The Andean Cordillera is cryospherically diverse, with high mountain glaciation in the north and large temperate ice masses in the south. These ice masses are critical for water security, the prevalence of geohazards, and a potentially substantial contribution to global sea level. The climatic influences on these ice masses vary across the Cordillera, and are strongly affected by large scale ocean-atmospheric systems such as ENSO and the Southern Annular Mode.
South America is one of the few landmasses in the ocean-dominated Southern Hemisphere available for terrestrial environmental and climate reconstructions. Palaeoclimatic records suggest that Patagonia was sensitive to the Antarctic Cold Reversal and variations in the Southern Annular Mode, which drives changes in the Southern Westerly Winds. Changes in these winds affect both Patagonia and Antarctica today. Further north, the glaciers in Peru and Bolivia are receding rapidly, threatening water security in these latitudes. These glaciers are strongly affected by rising atmospheric air temperatures and changes in ENSO. The high climate sensitivity of these glaciers and icefields, as well as their large latitudinal transect across the Andes, renders them a useful barometer of changes in large-scale atmospheric circulation and palaeoclimate.
We invite interdisciplinary contributions that investigate climate and cryosphere interactions over a range of timescale. This session will bring together researchers working on contemporary mass balance and climatology in the Andean Cordillera, Quaternary palaeoclimatic reconstructions from proxy data (including from lakes, bogs, marine records, aeolian records, ice cores, etc.), (palaeo)climate modelling, and reconstructions of former, present and future ice extent and dynamics from field-based studies and numerical modelling. It will provide a forum in which researchers can contrast their data and shed light on Quaternary glaciations and their palaeoclimatic drivers in South America. We especially invite studies that use data-model comparisons to improve projections of future climate and ice mass behaviour in the Andean Cordillera.
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