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ST Lee Young Scientist Exchange Lecture – Anthropogenic forcing: effects on extreme glacier mass-loss
Jul 26, 2019 at 11:00 am–12:00 pm
This lecture is part of the S.T. Lee Young Scientist Exchange with Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
Visiting scientist: Lauren Vargo
Talk overview: Glaciers are unique indicators of climate change, and extreme glacier mass loss is becoming more common globally. While decadal glacier decline has been attributed to anthropogenic forcing, direct links between anthropogenic forcing and years of extreme glacier mass loss have not been documented. Event attribution methods have previously been applied to extreme heat, drought, and rainfall events. We use event attribution methods together with glacier mass-balance modeling to calculate the anthropogenic influence on high glacier mass-loss years. Initial application of this method to New Zealand glaciers shows a clear anthropogenic influence on extreme glacier mass-loss. Mass loss in 2011 was at least 10 times more likely to occur with anthropogenic forcing, and at one glacier in 2018 could not have occurred without anthropogenic forcing.