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Université de Fribourg

On the imbalance and response time of glaciers in the european alps

Zekollari, Harry ; Huss, Matthias ; Farinotti, Daniel

In: Geophysical Research Letters, 2020, vol. 47, no. 2, p. e2019GL085578

Glaciers in the European Alps rapidly lose mass to adapt to changes in climate conditions. Here, we investigate the relationship and lag between climate forcing and geometric glacier response with a regional glacier evolution model accounting for ice dynamics. The volume loss occurring as a result of the glacier‐climate imbalance increased over the early 21st century, from about 35% in...

Université de Fribourg

Direct observations of a three million cubic meter rock-slope collapse with almost immediate initiation of ensuing debris flows

Walter, Fabian ; Amann, Florian ; Kos, Andrew ; Kenner, Robert ; Phillips, Marcia ; Preux, Antoine de ; Huss, Matthias ; Tognacca, Christian ; Clinton, John ; Diehl, Tobias ; Bonanomi, Yves

In: Geomorphology, 2020, vol. 351, p. 106933

Catastrophic collapse of large rock slopes ranks as one of the most hazardous natural phenomena in mountain landscapes. The cascade of events, from rock- slope failure, to rock avalanche and the near-immediate release of debris flows has not previously been described from direct observations. We report on the 2017, 3.0 × 106 m3 failure on Pizzo Cengalo in Switzerland, which led to human...

Université de Fribourg

Brief communication: Ad hoc estimation of glacier contributions to sea-level rise from the latest glaciological observations

Zemp, Michael ; Huss, Matthias ; Eckert, Nicolas ; Thibert, Emmanuel ; Paul, Frank ; Nussbaumer, Samuel U. ; Gärtner-Roer, Isabelle

In: The Cryosphere, 2020, vol. 14, no. 3, p. 1043–1050

Comprehensive assessments of global glacier mass changes based on a variety of observations and prevailing methodologies have been published at multi-annual intervals. For the years in between, the glaciological method provides annual observations of specific mass changes but is suspected to not be representative at the regional to global scales due to uneven glacier distribution with...

Université de Fribourg

A Bayesian ice thickness estimation model for large-scale applications

Werder, Mauro A. ; Huss, Matthias ; Paul, Frank ; Dehecq, Amaury ; Farinotti, Daniel

In: Journal of Glaciology, 2020, vol. 66, no. 255, p. 137–152

Accurate estimations of ice thickness and volume are indispensable for ice flow modelling, hydrological forecasts and sea-level rise projections. We present a new ice thickness estimation model based on a mass-conserving forward model and a Bayesian inversion scheme. The forward model calculates flux in an elevation-band flow-line model, and translates this into ice thickness and surface ice...

Université de Fribourg

Continuous and autonomous snow water equivalent measurements by a cosmic ray sensor on an alpine glacier

Gugerli, Rebecca ; Salzmann, Nadine ; Huss, Matthias ; Desilets, Darin

In: The Cryosphere, 2019, vol. 13, no. 12, p. 3413–3434

Snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements of seasonal snowpack are crucial in many research fields. Yet accurate measurements at a high temporal resolution are difficult to obtain in high mountain regions. With a cosmic ray sensor (CRS), SWE can be inferred from neutron counts. We present the analyses of temporally continuous SWE measurements by a CRS on an alpine glacier in Switzerland...

Université de Fribourg

Large hydropower and water-storage potential in future glacier-free basins

Farinotti, Daniel ; Round, Vanessa ; Huss, Matthias ; Compagno, Loris ; Zekollari, Harry

In: Nature, 2019, vol. 575, no. 7782, p. 341–344

Climate change is causing widespread glacier retreat1, and much attention is devoted to negative impacts such as diminishing water resources2, shifts in runoff seasonality3, and increases in cryosphere-related hazards4. Here we focus on a different aspect, and explore the water-storage and hydropower potential of areas that are expected to become ice-free during the course of this century....

Université de Fribourg

Future shifts in extreme flow regimes in Alpine regions

Brunner, Manuela I. ; Farinotti, Daniel ; Zekollari, Harry ; Huss, Matthias ; Zappa, Massimiliano

In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2019, vol. 23, no. 11, p. 4471–4489

Extreme low and high flows can have negative economic, social, and ecological effects and are expected to become more severe in many regions due to climate change. Besides low and high flows, the whole flow regime, i.e., annual hydrograph comprised of monthly mean flows, is subject to changes. Knowledge on future changes in flow regimes is important since regimes contain information on both ...

Université de Fribourg

Future retreat of Great Aletsch Glacier

Jouvet, Guillaume ; Huss, Matthias

In: Journal of Glaciology, 2019, vol. 65, no. 253, p. 869–872

We model the future evolution of the largest glacier of the European Alps – Great Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland – during the 21st century. For that purpose we use a detailed three-dimensional model, which combines full Stokes ice dynamics and surface mass balance forced with the most recent climate projections (CH2018), as well as with climate data of the last decades. As a result, all...

Université de Fribourg

GlacierMIP – A model intercomparison of global-scale glacier mass-balance models and projections

Hock, Regine ; Bliss, Andrew ; Marzeion, Ben ; Giesen, Rianne H. ; Hirabayashi, Yukiko ; Huss, Matthias ; Radić, Valentina ; Slangen, Aimée B. A.

In: Journal of Glaciology, 2019, vol. 65, no. 251, p. 453–467

Global-scale 21st-century glacier mass change projections from six published global glacier models are systematically compared as part of the Glacier Model Intercomparison Project. In total 214 projections of annual glacier mass and area forced by 25 General Circulation Models (GCMs) and four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) emission scenarios and aggregated into 19 glacier ...

Université de Fribourg

Disappearing world heritage glaciers as a keystone of nature conservation in a changing climate

Bosson, J.‐B. ; Huss, Matthias ; Osipova, E.

In: Earth’s Future, 2019, vol. 7, no. 4, p. 469–479

Since 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Convention aims to identify and protect sites of Outstanding Universal Value for future generations. However, growing impacts of climate change are of the utmost concern for the integrity of many sites. Here, we inventory the glaciers present in natural World Heritage sites for the first...