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Volume 9, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 9, 1385–1400, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1385-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 9, 1385–1400, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-1385-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 30 Jul 2015

Research article | 30 Jul 2015

The impact of Saharan dust and black carbon on albedo and long-term mass balance of an Alpine glacier

J. Gabbi et al.

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Alfaro, S., Lafon, S., Rajot, J., Formenti, P., Gaudichet, A., and Maillé, M.: Iron oxides and light absorption by pure desert dust: an experimental study, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D08208, https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JD004374, 2004.
Anderson, E.: A point energy and mass balance model of a snow cover, NOAA Tech. Rep. NWS 19, NOAA, US Dept. Commer., Washington, DC, 150 pp., 1976.
Anslow, F., Hostetler, S., Bidlake, W., and Clark, P.: Distributed energy balance modeling of South Cascade Glacier, Washington and assessment of model uncertainty, J. Geophys. Res., 113, F02019, https://doi.org/10.1029/2007JF000850, 2008.
Begert, M., Schlegel, T., and Krichhofer, W.: Homogeneous temperature and precipitation series of Switzerland from 1864 to 2000, Int. J. Climatol., 25, 65–80, 2005.
Bond, T., Bhardwaj, E., Dong, R., Jogani, R., Jung, S., Roden, C., Streets, D., and Trautmann, N.: Historical emissions of black and organic carbon aerosol from energy-related combustion, 1850–2000, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 21, GB2018, https://doi.org/10.1029/2006GB002840, 2007.
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Short summary
Light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice increase the absorption of solar radiation and thus enhance melting. We investigated the effect of Saharan dust and black carbon on the mass balance of an Alpine glacier over 1914-2014. Snow impurities increased melt by 15-19% depending on the location on the glacier. From the accumulation area towards the equilibrium line, the effect of impurities increased as more frequent years with negative mass balance led to a re-exposure of dust-enriched layers.
Light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice increase the absorption of solar radiation and thus...
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