In April 2016 Manchester eScholar was replaced by the University of Manchester’s new Research Information Management System, Pure. In the autumn the University’s research outputs will be available to search and browse via a new Research Portal. Until then the University’s full publication record can be accessed via a temporary portal and the old eScholar content is available to search and browse via this archive.

Recent changes (1991-2010) in glacier mass balance and air temperature in the European Alps

R. J. Braithwaite, S.C.B. Raper and R. Candela

Annals of Glaciology. 2013;54(63):139-146.

Access to files


We estimate temperature sensitivity of observed mass balance for glaciers in the Alps to compare with our earlier estimates from modelling. We treat 1961 1990 as our reference period and compare mass balance for 1991-2010 with this reference period. There are eight alpine glaciers with long enough records. The mean mass balance for the eight glaciers is close to zero for the reference period, very negative for 1991 2010, and highly negative in the exceptionally warm year 2003. Mass balance changes are compared with 1991-2010 temperature anomalies to give an average temperature sensitivity of about -0.7 ± 0.2 m w.e. a-1 K-1 for the eight glaciers. There is considerable variation between individual glaciers with higher sensitivity for western glaciers and lower sensitivity for more eastern glaciers. Temperature sensitivity for the eight glaciers is strongly correlated with the standard deviation of observed mass balance, which from earlier work is known to be correlated with winter balance. The mean temperature-sensitivity for observed mass balance is in reasonable agreement with values from earlier models but changes in glacier hypsometry during 1991-2010 may have further increased observed mass loss.

Bibliographic metadata

Type of resource:
Content type:
Publication status:
Publication type:
Publication form:
Published date:
Journal title:
Place of publication:
Start page:
End page:
PubMed Central deposit version:
Research data access statement included:
Not applicable
General notes:
  • IGS Institutional Repositories policy The International Glaciological Society allows Institutional Repositories, where Institutions are permitted to archive electronic copies of Journal of Glaciology and Annals of Glaciology articles with the following conditions: only the final, post-print version may be archived papers may be archived six months after their appearance online at the IGS website publisher source and copyright must be acknowledged there must be a link to the publisher authors may post pre-review versions of articles at personal websites, provided that the publisher and review/acceptance status are indicated clearly.
Is APC paid?:
Attached files embargo period:
Immediate release
Attached files release date:
19th August, 2014
Access state:

Institutional metadata

University researcher(s):

Record metadata

Manchester eScholar ID:
Created by:
Braithwaite, Roger
14th May, 2012, 15:37:31
Last modified by:
Braithwaite, Roger
Last modified:
12th May, 2015, 16:38:41

Can we help?

The library chat service will be available from 11am-3pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). You can also email your enquiry to us.