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Reconstructing the Little Ice Age extent of Langfjordjøkelen, Arctic mainland Norway, as a baseline for assessing centennial-scale icefield recession

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Reconstructing the Little Ice Age extent of Langfjordjøkelen, Arctic mainland Norway, as a baseline for assessing centennial-scale icefield recession. / Weber, Paul; Lovell, Harold; Andreassen, Liss M.; Boston, Clare.

In: Polar Research, Vol. 39, 4304, 01.08.2020.

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@article{429e8b93125b445f85f64852170a348c,
title = "Reconstructing the Little Ice Age extent of Langfjordj{\o}kelen, Arctic mainland Norway, as a baseline for assessing centennial-scale icefield recession",
abstract = "Current warming in the Arctic is occurring at a rate two to three times higher than that of the rest of the world, leading to rapid glacier wastage. In Arctic mainland Norway, the plateau icefield Langfjordj{\o}kelen has experienced the greatest mass loss of all Norwegian glaciers (excluding Svalbard) in recent decades. In this article, we examine this decline in a centennial-scale context through geomorphological mapping and the analysis of historical aerial photographs and maps. This allows Langfjordj{\o}kelen{\textquoteright}s maximum Little Ice Age extent (ca. 1925) to be reconstructed, providing an important baseline for a long-term assessment of icefield change. At the LIA maximum, Langfjordj{\o}kelen covered an area of 14.9 km2. A comparison of the LIA dimensions with the icefield extent in 1891/1902, as displayed on a historical map, reveals a substantial overestimation of the map-based glacier outline. The post-LIA evolution of Langfjordj{\o}kelen has been characterized by sustained high rates of glacier recession. By 2018, the icefield had lost 57% (8.5 km2) of its original LIA area, at a decadal rate of 9%, and its outlet glaciers had reduced in average length by 42% (1 km), at an annual rate of 11 m. Langfjordj{\o}kelen{\textquoteright}s percentage area decline has been greater than that of Norwegian ice masses at lower latitudes where comparable long-term glacier change data are available. This indicates that there is a significant latitudinal variation in Norwegian glacier response to 20th century warming, likely influenced by an enhanced warming signal in Arctic Norway compared to the rest of the Norwegian mainland.",
keywords = "glacier change, glacier reconstruction, plateau icefield, Langfjordj{\o}kelen, Artic Norway, Little Ice Age (LIA)",
author = "Paul Weber and Harold Lovell and Andreassen, {Liss M.} and Clare Boston",
year = "2020",
month = aug,
day = "1",
doi = "10.33265/polar.v39.4304",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
journal = "Polar Research",
issn = "1751-8369",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reconstructing the Little Ice Age extent of Langfjordjøkelen, Arctic mainland Norway, as a baseline for assessing centennial-scale icefield recession

AU - Weber, Paul

AU - Lovell, Harold

AU - Andreassen, Liss M.

AU - Boston, Clare

PY - 2020/8/1

Y1 - 2020/8/1

N2 - Current warming in the Arctic is occurring at a rate two to three times higher than that of the rest of the world, leading to rapid glacier wastage. In Arctic mainland Norway, the plateau icefield Langfjordjøkelen has experienced the greatest mass loss of all Norwegian glaciers (excluding Svalbard) in recent decades. In this article, we examine this decline in a centennial-scale context through geomorphological mapping and the analysis of historical aerial photographs and maps. This allows Langfjordjøkelen’s maximum Little Ice Age extent (ca. 1925) to be reconstructed, providing an important baseline for a long-term assessment of icefield change. At the LIA maximum, Langfjordjøkelen covered an area of 14.9 km2. A comparison of the LIA dimensions with the icefield extent in 1891/1902, as displayed on a historical map, reveals a substantial overestimation of the map-based glacier outline. The post-LIA evolution of Langfjordjøkelen has been characterized by sustained high rates of glacier recession. By 2018, the icefield had lost 57% (8.5 km2) of its original LIA area, at a decadal rate of 9%, and its outlet glaciers had reduced in average length by 42% (1 km), at an annual rate of 11 m. Langfjordjøkelen’s percentage area decline has been greater than that of Norwegian ice masses at lower latitudes where comparable long-term glacier change data are available. This indicates that there is a significant latitudinal variation in Norwegian glacier response to 20th century warming, likely influenced by an enhanced warming signal in Arctic Norway compared to the rest of the Norwegian mainland.

AB - Current warming in the Arctic is occurring at a rate two to three times higher than that of the rest of the world, leading to rapid glacier wastage. In Arctic mainland Norway, the plateau icefield Langfjordjøkelen has experienced the greatest mass loss of all Norwegian glaciers (excluding Svalbard) in recent decades. In this article, we examine this decline in a centennial-scale context through geomorphological mapping and the analysis of historical aerial photographs and maps. This allows Langfjordjøkelen’s maximum Little Ice Age extent (ca. 1925) to be reconstructed, providing an important baseline for a long-term assessment of icefield change. At the LIA maximum, Langfjordjøkelen covered an area of 14.9 km2. A comparison of the LIA dimensions with the icefield extent in 1891/1902, as displayed on a historical map, reveals a substantial overestimation of the map-based glacier outline. The post-LIA evolution of Langfjordjøkelen has been characterized by sustained high rates of glacier recession. By 2018, the icefield had lost 57% (8.5 km2) of its original LIA area, at a decadal rate of 9%, and its outlet glaciers had reduced in average length by 42% (1 km), at an annual rate of 11 m. Langfjordjøkelen’s percentage area decline has been greater than that of Norwegian ice masses at lower latitudes where comparable long-term glacier change data are available. This indicates that there is a significant latitudinal variation in Norwegian glacier response to 20th century warming, likely influenced by an enhanced warming signal in Arctic Norway compared to the rest of the Norwegian mainland.

KW - glacier change

KW - glacier reconstruction

KW - plateau icefield

KW - Langfjordjøkelen

KW - Artic Norway

KW - Little Ice Age (LIA)

U2 - 10.33265/polar.v39.4304

DO - 10.33265/polar.v39.4304

M3 - Article

VL - 39

JO - Polar Research

JF - Polar Research

SN - 1751-8369

M1 - 4304

ER -

ID: 20171495