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Université de Fribourg

The impact of climate change and glacier mass loss on the hydrology in the Mont-Blanc massif

Laurent, Léa ; Buoncristiani, Jean‑François ; Pohl, Benjamin ; Zekollari, Harry ; Farinotti, Daniel ; Huss, Matthias ; Mugnier, Jean‑Louis ; Pergaud, Julien

In: Scientific Reports, 2020, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 10420

The Mont-Blanc massif, being iconic with its large glaciers and peaks of over 4,000 m, will experience a sharp increase in summer temperatures during the twenty-first century. By 2100, the impact of climate change on the cryosphere and hydrosphere in the Alps is expected to lead to a decrease in annual river discharge. In this work, we modelled the twenty-first century evolution of runoff in...

Université de Fribourg

Glacier runoff variations since 1955 in the Maipo River basin, in the semiarid Andes of central Chile

Ayala, Álvaro ; Farías-Barahona, David ; Huss, Matthias ; Pellicciotti, Francesca ; McPhee, James ; Farinotti, Daniel

In: The Cryosphere, 2020, vol. 14, no. 6, p. 2005–2027

As glaciers adjust their size in response to climate variations, long-term changes in meltwater production can be expected, affecting the local availability of water resources. We investigate glacier runoff in the period 1955–2016 in the Maipo River basin (4843 km2, 33.0–34.3∘ S, 69.8–70.5∘ W), in the semiarid Andes of Chile. The basin contains more than 800 glaciers, which...

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

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

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

Modelling the future evolution of glaciers in the European Alps under the EURO-CORDEX RCM ensemble

Zekollari, Harry ; Huss, Matthias ; Farinotti, Daniel

In: The Cryosphere, 2019, vol. 13, no. 4, p. 1125–1146

Glaciers in the European Alps play an important role in the hydrological cycle, act as a source for hydroelectricity and have a large touristic importance. The future evolution of these glaciers is driven by surface mass balance and ice flow processes, of which the latter is to date not included explicitly in regional glacier projections for the Alps. Here, we model the future evolution of...

Université de Fribourg

A consensus estimate for the ice thickness distribution of all glaciers on Earth

Farinotti, Daniel ; Huss, Matthias ; Fürst, Johannes J. ; Landmann, Johannes ; Machguth, Horst ; Maussion, Fabien ; Pandit, Ankur

In: Nature Geoscience, 2019, vol. 12, no. 3, p. 168–173

Knowledge of the ice thickness distribution of the world’s glaciers is a fundamental prerequisite for a range of studies. Projections of future glacier change, estimates of the available freshwater resources or assessments of potential sea-level rise all need glacier ice thickness to be accurately constrained. Previous estimates of global glacier volumes are mostly based on scaling...

Université de Fribourg

The role of glacier retreat for Swiss hydropower production

Schaefli, Bettina ; Manso, Pedro ; Fischerc, Mauro ; Huss, Matthias ; Farinotti, Daniel

In: Renewable Energy, 2019, vol. 132, p. 615–627

High elevation or high latitude hydropower production (HP) strongly relies on water resources that are influenced by glacier melt and are thus highly sensitive to climate warming. Despite of the wide-spread glacier retreat since the development of HP infrastructure in the 20th century, little quantitative information is available about the role of glacier mass loss for HP. In this paper, we...