of the west to east transect, with the mass balance sensitivity decreasing from west to east. The mass turnover displayed varying patterns, between the years 1980 and 2018. ÅLF had the highest mass turnover for the period and GRÅ the smallest with STO in between. It can be concluded, based on the result of this paper, that the fate of glaciers depends on geographical location and local characteristics. The resemblance between Storbreen and Storglaciären, and the existence of Helagsglaciären who seem to survive against the odds, strengthens the importance of local characteristics.|