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Impacts of Aerosols on the Retreat of the Sierra Nevada Glaciers in California

Category: Optical/Radiative Properties and Remote Sensing

Volume: 18 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 1317-1330
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.03.0089
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Hesham El-Askary 1,2,3, Jingjing Li4, Wenzhao Li1, Thomas Piechota1, Tommy Ta5, Ariane Jong6, Xinyi Zhang7, Tiantian Yang8

  • 1 Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, CA 92866, USA
  • 2 Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling and Observations, Chapman University, CA 92866, USA
  • 3 Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Moharam Beek, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21522, Egypt
  • 4 Department of Geosciences and Environment, California State University Los Angeles, CA 90032, USA
  • 5 Assistant Environmental Scientist/Engineer, CIM Group, CA 90010, USA
  • 6 Staff Scientist at Council for Watershed Health, CA 90012, USA
  • 7 China Petroleum Engineering and Construction Corporation (CPECC), Beijing 100120, China
  • 8 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Highlights

Natural and Anthropogenic Aerosols impact on Glaciers.
No specific trend yet more work is needed.
Changing AODS over years at Borders.
Need for this kind of work over Glaciers.


Abstract

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the primary source of water for California. Many studies have shown that the increase in aerosols could lead to a reduction of the snowpack in this region. This study focuses on evaluating changes in the snowpack during the winter and summer seasons from 2000 till 2016 and determining the relationship between aerosols and the retreat of glaciers in the Sierra Nevada.The change detection analysis has shown reductions of 76.4% and 91.4% in the snowpack during winter and summer, respectively. Utilizing the aerosol optical depth (AOD), Angstrom exponent, snow depth anomalies, snowfall, radiation fluxes, and albedo, the effect of aerosols on snowfall over the Sierra Nevada glaciers has been examined for this 17-year period. Overall, based on correlation analysis, a negative relationship exists between the AOD and the snowfall.

Keywords

Aerosols Snowpack Sierrea Nevada Glacier Retreat


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