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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tc-2016-290
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
09 Jan 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
The European mountain cryosphere: A review of past, current and future issues
Martin Beniston1,2, Daniel Farinotti3,4, Markus Stoffel1,5, Liss M. Andreassen6, Erika Coppola7, Nicolas Eckert8, Adriano Fantini7, Florie Giacona9, Christian Hauck10, Matthias Huss10, Hendrik Huwald11, Michael Lehning11,12, Juan-Ignacio López-Moreno13, Jan Magnusson6, Christoph Marty12, Enrique Moran-Tejéda14, Samuel Morin15, Mohammed Naaim8, Antonello Provenzale16, Antoine Rabatel17, Delphine Six17, Johann Stötter18, Ulrich Strasser18, Silvia Terzago19, and Christian Vincent17 1Institute for Environmental Sciences, The University of Geneva, Switzerland
2Department of Physics, The University of Geneva, Switzerland
3Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
4Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf, Switzerland
5Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Geneva, Switzerland
6Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Oslo, Norway
7Abdus Salaam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy
8Inst. National de Rech. sur les Technologies pour l'Environnement et l'Agriculture (IRSTEA), Saint Martin d'Hères, France
9Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse, France
10University of Fribourg, Department of Geosciences, Fribourg, Switzerland
11Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Laboratory for Cryospheric Sciences, Lausanne, Switzerland
12Swiss Federal Institute for Avalanche Research (SLF), Davos, Switzerland
13Institute for Pyrenean Ecology (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain
14University of the Balearic Islands, Palma-de-Mallorca, Spain
15Météo France, Centre d'Etudes de la Neige, Saint Martin d'Hères, France
16CNR, Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resou rces, Pisa, Italy
17University of Grenoble, Laboratory of Glaciology, Saint Martin d'Hères, France
18University of Innsbruck, Institute of Geography, Innsbruck, Austria
19CNR, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC-CNR), Turin, Italy
Abstract. The mountain cryosphere is recognized to have important impacts on a range of environmental processes. This paper reviews current knowledge on snow, glacier, and permafrost processes, as well as their past, current and future evolution in mountain regions in mainland Europe. We provide a comprehensive assessment of the current state of cryosphere research in Europe and point to the different domains requiring further research to improve our understanding of climate–cryosphere interactions, cryosphere controls on physical and biological mountain systems, as well as related impacts. We highlight advances in the modeling of the cryosphere, and identify inherent uncertainties in our capability of projecting changes in the context of a warming global climate.

Citation: Beniston, M., Farinotti, D., Stoffel, M., Andreassen, L. M., Coppola, E., Eckert, N., Fantini, A., Giacona, F., Hauck, C., Huss, M., Huwald, H., Lehning, M., López-Moreno, J.-I., Magnusson, J., Marty, C., Moran-Tejéda, E., Morin, S., Naaim, M., Provenzale, A., Rabatel, A., Six, D., Stötter, J., Strasser, U., Terzago, S., and Vincent, C.: The European mountain cryosphere: A review of past, current and future issues, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-290, in review, 2017.
Martin Beniston et al.
Martin Beniston et al.
Martin Beniston et al.

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Short summary
This paper makes a rather exhaustive overview of current knowledge of past, current and future aspects of cryospheric issues in continental Europe, and makes a number of reflections of areas of uncertainty requiring more attention in both scientific and policy terms. The review paper is completed by a bibliography containing 350 recent references that will certainly be of value to scholars engaged in the fields of glacier, snow and permafrost research.
This paper makes a rather exhaustive overview of current knowledge of past, current and future...
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