Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

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Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Wendell Tangborn

To:      All Glaciologists

From:  Wendell Tangborn

Subject Glacier Mass Balance Project
 

I am seeking collaborators for a project to calculate the mass balances of a small sample (about 0.10%) of the world’s 200,000 glaciers. The purpose of this project is to determine the cause of the rapid and unprecedented decline of the world’s glaciers during the past 3-5 decades. It is incomprehensible that the public has not been more alarmed by the shrinkage and demise of so many glaciers, some of which have been in existence for a 100.000 years or more.  This project may at least increase an awareness that many of the earth’s glaciers may soon disappear.

 

The PTAA glacier mass balance model that I developed will be used to accomplish the projects goals.   This model uses only easily available daily temperature and precipitation observations at mostly low-altitude weather stations, plus the glacier’s area-altitude distribution.  Both of these variables are inexpensive to acquire and readily available for most of the world’s glaciers.

 

The PTAA model has been successfully applied to several dozen glaciers in Alaska and the Pacific NW, and was also tested on one glacier in the Himalayas. Several peer-reviewed scientific papers and three MS thesis that are based on the PTAA model have been published. see
 
The PTAA FORTRAN program and all auxiliary programs will be turned over to the organization or group that agrees to manage and support this project.  HyMet will be available to assist in setting up and initially running the model and other programs.
 

Initial tasks

 

  1. Select approximately 200 glaciers (5-10 for each mountain range) on the basis of available DEM data and proximity to long-term (50-60 years) weather stations
  2. Tabulate area-altitude distribution from the DEM for each glacier
  3. Collect daily temperature and precipitation observations at 2-3 weather stations for each glacier located 300 km or less from the glacier.  There will likely be some overlap so that one weather station will be tested for several glaciers.
  4. Reconstruct missed observations of weather data using HyMet programs designed for this purpose
  5. Revise PTAA computer program to incorporate selected glaciers, AA profiles and weather data

Project Goals

 

  1. Calibrate the PTAA model for each glacier to find the minimum calibration error and optimum values for the mass balance coefficients
  2. Apply the optimum coefficients to produce daily mass balance results for the period of record to determine average accumulation, ablation, mass balance and runoff as a function of elevation, equilibrium line elevations, daily lapse rates, historical annual balances and other variables for the period of record. Tabulate and organize each variable into a file.
  3. Relate mass balances to global temperature anomalies of maximum and minimum temperatures compiled by the Hadley Climate Center, and to the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa to determine the cause of the recent and widespread glacier decline.
  4. Develop a simplified, dynamic glacier model using the mass balance results that will demonstrate how the climate, glacier mass balance, glacier surface configuration (AA profiles), glacier flow and bed erosion are interrelated.

Estimated time and labor to complete

 

Two or three experienced people working full time could complete the Initial Tasks in 10-12 months.  The tasks identified in the Project Goals would also require another 10-12 months without number 4, which could need another year or more.


--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" target="_blank" value="+12065674077">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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You're subscribed to the CRYOLIST mailing list
To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/
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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Roger Braithwaite

Dear Everybody

I think Wendell's idea is an excellent one (see Cryolist last week) and I would certainly like to join a cooperative project on mass balance modelling.

Some aspects of his suggestion are too prescriptive. There are already a number of groups out there with their own models (of varying complexity) so not everyone will need to use the Hymet model. People are using different inputs (nearby weather stations, gridded climatologies, and reanalysis products from NCAR and ERA). Also people are working at different time resolutions. Personally, more than 30 years ago, I already regarded the use of daily data in models as fairly tedious which is why I re-invented the degree-day approach so I can use monthly data and let the degree-day method look after the days. Niels Reeh took that further with a modification where you only need annual mean and annual temperature range (and assume a sine distribution through the year - which is not too bad).

Aside from the above comments, I think we should gather the troops from UAF/UBC, Calgary, Manchester, Oslo, Utrecht, Zurich (with varying amounts of radiation), Innsbruck, China and Wellington NZ plus other that  I may have forgotten, and thrash out a possible project. We could agree on some test areas (or test glaciers) and agree to compare results. One hot new area might be debris-covered glaciers: I think I know how to deal with snow/ice but debris has me baffled. How well do our current models work on summer-accumulation glaciers? How well do our models work on bizarre shapes like Behring (spelling?) glacier? Do we know how to verify our models when we have used up all our data in calibrating the model? After ten years, nobody has answered van de Veen's critique of cryosphere models. There are lots more questions but we could have a free-for-all with models and atmospheric inputs.

Maybe we could get some sponsorship and/or have a workshop, or at least have a Webpage. I have heard rumours of an IGS conference in Fairbanks next summer and some of the active mass balance modelling (or modeling) people may be going there anyway. You may see my deadly cunning in putting UAF at the start of the Who's Who list above.
 

Roger J. Braithwaite
Presently guest of Chinese Academy of Sciences
and
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Geography - SED
Arthur Lewis Building 1.069
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

Note new website and new telephone number:
www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/roger.braithwaite
Tel: Int + (0)161 275-3653



From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] on behalf of wendell Tangborn [[hidden email]]
Sent: 01 August 2011 19:24
To: Cryolist
Subject: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project


To:      All Glaciologists

From:  Wendell Tangborn

Subject Glacier Mass Balance Project
 

I am seeking collaborators for a project to calculate the mass balances of a small sample (about 0.10%) of the world’s 200,000 glaciers. The purpose of this project is to determine the cause of the rapid and unprecedented decline of the world’s glaciers during the past 3-5 decades. It is incomprehensible that the public has not been more alarmed by the shrinkage and demise of so many glaciers, some of which have been in existence for a 100.000 years or more.  This project may at least increase an awareness that many of the earth’s glaciers may soon disappear.

 

The PTAA glacier mass balance model that I developed will be used to accomplish the projects goals.   This model uses only easily available daily temperature and precipitation observations at mostly low-altitude weather stations, plus the glacier’s area-altitude distribution.  Both of these variables are inexpensive to acquire and readily available for most of the world’s glaciers.

 

The PTAA model has been successfully applied to several dozen glaciers in Alaska and the Pacific NW, and was also tested on one glacier in the Himalayas. Several peer-reviewed scientific papers and three MS thesis that are based on the PTAA model have been published. see
 
The PTAA FORTRAN program and all auxiliary programs will be turned over to the organization or group that agrees to manage and support this project.  HyMet will be available to assist in setting up and initially running the model and other programs.
 

Initial tasks

 

  1. Select approximately 200 glaciers (5-10 for each mountain range) on the basis of available DEM data and proximity to long-term (50-60 years) weather stations
  2. Tabulate area-altitude distribution from the DEM for each glacier
  3. Collect daily temperature and precipitation observations at 2-3 weather stations for each glacier located 300 km or less from the glacier.  There will likely be some overlap so that one weather station will be tested for several glaciers.
  4. Reconstruct missed observations of weather data using HyMet programs designed for this purpose
  5. Revise PTAA computer program to incorporate selected glaciers, AA profiles and weather data

Project Goals

 

  1. Calibrate the PTAA model for each glacier to find the minimum calibration error and optimum values for the mass balance coefficients
  2. Apply the optimum coefficients to produce daily mass balance results for the period of record to determine average accumulation, ablation, mass balance and runoff as a function of elevation, equilibrium line elevations, daily lapse rates, historical annual balances and other variables for the period of record. Tabulate and organize each variable into a file.
  3. Relate mass balances to global temperature anomalies of maximum and minimum temperatures compiled by the Hadley Climate Center, and to the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa to determine the cause of the recent and widespread glacier decline.
  4. Develop a simplified, dynamic glacier model using the mass balance results that will demonstrate how the climate, glacier mass balance, glacier surface configuration (AA profiles), glacier flow and bed erosion are interrelated.

Estimated time and labor to complete

 

Two or three experienced people working full time could complete the Initial Tasks in 10-12 months.  The tasks identified in the Project Goals would also require another 10-12 months without number 4, which could need another year or more.


--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" value="&#43;12065674077" target="_blank">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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You're subscribed to the CRYOLIST mailing list
To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/
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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Dr. Rijan Bhakta Kayastha
Dear All,
I would also like to join the glacier mass balance modeling group and work on Nepalese glaciers. I know that the PTAA model was used on Langtang Glacier in the Langtang Valley, central Nepal (Debris-Covered Glaciers, IAHS 264, 2000).
 
One good news in this context to all glaciologists is that the Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster Research Center (HiCCDRC) of Kathmandu University has launched M. S. by Research in Glaciology from this year supported through the project “Monitoring and assessment of changes in Glaciers, Snow and Glacio-hydrology in the Hindu Kush - Himalayas with a special focus on strengthening the capacity of Nepalese organizations (The HKH Cryosphere Monitoring Project)” executed by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The project is funded by Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The goal of the project is to contribute significantly to improve knowledge and understanding of the cryosphere by analyzing changes in glaciers, snow and glacio-hydrology in relation to impacts of climate change on water resource management in the HKH region. We are going to measure mass balance of Yala Glacier in the Langtang Valley and Rikha Samba Glacier in the Hidden Valley. We will also install some hydrological and meteorological (AWS) stations nearby those glaciers and downstream. I hope these glaciological and hydro-meteorological data will be very useful for validating model outputs.
 
Regards,
 
Rijan Bhakta Kayastha, D. Sc., Assistant Professor

Coordinator: Himalayan Cryosphere, Climate and Disaster Research Center (HiCCDRC)
Coordinator: B. Tech. (Environmental Engineering) Program
Department of Environmental Science (DESE)
School of Science (SOS)
Kathmandu University (KU)
Dhulikhel, Kavre
P.O. Box 6250 Kathmandu, NEPAL
E-mails: [hidden email] and [hidden email]
Phone: 977 11 661399 Ext. 1217
Fax: 977 11 661443
http://www.ku.edu.np/env/Brief_CV-Rijan.doc

From: Roger J. Braithwaite <[hidden email]>
To: wendell Tangborn <[hidden email]>; Cryolist <[hidden email]>
Sent: Saturday, 6 August 2011 3:59 PM
Subject: Re: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project


Dear Everybody

I think Wendell's idea is an excellent one (see Cryolist last week) and I would certainly like to join a cooperative project on mass balance modelling.

Some aspects of his suggestion are too prescriptive. There are already a number of groups out there with their own models (of varying complexity) so not everyone will need to use the Hymet model. People are using different inputs (nearby weather stations, gridded climatologies, and reanalysis products from NCAR and ERA). Also people are working at different time resolutions. Personally, more than 30 years ago, I already regarded the use of daily data in models as fairly tedious which is why I re-invented the degree-day approach so I can use monthly data and let the degree-day method look after the days. Niels Reeh took that further with a modification where you only need annual mean and annual temperature range (and assume a sine distribution through the year - which is not too bad).

Aside from the above comments, I think we should gather the troops from UAF/UBC, Calgary, Manchester, Oslo, Utrecht, Zurich (with varying amounts of radiation), Innsbruck, China and Wellington NZ plus other that  I may have forgotten, and thrash out a possible project. We could agree on some test areas (or test glaciers) and agree to compare results. One hot new area might be debris-covered glaciers: I think I know how to deal with snow/ice but debris has me baffled. How well do our current models work on summer-accumulation glaciers? How well do our models work on bizarre shapes like Behring (spelling?) glacier? Do we know how to verify our models when we have used up all our data in calibrating the model? After ten years, nobody has answered van de Veen's critique of cryosphere models. There are lots more questions but we could have a free-for-all with models and atmospheric inputs.

Maybe we could get some sponsorship and/or have a workshop, or at least have a Webpage. I have heard rumours of an IGS conference in Fairbanks next summer and some of the active mass balance modelling (or modeling) people may be going there anyway. You may see my deadly cunning in putting UAF at the start of the Who's Who list above.
 

Roger J. Braithwaite
Presently guest of Chinese Academy of Sciences
and
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Geography - SED
Arthur Lewis Building 1.069
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

Note new website and new telephone number:
www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/roger.braithwaite
Tel: Int + (0)161 275-3653



From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] on behalf of wendell Tangborn [[hidden email]]
Sent: 01 August 2011 19:24
To: Cryolist
Subject: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project


To:      All Glaciologists
From:  Wendell Tangborn
Subject Glacier Mass Balance Project
 
I am seeking collaborators for a project to calculate the mass balances of a small sample (about 0.10%) of the world’s 200,000 glaciers. The purpose of this project is to determine the cause of the rapid and unprecedented decline of the world’s glaciers during the past 3-5 decades. It is incomprehensible that the public has not been more alarmed by the shrinkage and demise of so many glaciers, some of which have been in existence for a 100.000 years or more.  This project may at least increase an awareness that many of the earth’s glaciers may soon disappear.
 
The PTAA glacier mass balance model that I developed will be used to accomplish the projects goals.   This model uses only easily available daily temperature and precipitation observations at mostly low-altitude weather stations, plus the glacier’s area-altitude distribution.  Both of these variables are inexpensive to acquire and readily available for most of the world’s glaciers.
 
The PTAA model has been successfully applied to several dozen glaciers in Alaska and the Pacific NW, and was also tested on one glacier in the Himalayas. Several peer-reviewed scientific papers and three MS thesis that are based on the PTAA model have been published. see
 
The PTAA FORTRAN program and all auxiliary programs will be turned over to the organization or group that agrees to manage and support this project.  HyMet will be available to assist in setting up and initially running the model and other programs.
 

Initial tasks

 
  1. Select approximately 200 glaciers (5-10 for each mountain range) on the basis of available DEM data and proximity to long-term (50-60 years) weather stations
  2. Tabulate area-altitude distribution from the DEM for each glacier
  3. Collect daily temperature and precipitation observations at 2-3 weather stations for each glacier located 300 km or less from the glacier.  There will likely be some overlap so that one weather station will be tested for several glaciers.
  4. Reconstruct missed observations of weather data using HyMet programs designed for this purpose
  5. Revise PTAA computer program to incorporate selected glaciers, AA profiles and weather data

Project Goals

 
  1. Calibrate the PTAA model for each glacier to find the minimum calibration error and optimum values for the mass balance coefficients
  2. Apply the optimum coefficients to produce daily mass balance results for the period of record to determine average accumulation, ablation, mass balance and runoff as a function of elevation, equilibrium line elevations, daily lapse rates, historical annual balances and other variables for the period of record. Tabulate and organize each variable into a file.
  3. Relate mass balances to global temperature anomalies of maximum and minimum temperatures compiled by the Hadley Climate Center, and to the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa to determine the cause of the recent and widespread glacier decline.
  4. Develop a simplified, dynamic glacier model using the mass balance results that will demonstrate how the climate, glacier mass balance, glacier surface configuration (AA profiles), glacier flow and bed erosion are interrelated.

Estimated time and labor to complete
 
Two or three experienced people working full time could complete the Initial Tasks in 10-12 months.  The tasks identified in the Project Goals would also require another 10-12 months without number 4, which could need another year or more.


--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

_______________________________________________
You're subscribed to the CRYOLIST mailing list
To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/
To send a message to the list, email [hidden email]


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To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/
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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Michael Tobis
Why is this so labor intensive? I would think the entire process could
be automated for less effort than is described here.

Michael Tobis, Ph.D.
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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Wendell Tangborn
In reply to this post by Roger Braithwaite
Dear Roger,
 
Thanks for your critique of my PTAA mass balance proposal and your offer to join a cooperative mass balance project. Would you clarify your comment that the suggestions I made are a little "too prescriptive"? 
 
My feeling is that applying several different mass balance models to a large number of glaciers, such as you propose, would not produce a clear understanding of the drastic changes that glaciers are now undergoing.  It is better to stay with one model that applies the same physical mechanisms to the different glaciers using weather observations that are unique for each glacier - which is what the PTAA model does.
 
We seem to have evolved in opposite directions with regard to the use of daily versus monthly data.  I started out using monthly data (also over 30 years ago) but eventually realized that monthly averages were ignoring the subtle interrelationships shown in daily data.  For example, analyzing the daily temperature cycle is essential for understanding how global temperatures have changed over the past few decades. 
Would any of your Chinese colleagues be interested in joining this global mass balance effort?  There should be at least a few of the 200 glaciers proposed for this study that are located in China.
 
Regards,
 
Wendell
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" target="_blank" value="+12065674077">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com


On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 3:14 AM, Roger J. Braithwaite <[hidden email]> wrote:

Dear Everybody

I think Wendell's idea is an excellent one (see Cryolist last week) and I would certainly like to join a cooperative project on mass balance modelling.

Some aspects of his suggestion are too prescriptive. There are already a number of groups out there with their own models (of varying complexity) so not everyone will need to use the Hymet model. People are using different inputs (nearby weather stations, gridded climatologies, and reanalysis products from NCAR and ERA). Also people are working at different time resolutions. Personally, more than 30 years ago, I already regarded the use of daily data in models as fairly tedious which is why I re-invented the degree-day approach so I can use monthly data and let the degree-day method look after the days. Niels Reeh took that further with a modification where you only need annual mean and annual temperature range (and assume a sine distribution through the year - which is not too bad).

Aside from the above comments, I think we should gather the troops from UAF/UBC, Calgary, Manchester, Oslo, Utrecht, Zurich (with varying amounts of radiation), Innsbruck, China and Wellington NZ plus other that  I may have forgotten, and thrash out a possible project. We could agree on some test areas (or test glaciers) and agree to compare results. One hot new area might be debris-covered glaciers: I think I know how to deal with snow/ice but debris has me baffled. How well do our current models work on summer-accumulation glaciers? How well do our models work on bizarre shapes like Behring (spelling?) glacier? Do we know how to verify our models when we have used up all our data in calibrating the model? After ten years, nobody has answered van de Veen's critique of cryosphere models. There are lots more questions but we could have a free-for-all with models and atmospheric inputs.

Maybe we could get some sponsorship and/or have a workshop, or at least have a Webpage. I have heard rumours of an IGS conference in Fairbanks next summer and some of the active mass balance modelling (or modeling) people may be going there anyway. You may see my deadly cunning in putting UAF at the start of the Who's Who list above.
 

Roger J. Braithwaite
Presently guest of Chinese Academy of Sciences
and
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Geography - SED
Arthur Lewis Building 1.069
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

Note new website and new telephone number:
www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/roger.braithwaite
Tel: Int + (0)161 275-3653



From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] on behalf of wendell Tangborn [[hidden email]]
Sent: 01 August 2011 19:24
To: Cryolist
Subject: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project


To:      All Glaciologists

From:  Wendell Tangborn

Subject Glacier Mass Balance Project
 

I am seeking collaborators for a project to calculate the mass balances of a small sample (about 0.10%) of the world’s 200,000 glaciers. The purpose of this project is to determine the cause of the rapid and unprecedented decline of the world’s glaciers during the past 3-5 decades. It is incomprehensible that the public has not been more alarmed by the shrinkage and demise of so many glaciers, some of which have been in existence for a 100.000 years or more.  This project may at least increase an awareness that many of the earth’s glaciers may soon disappear.

 

The PTAA glacier mass balance model that I developed will be used to accomplish the projects goals.   This model uses only easily available daily temperature and precipitation observations at mostly low-altitude weather stations, plus the glacier’s area-altitude distribution.  Both of these variables are inexpensive to acquire and readily available for most of the world’s glaciers.

 

The PTAA model has been successfully applied to several dozen glaciers in Alaska and the Pacific NW, and was also tested on one glacier in the Himalayas. Several peer-reviewed scientific papers and three MS thesis that are based on the PTAA model have been published. see
 
The PTAA FORTRAN program and all auxiliary programs will be turned over to the organization or group that agrees to manage and support this project.  HyMet will be available to assist in setting up and initially running the model and other programs.
 

Initial tasks

 

  1. Select approximately 200 glaciers (5-10 for each mountain range) on the basis of available DEM data and proximity to long-term (50-60 years) weather stations
  2. Tabulate area-altitude distribution from the DEM for each glacier
  3. Collect daily temperature and precipitation observations at 2-3 weather stations for each glacier located 300 km or less from the glacier.  There will likely be some overlap so that one weather station will be tested for several glaciers.
  4. Reconstruct missed observations of weather data using HyMet programs designed for this purpose
  5. Revise PTAA computer program to incorporate selected glaciers, AA profiles and weather data

Project Goals

 

  1. Calibrate the PTAA model for each glacier to find the minimum calibration error and optimum values for the mass balance coefficients
  2. Apply the optimum coefficients to produce daily mass balance results for the period of record to determine average accumulation, ablation, mass balance and runoff as a function of elevation, equilibrium line elevations, daily lapse rates, historical annual balances and other variables for the period of record. Tabulate and organize each variable into a file.
  3. Relate mass balances to global temperature anomalies of maximum and minimum temperatures compiled by the Hadley Climate Center, and to the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa to determine the cause of the recent and widespread glacier decline.
  4. Develop a simplified, dynamic glacier model using the mass balance results that will demonstrate how the climate, glacier mass balance, glacier surface configuration (AA profiles), glacier flow and bed erosion are interrelated.

Estimated time and labor to complete

 

Two or three experienced people working full time could complete the Initial Tasks in 10-12 months.  The tasks identified in the Project Goals would also require another 10-12 months without number 4, which could need another year or more.


--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" target="_blank" value="+12065674077">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" target="_blank" value="+12065674077">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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You're subscribed to the CRYOLIST mailing list
To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/
To send a message to the list, email [hidden email]
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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Wendell Tangborn
In reply to this post by Wendell Tangborn
Dear Martin,
 
It would be well worthwhile to run the two models simultaneously for the same glaciers in Arctic Canada.  I would need the surface area-altitude distributions for each glacier with the finest detail possible - i.e. 30 meter altitude intervals are preferable to 50 m.  Also needed are historical daily precipitation and temperature observations at a weather station in the region.  What is the closest long-term weather station to the glaciers for which the mass balance will be determined?
 
I have not used NCEP data but would like to try it out if possible.  Are historical records of both daily precipitation and maximum and minimum temperatures available for the region to be tested?  How long is the record?  What is the format of the data?.I will need to convert it to the format used by the model.
What are the approximate coordinates of the glaciers?  A link to a map of the area would be helpful.
 
I am looking forward to working with you on this project..
 
Regards,
 
Wendell
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 7:49 AM, Martin Sharp <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Wendell
I think we would have an interest in trying this out for a selection of glaciers in Arctic Canada. As you may have seen there are now regional scale MB estimates for this region for the past decade from GLIMS, satellite laser altimetry and high resolution distributed modeling. The latter work has actually been extended to cover the period since 1949 - that work is being written up now. I would see some value in us doing the simulations that you propose for a subset of glaciers in the region to see how the 2 approaches compare (our regional model uses downscaled NCEP data as forcing rather than station data). I have a new Masters student starting in September who could take some of this on.
Regards
Martin Sharp

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM, wendell Tangborn <[hidden email]> wrote:

To:      All Glaciologists

From:  Wendell Tangborn

Subject Glacier Mass Balance Project
 

I am seeking collaborators for a project to calculate the mass balances of a small sample (about 0.10%) of the world’s 200,000 glaciers. The purpose of this project is to determine the cause of the rapid and unprecedented decline of the world’s glaciers during the past 3-5 decades. It is incomprehensible that the public has not been more alarmed by the shrinkage and demise of so many glaciers, some of which have been in existence for a 100.000 years or more.  This project may at least increase an awareness that many of the earth’s glaciers may soon disappear.

 

The PTAA glacier mass balance model that I developed will be used to accomplish the projects goals.   This model uses only easily available daily temperature and precipitation observations at mostly low-altitude weather stations, plus the glacier’s area-altitude distribution.  Both of these variables are inexpensive to acquire and readily available for most of the world’s glaciers.

 

The PTAA model has been successfully applied to several dozen glaciers in Alaska and the Pacific NW, and was also tested on one glacier in the Himalayas. Several peer-reviewed scientific papers and three MS thesis that are based on the PTAA model have been published. see
 
The PTAA FORTRAN program and all auxiliary programs will be turned over to the organization or group that agrees to manage and support this project.  HyMet will be available to assist in setting up and initially running the model and other programs.
 

Initial tasks

 

  1. Select approximately 200 glaciers (5-10 for each mountain range) on the basis of available DEM data and proximity to long-term (50-60 years) weather stations
  2. Tabulate area-altitude distribution from the DEM for each glacier
  3. Collect daily temperature and precipitation observations at 2-3 weather stations for each glacier located 300 km or less from the glacier.  There will likely be some overlap so that one weather station will be tested for several glaciers.
  4. Reconstruct missed observations of weather data using HyMet programs designed for this purpose
  5. Revise PTAA computer program to incorporate selected glaciers, AA profiles and weather data

Project Goals

 

  1. Calibrate the PTAA model for each glacier to find the minimum calibration error and optimum values for the mass balance coefficients
  2. Apply the optimum coefficients to produce daily mass balance results for the period of record to determine average accumulation, ablation, mass balance and runoff as a function of elevation, equilibrium line elevations, daily lapse rates, historical annual balances and other variables for the period of record. Tabulate and organize each variable into a file.
  3. Relate mass balances to global temperature anomalies of maximum and minimum temperatures compiled by the Hadley Climate Center, and to the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa to determine the cause of the recent and widespread glacier decline.
  4. Develop a simplified, dynamic glacier model using the mass balance results that will demonstrate how the climate, glacier mass balance, glacier surface configuration (AA profiles), glacier flow and bed erosion are interrelated.

Estimated time and labor to complete

 

Two or three experienced people working full time could complete the Initial Tasks in 10-12 months.  The tasks identified in the Project Goals would also require another 10-12 months without number 4, which could need another year or more.


--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" target="_blank" value="+12065674077">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" target="_blank" value="+12065674077">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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--
Martin Sharp
Professor and Chair
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Ab, T6G 2E3, Canada

Tel: <a href="tel:%281%29%20780%20492%205249" target="_blank" value="+17804925249">(1) 780 492 5249



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Roger Braithwaite
Dear Wendell and Martin and others

I said right at the start of this correspondance that we should apply different models, different iputs etc, to the same glaciers. However, following the correspondance, I am now a little puzzled as to whether the PTAA model needs mass balance data to calibrate it. I thought that it does but some people are talking about applying the model where there is little or no mass balance data, e.g. the Himlayas.

I am also not sure that there is such a vacuum of knowledge as Wendell thinks. Mass balance models of various kinds have been reported over the last 20 years by Reeh (Oerter and Letregilly), Oerlemans (Furtuin, Zuo, Van de Wal etc), Laumann and Reeh, Johannesson, Braithwaite (Zhang and Raper), Hock (de Would and Radic), O'Shea and Anderson etc (please excuse me if I have left anybody out). More than 60 glaciers have been modelled by at least one group.

The consensus seems to that the glacier's reponse (e.g. change in mass balance for a one degree change in temperature) is low for more continental glaciers (low precipitation, low mass-bakance amplitude and high annual temperature range) and high for maritime glaciers (high precipitation, high mass-balance amplitud and low annual temperature range). Response to precipitation changes (in percentage terms) are in proportion. In my own modelling work, the temperature sensitivity of mass balance change varies by more than an order of magnitude between High Arctic and New Zealand glaciers (Braithwaite and Raper, 2007).  Martin Sharpe's glaciers will show low response. The highly maritime SE part of the Himalay may have high response while other parts have low response, either due to more continental climate or due to debris cover. We shouldn't lump all the Himalayas into one pot!


Roger J. Braithwaite
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Geography - SED
Arthur Lewis Building 1.069
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL

Note new website and new telephone number:
www.sed.manchester.ac.uk/roger.braithwaite
Tel: Int + (0)161 275-3653



From: [hidden email] [[hidden email]] on behalf of wendell Tangborn [[hidden email]]
Sent: 21 August 2011 04:02
To: Martin Sharp
Cc: Cryolist
Subject: Re: [CRYOLIST] Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

Dear Martin,
 
It would be well worthwhile to run the two models simultaneously for the same glaciers in Arctic Canada.  I would need the surface area-altitude distributions for each glacier with the finest detail possible - i.e. 30 meter altitude intervals are preferable to 50 m.  Also needed are historical daily precipitation and temperature observations at a weather station in the region.  What is the closest long-term weather station to the glaciers for which the mass balance will be determined?
 
I have not used NCEP data but would like to try it out if possible.  Are historical records of both daily precipitation and maximum and minimum temperatures available for the region to be tested?  How long is the record?  What is the format of the data?.I will need to convert it to the format used by the model.
What are the approximate coordinates of the glaciers?  A link to a map of the area would be helpful.
 
I am looking forward to working with you on this project..
 
Regards,
 
Wendell
On Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 7:49 AM, Martin Sharp <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Wendell
I think we would have an interest in trying this out for a selection of glaciers in Arctic Canada. As you may have seen there are now regional scale MB estimates for this region for the past decade from GLIMS, satellite laser altimetry and high resolution distributed modeling. The latter work has actually been extended to cover the period since 1949 - that work is being written up now. I would see some value in us doing the simulations that you propose for a subset of glaciers in the region to see how the 2 approaches compare (our regional model uses downscaled NCEP data as forcing rather than station data). I have a new Masters student starting in September who could take some of this on.
Regards
Martin Sharp

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 12:24 PM, wendell Tangborn <[hidden email]> wrote:

To:      All Glaciologists

From:  Wendell Tangborn

Subject Glacier Mass Balance Project
 

I am seeking collaborators for a project to calculate the mass balances of a small sample (about 0.10%) of the world’s 200,000 glaciers. The purpose of this project is to determine the cause of the rapid and unprecedented decline of the world’s glaciers during the past 3-5 decades. It is incomprehensible that the public has not been more alarmed by the shrinkage and demise of so many glaciers, some of which have been in existence for a 100.000 years or more.  This project may at least increase an awareness that many of the earth’s glaciers may soon disappear.

 

The PTAA glacier mass balance model that I developed will be used to accomplish the projects goals.   This model uses only easily available daily temperature and precipitation observations at mostly low-altitude weather stations, plus the glacier’s area-altitude distribution.  Both of these variables are inexpensive to acquire and readily available for most of the world’s glaciers.

 

The PTAA model has been successfully applied to several dozen glaciers in Alaska and the Pacific NW, and was also tested on one glacier in the Himalayas. Several peer-reviewed scientific papers and three MS thesis that are based on the PTAA model have been published. see
 
The PTAA FORTRAN program and all auxiliary programs will be turned over to the organization or group that agrees to manage and support this project.  HyMet will be available to assist in setting up and initially running the model and other programs.
 

Initial tasks

 

  1. Select approximately 200 glaciers (5-10 for each mountain range) on the basis of available DEM data and proximity to long-term (50-60 years) weather stations
  2. Tabulate area-altitude distribution from the DEM for each glacier
  3. Collect daily temperature and precipitation observations at 2-3 weather stations for each glacier located 300 km or less from the glacier.  There will likely be some overlap so that one weather station will be tested for several glaciers.
  4. Reconstruct missed observations of weather data using HyMet programs designed for this purpose
  5. Revise PTAA computer program to incorporate selected glaciers, AA profiles and weather data

Project Goals

 

  1. Calibrate the PTAA model for each glacier to find the minimum calibration error and optimum values for the mass balance coefficients
  2. Apply the optimum coefficients to produce daily mass balance results for the period of record to determine average accumulation, ablation, mass balance and runoff as a function of elevation, equilibrium line elevations, daily lapse rates, historical annual balances and other variables for the period of record. Tabulate and organize each variable into a file.
  3. Relate mass balances to global temperature anomalies of maximum and minimum temperatures compiled by the Hadley Climate Center, and to the changes in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at Mauna Loa to determine the cause of the recent and widespread glacier decline.
  4. Develop a simplified, dynamic glacier model using the mass balance results that will demonstrate how the climate, glacier mass balance, glacier surface configuration (AA profiles), glacier flow and bed erosion are interrelated.

Estimated time and labor to complete

 

Two or three experienced people working full time could complete the Initial Tasks in 10-12 months.  The tasks identified in the Project Goals would also require another 10-12 months without number 4, which could need another year or more.


--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" value="&#43;12065674077" target="_blank">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
<a href="tel:206%20567%204077" value="&#43;12065674077" target="_blank">206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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To change your subscription options, visit http://cryolist.org/
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--
Martin Sharp
Professor and Chair
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Ab, T6G 2E3, Canada

Tel: <a href="tel:%281%29%20780%20492%205249" value="&#43;17804925249" target="_blank"> (1) 780 492 5249



--
Wendell Tangborn
HyMet
13629 Burma Rd SW
Vashon Island, WA 98070
206 567 4077
[hidden email]
www.hymet.com

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Re: Fwd: Glacier Mass Balance project

bthurlow
This post has NOT been accepted by the mailing list yet.
In reply to this post by Wendell Tangborn
Hi all, Im very keen to get involved...  Im a geo, and glaciology and climate change are my favourite subjects.  My email is brenden.thurlow@hotmail.com if you need a hand!!!