Future Changes in the Ice Reservoir

  • Markus WeberEmail author
  • Monika Prasch
  • Michael Kuhn
  • Astrid Lambrecht


In summer, meltwater from glaciers supplies a reliable contribution to runoff in the alpine headwater regions. In a warming climate with reduction of the glacier surface and depletion of the ice reservoir, this contribution is increasing in an initial stage, but decreasing on the long run.

The observations of glacier retreat over the past century and an increase in global temperatures are indications of the impressive dynamics of the processes that have continued to accelerate as a result of interactions and feedback, especially in the last two decades. These processes are calculated in precise detail in DANUBIA using the SURGES (Subscale Regional Glacier Extension Simulator) glacier sub-model, so that even the future extent of the glaciers and discharge can be studied under the various climate scenarios.

Similar to Map  12.1, Map 31.1 presents the mean available ice mass in mm of water equivalent per proxel for the IPCC regional climate trend and the baseline climate variant in the model years 2030 and 2060. The results reproduced here confirm estimates that suggest the ice reservoir in the Eastern Alps may completely disappear as early as the second half of the century.


Glacier SURGES Climate trend IPCC Ice dynamics GLOWA-Danube DANUBIA 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Weber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Monika Prasch
    • 2
  • Michael Kuhn
    • 3
  • Astrid Lambrecht
    • 1
  1. 1.Commission for Geodesy and Glaciology of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and HumanitiesMunichGermany
  2. 2.Department of GeographyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)MunichGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Meteorology and GeophysicsUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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