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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-296
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-296
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  11 Nov 2020

11 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

21st century fate of the Mocho-Choshuenco ice cap in southern Chile

Matthias Scheiter1,a, Marius Schaefer2, Eduardo Flández3, Deniz Bozkurt4,5, and Ralf Greve6,7 Matthias Scheiter et al.
  • 1Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • 2Instituto de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
  • 3Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • 4Departamento de Meteorología, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile
  • 5Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR)2, Santiago, Chile
  • 6Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
  • 7Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
  • apreviously at: Institut für Geophysik und Geoinformatik, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg, Germany

Abstract. Glaciers and ice caps are thinning and retreating along the entire Andes ridge, and drivers of this mass loss vary between the different climate zones. The southern part of the Andes (Wet Andes) has the highest abundance of glaciers in number and size, and a proper understanding of ice dynamics is important to assess their evolution. In this contribution, we apply the ice sheet model SICOPOLIS to the Mocho-Choshuenco ice cap in the Chilean Lake District (40° S, 72° W, Wet Andes) to reproduce its current state and to project its evolution until the end of the 21st century under different global warming scenarios. First, we create a model spin-up using surface mass balance data observed on the south-eastern catchment, extrapolating them to the whole ice cap using an exposition-dependent parameterization. This spin-up is able to reproduce the most important present-day glacier features. Based on the spin-up, we then run the model 80 years into the future, forced by projected surface temperature anomalies from different global circulation models under different radiative pathway scenarios to obtain estimates of the ice cap's state by the end of the 21st century. The mean projected ice volume losses are 25 ± 19 % (RCP2.6), 64 ± 14 % (RCP4.5) and 94 ± 3 % (RCP8.5) with respect to the ice volume estimated by radio-echo sounding data from 2013. We estimate the uncertainty of our projections based on the spread of the results when forcing with different global climate models and on the uncertainty associated with the variation of the equilibrium line altitude with temperature change. Considering our results, we project an considerable deglaciation of the Chilean Lake District by the end of the 21st century.

Matthias Scheiter et al.

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Matthias Scheiter et al.

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Short summary
We simulate the current state and future evolution of the Mocho-Choshuenco ice cap in southern Chile (40°S, 72°W) with the ice-sheet model SICOPOLIS. Under different global warming scenarios, we project ice mass losses between 25% and 94% until the end of the 21st century. We quantify the uncertainties based on an ensemble of climate models and on the temperature dependence of the equilibrium line altitude. Our results suggest a considerable deglaciation in southern Chile in the next 80 years.
We simulate the current state and future evolution of the Mocho-Choshuenco ice cap in southern...
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