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Modeling climate conditions required for glacier formation in cirques of the Rassepautasjtjakka massif, northern Sweden

Hock, R; Johansson, Margareta LU ; Jansson, P and Bärring, Lars LU (2002) In Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 34(1). p.3-11
Abstract
Timing of cirque formation and the climate necessary to initiate glaciation are fundamental to the understanding of the landscape of the northern Scandinavian mountains. Empty cirques in the Rassepautasjtjakka massif are located near a glaciated area and thus appear near the glaciation limit. In order to investigate the climate conditions necessary for glacier formation in the cirques, we applied a spatially distributed temperature index melt model. After calibration under present climate conditions, the model was run with different combinations of increased initial winter snow cover and lowered summer air temperatures to assess the climate conditions needed for snow to survive summer and hence form a base for glaciation. Results indicate... (More)
Timing of cirque formation and the climate necessary to initiate glaciation are fundamental to the understanding of the landscape of the northern Scandinavian mountains. Empty cirques in the Rassepautasjtjakka massif are located near a glaciated area and thus appear near the glaciation limit. In order to investigate the climate conditions necessary for glacier formation in the cirques, we applied a spatially distributed temperature index melt model. After calibration under present climate conditions, the model was run with different combinations of increased initial winter snow cover and lowered summer air temperatures to assess the climate conditions needed for snow to survive summer and hence form a base for glaciation. Results indicate that a significant increase in precipitation or decrease in summer air temperature or a combination of both is necessary to initiate glaciation. Thus current climate conditions are far from favorable for glaciation. If summer temperature is decreased by 4degreesC or winter snow cover is more than doubled, only 10% of cirque areas remain snow covered, which is considered as a minimum condition for glacier formation. According to climate reconstructions such conditions have not occurred during the Holocene suggesting that the cirques have not been glaciated during this period. Consequently glaciation of the cirques must have occurred during other parts of the glacial cycles. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research
volume
34
issue
1
pages
3 - 11
publisher
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
external identifiers
  • wos:000174856400002
  • scopus:0036222135
ISSN
1938-4246
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0a5914b6-2405-445e-89c8-5d8c5581de88 (old id 340958)
alternative location
http://www.jstor.org/view/15230430/ap050013/05a00030/0
date added to LUP
2007-10-22 09:26:32
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:58:36
@article{0a5914b6-2405-445e-89c8-5d8c5581de88,
  abstract     = {Timing of cirque formation and the climate necessary to initiate glaciation are fundamental to the understanding of the landscape of the northern Scandinavian mountains. Empty cirques in the Rassepautasjtjakka massif are located near a glaciated area and thus appear near the glaciation limit. In order to investigate the climate conditions necessary for glacier formation in the cirques, we applied a spatially distributed temperature index melt model. After calibration under present climate conditions, the model was run with different combinations of increased initial winter snow cover and lowered summer air temperatures to assess the climate conditions needed for snow to survive summer and hence form a base for glaciation. Results indicate that a significant increase in precipitation or decrease in summer air temperature or a combination of both is necessary to initiate glaciation. Thus current climate conditions are far from favorable for glaciation. If summer temperature is decreased by 4degreesC or winter snow cover is more than doubled, only 10% of cirque areas remain snow covered, which is considered as a minimum condition for glacier formation. According to climate reconstructions such conditions have not occurred during the Holocene suggesting that the cirques have not been glaciated during this period. Consequently glaciation of the cirques must have occurred during other parts of the glacial cycles.},
  author       = {Hock, R and Johansson, Margareta and Jansson, P and Bärring, Lars},
  issn         = {1938-4246},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--11},
  publisher    = {Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research},
  series       = {Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research},
  title        = {Modeling climate conditions required for glacier formation in cirques of the Rassepautasjtjakka massif, northern Sweden},
  volume       = {34},
  year         = {2002},
}