Journal cover Journal topic
Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 3.470 IF 3.470
  • IF 5-year value: 4.009 IF 5-year
    4.009
  • CiteScore value: 3.45 CiteScore
    3.45
  • SNIP value: 1.166 SNIP 1.166
  • IPP value: 3.28 IPP 3.28
  • SJR value: 1.929 SJR 1.929
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 64 Scimago H
    index 64
  • h5-index value: 43 h5-index 43
Volume 8, issue 5 | Copyright

Special issue: Climate variations in South America over the last 2000 years

Clim. Past, 8, 1385-1402, 2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-8-1385-2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 03 Sep 2012

Research article | 03 Sep 2012

Modelling and climatic interpretation of the length fluctuations of Glaciar Frías (north Patagonian Andes, Argentina) 1639–2009 AD

P. W. Leclercq1, P. Pitte2, R. H. Giesen1, M. H. Masiokas2, and J. Oerlemans1 P. W. Leclercq et al.
  • 1IMAU, Utrecht University, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 2IANIGLA, CCT Mendoza, Av Ruiz Leal s/n, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina

Abstract. We explore the climatic information contained in the record of length fluctuations of Glaciar Frías, in the north Patagonian Andes of Argentina. This record is one of the longest and most detailed glacier records in southern South America, starting in 1639. In order to interpret the length variations of Glaciar Frías since the maximum Little Ice Age extent, we use a combination of a simplified surface energy-balance model to calculate the glacier mass balance, and a flowline model to account for the dynamical response of the glacier to changes in the climatic forcing. The overall retreat of the glacier observed over 1639–2009 is best explained by an annual mean temperature increase of 1.2 °C or a decrease in annual precipitation of 34%, most of which would have occurred during the 20th century. The glacier model is also forced with two independent tree-ring and multi-proxy reconstructions of precipitation and temperature. The uncertainties in these reconstructions are rather large, leading to a wide range in the modelled glacier length that includes most of the observations. However, in both reconstructions, the mid-17th century seems to be too cold and the early 19th century too warm to explain the observed glacier lengths with the glacier model forced with the reconstructions. Forcing with reconstructed precipitation and temperature separately shows that the influence of historical variations in precipitation on the glacier fluctuations of Glaciar Frías is smaller than that of the temperature fluctuations. This suggests that the observed 1639–2009 retreat could be best explained by a warming close to 1.2 °C.

Publications Copernicus
Special issue
Download
Citation
Share