Small glaciers in the Dinaric Mountains after eight years of observation: On the verge of extinction?

  • Emil Mariov Gachev South-west University »Neofit Rilski«, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria; National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy, and Geography, Sofia, Bulgaria https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8832-0273
Keywords: glacierets, snow patches, warming, winter precipitation, interannual variations, Dinaric Mountains

Abstract

This study presents results from regular observation of permanent and summer-persisting firn-ice bodies in the highest parts of the Dinaric Alps. The sizes of six small glaciers and two snow patches on the Prokletije Massif (in Albania) and the Durmitor Massif (in Montenegro) were measured from 2011 to 2018. In recent years, specific cycles of interannual behavior have been observed: a year of considerable snow accumulation (a »recharge« phase), followed by two to four years of gradual decrease (a »wastage« phase). At present, the small glaciers studied exist in unbalanced conditions, which in the long term may lead to their degradation. Progressive warming makes short-term cycle minimums increasingly severe. Their retreat after the summer of 2017 was probably the most pronounced since the Little Ice Age, and small glaciers are on the verge of extinction.

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Published
2020-12-31
How to Cite
1.
Gachev EM. Small glaciers in the Dinaric Mountains after eight years of observation: On the verge of extinction?. AGS [Internet]. 2020Dec.31 [cited 2021May8];60(2):191-1. Available from: https://ojs.zrc-sazu.si/ags/article/view/8092
Section
Special issue: The disappearing cryosphere in the southeastern Alps