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A high-resolution reconstruction of Storglaciären mass balance back to 1780/1781 using tree-ring data and circulation indices

Journal article
Authors Hans W. Linderholm
P. Jansson
Deliang Chen
Published in Quaternary Research
Volume 67
Pages 12-20
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 12-20
Language en
Keywords Glacier mass balance, Storglaciären, Sweden
Subject categories Climate Research


Storglaciären in northernmost Sweden has the world's longest ongoing continuous mass-balance record, starting in 1946. To extend this massbalance record, we have reconstructed summer (bS) and winter (bW) mass balances separately back to the mass balance year 1780/81 with annual resolution. We used tree-ring data for bS and a set of circulation indices, based on the sea-level pressure, for bW. Both proxies have correlation coefficients with respective mass balance components of ca. 0.7. The reconstructed net balance (bN) of Storglaciären was well correlated to the observations during 1946–1980 (r=0.8, p<0.05). Our reconstruction agrees well with previously obtained results of northern Sweden glacier variability, where the predominantly positive bN years between 1890 and 1910 correspond to the well documented post-Little Ice Age advance of Storglaciären. Furthermore, the results suggest that bS, as a function of summer temperatures, is more important than bW in determining the bN, which is contrary to glaciers in the maritime parts of western Scandinavia. In general, bN has been negative over the last 220 yr, suggesting a predomination of continental conditions over northern Sweden. However, the influence of bW increased in the late twentieth century, indicating a shift to a more oceanic climate regime.

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