21 Dec 2021
21 Dec 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Modelling Glacier Evolution in Bhutanese Himalaya during the Little Ice Age

Weilin Yang1, Yingkui Li2, Gengnian Liu1, and Wenchao Chu3 Weilin Yang et al.
  • 1College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 2Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
  • 3Department of Earth System Science, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Institute for Global Change Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract. Mountain glaciers provide us a window into past climate change and landscape evolution, but the pattern of glacier evolution at centennial or suborbital timescale remains elusive, especially in monsoonal Himalayas. We simulated the glacier evolution in Bhutanese Himalaya, a typical monsoon influenced region, during the Little Ice Age (LIA), using the Open Global Glacier Model and six paleo-climate datasets. Compared with the mapped glacial landforms, the model can well capture the glacier length changes, especially for the experiment driving by the GISS climate dataset, but overestimates the changes in glacier area. Simulation results reveal four glacial substages at 1270s–1400s, 1470s–1520s, 1700s–1710s, and 1820s–1900s in the study area. From further analysis, a negative correlation between the number of the substages and glacier length was found, which suggests that the number and occurrence of glacial substages are regulated by the heterogeneous responses of glaciers to climate change. In addition, the changes in summer temperature dominated the glacier evolution in this region during the LIA.

Weilin Yang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-352', Atle Nesje, 21 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Wenchao Chu, 03 Jan 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-352', Julia Eis, 17 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Wenchao Chu, 15 Mar 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2021-352', David Parkes, 17 Jan 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Wenchao Chu, 15 Mar 2022
  • CC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-352', Seyedhamidreza Mojtabavi, 16 Feb 2022
    • AC4: 'Reply on CC1', Wenchao Chu, 15 Mar 2022

Weilin Yang et al.

Weilin Yang et al.


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Short summary
Four glacial substages exist in Bhutanese Himalaya during LIA. The number of glacial substages has a negative correlation with the glacier length, suggesting the number and occurrence of glacial substages are regulated by the heterogeneous responses of glaciers to climate change. In addition, the analysis of monthly glacier surface mass balance suggests that the decreasing summer temperature dominants the LIA glacier fluctuations in BH.