Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tcd-8-3475-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
01 Jul 2014
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
What glaciers are telling us about Earth's changing climate
W. Tangborn1 and M. Mosteller2 1HyMet Inc., Vashon Island, WA, USA
2Vashon IT, Vashon Island, WA, USA
Abstract. A glacier monitoring system has been developed to systematically observe and document changes in the size and extent of a representative selection of the world's 160 000 mountain glaciers (entitled the PTAAGMB Project). Its purpose is to assess the impact of climate change on human societies by applying an established relationship between glacier ablation and global temperatures. Two sub-systems were developed to accomplish this goal: (1) a mass balance model that produces daily and annual glacier balances using routine meteorological observations, (2) a program that uses Google Maps to display satellite images of glaciers and the graphical results produced by the glacier balance model. The recently developed PTAA glacier balance model is described and applied to eight glaciers to produce detailed mass balance reports. Comparing annual balances produced by the model to traditional manual measurements for 50–60 years yields R2 values of 0.50–0.60. The model also reveals an unusual but statistically significant relationship between the average ablation of Wrangell Range glaciers and global temperatures that have been derived from temperature data at 7000 stations in the Northern Hemisphere. This glacier ablation/global temperature relationship provides the means to use worldwide ablation results to anticipate problems caused by climate change.

Citation: Tangborn, W. and Mosteller, M.: What glaciers are telling us about Earth's changing climate, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tcd-8-3475-2014, 2014.
W. Tangborn and M. Mosteller
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
 
SC C1057: 'Calibration method', Cameron Rye, 02 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
AC C1090: 'Author comment in response to short comment by Cameron Rye.', Wendell Tangborn, 04 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C1096: 'Re: Calibration method', Cameron Rye, 04 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C1561: 'Author’s reply to short comment by Cameron Rye on July 4', Wendell Tangborn, 18 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C1387: 'Review of „What glaciers are telling us about Earth's changing climate” by “W. Tangborn and M. Mosteller”', Wolfgang Gurgiser, 24 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
AC C1547: 'Author comment in response to review by referee # 1 (Wolfgang Gurgiser)', Wendell Tangborn, 17 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C1425: 'Interactive comment on Tangborn and Mosteller, 2014, What glaciers are telling us about Earth's changing climate', J. Graham Cogley, 29 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
AC C1631: 'Author's response to referee # 2 review (Graham Cogley)', Wendell Tangborn, 23 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C1456: 'Comments on 'What glaciers are telling us about Earth's changing climate' by W. Tangborn and M. Mosteller', Jakub Małecki, 31 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C1463: 'Response of Authors to Jalub Malecki's Short Comment', Wendell Tangborn, 31 Jul 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC C1472: 'Reviews on “What glaciers are telling us about Earth’s changing climate”', Anonymous Referee #3, 04 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
SC C1541: 'Response to Anonymous Referee #3', Bianca Rossmann, 15 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C1688: 'Author comment in response to anonymous referee', Wendell Tangborn, 29 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
 
SC C1569: 'Interactive comment on ”What glaciers are telling us about Earth’s changing climate” by W. Tangborn and M. Mosteller.', Roger Braithwaite, 19 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
AC C1643: 'Author reply to comments from Roger Braithwaite', Wendell Tangborn, 25 Aug 2014 Printer-friendly Version 
W. Tangborn and M. Mosteller
W. Tangborn and M. Mosteller

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