Glaciers are out of balance with present‐day climatic conditions. A state‐of‐the‐art computer model simulating the evolution of many glaciers now shows that the imbalance between glaciers in the European Alps and climatic conditions grew during the early 21st century, according to AGU100’s recent article ‘On the Imbalance and Response Time of Glaciers in the European Alps’ authored by Harry Zekollari and co-authored by Matthias Huss and Daniel Farinotti.


Although this imbalance has recently decreased, glaciers are still expected to lose an important part of their mass, even if temperatures were to be stabilized at present‐day levels. This is an expression of glaciers adapting to present‐day climatic conditions. The  simulations suggest that the glacier response is strongly dependent on the surface steepness rather than on glacier size, as commonly reported.

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Zekollari, H., Huss, M., Farinotti, D. ‘On the Imbalance and Response Time of Glaciers in the European Alps.’ AGU100 47, 2 (2020).

Photo by Denis Linine

This is an open access article originally published on www.agupubs.onlinelibrary on 10 January, 2020 and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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