Publication details

Persistent mass loss of Triangular Glacier, James Ross Island, north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Glaciology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Antarctic glaciology; climate change; glacier mass balance; glacier meteorology; glacier volume
Description The retreat rates of Triangular Glacier since 1979 and its mass changes during the period 2014/15-2019/20 indicate the sensitive response of small ice masses on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula to air temperature evolution. This cirque glacier in the northern part of James Ross Island receded rapidly during the period of regional warming in the late 20th century, losing 30.8% of its surface area between 1979 and 2006 (-1.7% a(-1)). The retreat rate then dropped to -0.3% a(-1) following the regional cooling trend, but started to accelerate again (-0.8 to -2.3% a(-1)) with increasing air temperature since the summer 2014/15. Since the glaciological year 2015/16, Triangular Glacier has experienced enhanced snow melt, wind scour and permanent mass loss with annual mass balance ranging from -0.08 +/- 0.35 to -0.56 +/- 0.25 m w.e. The largest mass loss was observed in the glaciological year 2019/20, which included the warmest summer of the observation period. The cumulative mass balance of -1.66 +/- 0.83 m w.e. over the years 2014/15-2019/20 is consistent with the termination of the positive mass-balance period that occurred in the north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula from 2009/10 to 2014/15.
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