Glaciers

When winter snowfall trumps summer melting

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Science  24 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6208, pp. 436-437
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6208.436-b

Glaciers in the Karakoram region of Asia are maintaining—or even gaining—mass, in contrast to those in the nearby Himalayas and over the rest of the world, despite global warming. Why are they so different? Kapnick et al. combine observations with climate model simulations to infer that the anomaly is a result of the unique meteorological pattern of seasonal snowfall that affects the region. Unlike the Himalayas, snowfall in the Karakoram is caused mostly by non-monsoonal winter precipitation. That also means that the region should be protected from glacial mass loss over the rest of the 21st century.

Nat. Geosci. 10.1038/ngeo2269 (2014).

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