EGU2020-16328, updated on 12 Jun 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-16328
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The challenge of non-stationary feedbacks within the response of debris-covered glaciers to climate forcing

Anna Wirbel1, Lindsey Nicholson2, Christoph Mayer3, and Astrid Lambrecht3
Anna Wirbel et al.
  • 1University of Innsbruck, Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, Innsbruck, Austria (anna.wirbel@uibk.ac.at)
  • 2University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria
  • 3Geodesy and Glaciology, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Munich, Germany

The challenge of non-stationary feedbacks within the response of debris-covered glaciers to climate forcing

Debris-covered glaciers are a feature of many mountain ranges around the world and their proportion is expected to increase under continued climate warming.

The impact of debris cover on glacier behavior, via its profound modification of the glacier ablation regime, causes debris-covered glaciers to respond to the same climate forcing in a markedly different way to clean ice glaciers. In order to better understand how debris cover impacts the glacier’s response to climate forcing, we revisit the concept of steady state and examine it for a debris-covered glacier system. We present simple modeling results to explore how the development and evolution of debris cover affects the potential for steady-state and how feedbacks instigated by supraglacial debris cover complicate the glacier’s response to a prescribed steady climate. These investigations highlight the non-stationarity induced by the presence of debris and as a result, that debris cannot be considered as a static component, as it is a highly dynamic component which affects the glacier system in different ways.



How to cite: Wirbel, A., Nicholson, L., Mayer, C., and Lambrecht, A.: The challenge of non-stationary feedbacks within the response of debris-covered glaciers to climate forcing, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-16328, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-16328, 2020