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Downscaling CESM2 in CLM5 to Hindcast Pre-Industrial Equilibrium Line Altitudes for Tropical Mountain Glaciers
  • Nicholas Gray Heavens
Nicholas Gray Heavens
Space Science Institute, Space Science Institute

Corresponding Author:nheavens@spacescience.org

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Tropical mountain glaciers are an important water resource and highly impacted by recent climate change. Tropical mountain glaciation also occurred in the recent and deep past, which presents opportunities for better validating paleoclimate simulations in continental interiors and mountainous regions but requires bridging global model scales (100s of km) with the ~ 1–10 km scale of glaciers when paleotopography is poorly known. Here we hindcast tropical mountain glaciation in pre-industrial time by using global climate model meteorology to force standalone simulations in its land component that use high resolution topography to resolve selected tropical mountain glaciers. These simulations underestimate observed equilibrium line altitudes (ELA) by 249 ± 330 m, but the simulated ELA and snow lines capture observed inter-mountain ELA variability. Error in large-scale model precipitation and ELA reconstruction uncertainty are the main contributors to this bias.
08 Sep 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 17. 10.1029/2021GL094071