Title: From dwindling ice to headwater lakes:Could dams replace glaciers in the European Alps?
Authors: FARINOTTI DanielPISTOCCHI AlbertoHUSS Matthias
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS vol. 11 no. 5 p. 054022
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC100241
ISSN: 1748-9326
URI: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054022/meta
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054022
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The potential exploitation of areas becoming ice-free in response to ongoing climate change has rarely been addressed, although it could be of interest from the wa- ter management perspective. Here we present an estimate for the potential of mitigating projected changes in seasonal water availability from melting glaciers by managing runo through reservoirs. For the European Alps we estimate that by the end of the century, such a strategy could oset up to 25% of the expected summer-runo changes from presently glacierized surfaces. A rst order approach suggests that the retention volume potentially available in the areas becoming deglacierized is in excess of the volume required for achieving the maximal possible mitigation by more than one order of magnitude. Obviously, however, such a strategy cannot compensate for the reduction in annual runo caused by glacier ice depletion. Our estimates indicate that by 2070-2099, 0.730.67km3 a1 of this non-renewable component of the water cycle could be missing in Alpine water supplies.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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