University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Scott Polar Research Institute - Physical Sciences Seminar > Are Karakoram glacier surges linked with climate?

Are Karakoram glacier surges linked with climate?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Poul Christoffersen.

Glaciers in the Karakoram are of particular current interest because many are in balance or are gaining mass, and the majority have either stable terminus positions or are advancing. A number of studies have cited recent (decadal) climatic patterns as being responsible for this anomalous behaviour, but the picture is somewhat complicated by the large number of surging glaciers in the region, about which little is known. This talk will present remotely sensed data that demonstrate glacier velocities can reach as high as 5 km/yr during a surge and that surge return periods may be as short as two decades. Such data can help to shed light on glacier thermal conditions, the processes that trigger surges in this region, and how their characteristics may change in different climatic conditions. Better knowledge of Karakoram surges is critical if accurate assessments of the mass balance of western Himalayan glaciers are to be made.

This talk is part of the Scott Polar Research Institute - Physical Sciences Seminar series.

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