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The mass balance and equilibrium line altitude trends of glaciers in northern Sweden

Hall, Caroline LU (2017) In Student thesis series INES NGEK01 20171
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
Glaciers are of extreme importance since they hold climatic data going back 2,000 years. Glaciers can provide important services such as ecosystem services, habitats, water runoff, and hydro-energy. They also affect the Earth’s processes and many feedback mechanisms. Glaciers all over the world are under the threat of climate change which may eventually lead to the disappearance of many of these important glaciers. That is why it is important to understand glaciological processes and to understand how individual glaciers are affected by climatic changes.
This study focuses on the glaciers in northern Sweden and their response to climatic changes over a 15 year period (1986-2011). Data from the Tarfala research station, in northern Sweden... (More)
Glaciers are of extreme importance since they hold climatic data going back 2,000 years. Glaciers can provide important services such as ecosystem services, habitats, water runoff, and hydro-energy. They also affect the Earth’s processes and many feedback mechanisms. Glaciers all over the world are under the threat of climate change which may eventually lead to the disappearance of many of these important glaciers. That is why it is important to understand glaciological processes and to understand how individual glaciers are affected by climatic changes.
This study focuses on the glaciers in northern Sweden and their response to climatic changes over a 15 year period (1986-2011). Data from the Tarfala research station, in northern Sweden is used to find trends in winter and summer mass balance, net mass balance and equilibrium line altitude. The reasons for similarities and differences in the trends are discussed and the glacial parameters are compared with parameters such as elevation, location, and aspect.
Overall it was found that the winter balances were decreasing, the summer balances were increasing and the net mass balances were decreasing which results in a loss of mass on all glaciers. The differences amongst the glaciers were attributed to differences in altitude, location and climate. Also, R2 values and p-values showed that a significant relationship exists between the net mass balance and the summer temperature proving that the summer temperature is the main factor affecting mass loss or gain on glaciers in northern Sweden.
Although the aim of the study was achieved, there were some limitations to it such as lack of or incomplete data, missing parameters and limited factors considered and compared. Future studies should include wind speeds and direction, solar radiation and humidity to name a few. Also, not only should the net mass balance and equilibrium line altitudes be analysed, but thickness, volume and frontal positions should be considered. (Less)
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author
Hall, Caroline LU
supervisor
organization
course
NGEK01 20171
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
equilibrium line altitude (ELA), net mass balance, ablation, accumulation, glaciers, Sweden, climate, precipitation, temperature
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
418
language
English
id
8918434
date added to LUP
2017-06-26 13:03:42
date last changed
2017-06-26 13:03:42
@misc{8918434,
  abstract     = {Glaciers are of extreme importance since they hold climatic data going back 2,000 years. Glaciers can provide important services such as ecosystem services, habitats, water runoff, and hydro-energy. They also affect the Earth’s processes and many feedback mechanisms. Glaciers all over the world are under the threat of climate change which may eventually lead to the disappearance of many of these important glaciers. That is why it is important to understand glaciological processes and to understand how individual glaciers are affected by climatic changes. 
This study focuses on the glaciers in northern Sweden and their response to climatic changes over a 15 year period (1986-2011). Data from the Tarfala research station, in northern Sweden is used to find trends in winter and summer mass balance, net mass balance and equilibrium line altitude. The reasons for similarities and differences in the trends are discussed and the glacial parameters are compared with parameters such as elevation, location, and aspect. 
Overall it was found that the winter balances were decreasing, the summer balances were increasing and the net mass balances were decreasing which results in a loss of mass on all glaciers. The differences amongst the glaciers were attributed to differences in altitude, location and climate. Also, R2 values and p-values showed that a significant relationship exists between the net mass balance and the summer temperature proving that the summer temperature is the main factor affecting mass loss or gain on glaciers in northern Sweden. 
Although the aim of the study was achieved, there were some limitations to it such as lack of or incomplete data, missing parameters and limited factors considered and compared. Future studies should include wind speeds and direction, solar radiation and humidity to name a few. Also, not only should the net mass balance and equilibrium line altitudes be analysed, but thickness, volume and frontal positions should be considered.},
  author       = {Hall, Caroline},
  keyword      = {equilibrium line altitude (ELA),net mass balance,ablation,accumulation,glaciers,Sweden,climate,precipitation,temperature},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {The mass balance and equilibrium line altitude trends of glaciers in northern Sweden},
  year         = {2017},
}