Articles | Volume 9, issue 1
Research article
08 Jan 2015
Research article |  | 08 Jan 2015

Stable climate and surface mass balance in Svalbard over 1979–2013 despite the Arctic warming

C. Lang, X. Fettweis, and M. Erpicum

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Cited articles

Anisimov, O. A., Vaughan, D. G., Callaghan, T. V., Furgal, C., Marchant, H., Prowse, T. D., Vilhjálmsson, H., Walsh, J. E., Parry, M. L., Canziani, O. F., Palutikof, J. P., van der Linden, P. J., and Hanson, C. E. (Eds.): Polar Regions (Arctic and Antarctic), Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 653–685, 2007.
Bamber, J. L., Krabill, W., Raper, V., and Dowdeswell, J. A.: Anomalous recent growth of part of a large Arctic ice cap: Austfonna, Svalbard, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L12402,, 2004.
Bamber, J. L., Krabill, W., Raper, V., Dowdeswell, J. A., and Oerlemans, J.: Elevation changes measured on Svalbard glaciers and ice caps from airborne laser data, Ann. Glaciol., 42, 202–208, 2005.
Benestad, R. E., Førland, E. J., and Hanssen-Bauer, I.: Empirically downscaled temperature scenarios for Svalbard, Atmos. Sci. Lett., 3, 71–93,, 2002.
B\laszczyk, M., Jania, J. A., and Hagen J. O.: Tidewater glaciers of Svalbard: Recent changes and estimates of calving fluxes, Pol. Polar Res., 30, 85–142, 2009.
Short summary
We have modelled the surface mass balance (SMB) of Svalbard with the model MAR over 1979--2013. The mean SMB is slightly negative and the Svalbard glaciers are losing mass through surface processes (mainly precipitation and runoff), but there has been no acceleration of the surface melt, contrary to Greenland where melt records have been broken since 2006. We attributed it to a change in atmospheric circulation, resulting in northerly cold flows over Svalbard damping Arctic warming.