Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-241
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-241

  24 Aug 2021

24 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Effects of climate change on the valley glaciers of the Italian Alps

Rossana Serandrei-Barberoa, Sandra Donnici1, and Stefano Zecchetto2 Rossana Serandrei-Barbero et al.
  • 1IGG - Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, CNR - National Research Council of Italy, Padova, Italy
  • 2ISP - Institute of Polar Sciences, CNR - National Research Council of Italy, Padova, Italy and Department of Electrical Engineering, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran
  • aformerly at: ISMAR - Institute of Marine Sciences, CNR - National Research Council of Italy, Venice, Italy and Comitato Glaciologico Italiano, Torino, Italy

Abstract. The behaviour of the valley glaciers of the Italian Alps as a result of the climate changes expected for the 21st century has been investigated. From 1980 to 2017 the average length reductions of these glaciers has been 16 % and their average areal reduction around 22 %, much smaller than the overall glacier retreat of the Alps. Their mean observed shortening was about 500 m for a temperature increase of 1.4 °C. To quantify the valley glacier life expectancy, a model estimating their length variations from the air temperature variations of the EuroCordex climatological projections of six different models under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios has been used. The ensemble mean temperatures in the Italian Alps region under these scenarios indicate increases of temperature of ~2 °C and ~4 °C from 2018 to 2100 respectively. In both scenarios, the glacier model projections show a constant retreat until the eighties, weakening towards the end of the century. As expected, it resulted more severe under the RCP8.5 (from 22 % to 48 %) than under the RCP4.5 (from 10 % to 25 %) scenario, with a mean length shortening of 35 % and 13 % respectively by 2100. The model used estimates that the majority of the valley glaciers could better resist the climate change.

Rossana Serandrei-Barbero et al.

Status: open (until 25 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-241', Michael Kuhn, 07 Sep 2021 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sandra Donnici, 09 Sep 2021 reply
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Michael Kuhn, 20 Sep 2021 reply

Rossana Serandrei-Barbero et al.

Rossana Serandrei-Barbero et al.

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Short summary
The annual measurements carried out at the glacier fronts in recent decades indicate that Italian valley glaciers are less sensitive to global warming than the generality of alpine glaciers. This study investigates their length variations in the last 45 years and their projected behavior as a result of the climate changes. The model used indicates that the majority of the valley glaciers could better resist the climate change, unlike most alpine glaciers.