Matthias Huss

Matthias Huss
Université de Fribourg · Department of Geosciences

Dr.

About

260
Publications
98,628
Reads
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12,424
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - December 2014
ETH Zurich
Position
  • Senior Researcher
March 2009 - December 2014
Université de Fribourg
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (260)
Article
Full-text available
The anticipated retreat of glaciers around the globe will pose far-reaching challenges to the management of fresh water resources and significantly contribute to sea-level rise within the coming decades. Here, we present a new model for calculating the twenty-first century mass changes of all glaciers on Earth outside the ice sheets. The Global Gla...
Article
Full-text available
A new physically based approach for calculating glacier ice thickness distribution and volume is presented and applied to all glaciers and ice caps worldwide. Combining glacier outlines of the globally complete Randolph Glacier Inventory with terrain elevation models (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission/Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflect...
Article
Full-text available
The contribution of glaciers to runoff from large-scale drainage basins in Europe is analyzed for the major streams originating in the Alps: Rhine, Rhone, Po, and Danube. Detailed information on glacier storage change is available from monthly mass balance data of 50 Swiss glaciers for the period 1908-2008. Storage changes are extrapolated to all g...
Article
Full-text available
The future runoff from three highly glacierized alpine catchments is assessed for the period 2007–2100 using a glacio-hydrological model including the change in glacier coverage. We apply scenarios for the seasonal change in temperature and precipitation derived from regional climate models. Glacier surface mass balance and runoff are calculated in...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers play a crucial role in the Earth System: they are important water suppliers to lower‐lying areas during hot and dry periods, and they are major contributors to the observed present‐day sea‐level rise. Glaciers can also act as a source of natural hazards and have a major touristic value. Given their societal importance, there is large scien...
Preprint
Full-text available
Global hydrological models have become a valuable tool for a range of global impact studies related to water resources. However, glacier parameterization is often simplistic or non-existent in global hydrological models. By contrast, global glacier models do represent complex glacier dynamics and glacier evolution, and as such hold the promise of b...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, about 12 %–13 % of High Mountain Asia’s glacier area is debris-covered, which alters its surface mass balance. However, in regional-scale modelling approaches, debris-covered glaciers are typically treated as clean-ice glaciers, leading to a bias when modelling their future evolution. Here, we present a new approach for modelling debris...
Article
With ongoing climate change water availability in the source regions of alpine streams are at stake. In particular, dry mountain regions which currently rely on glacial meltwater will need to adapt. Since rock glaciers are more resilient to climate change and occur in nearly all high‐mountain catchments around the globe with some form of glacieriza...
Preprint
Full-text available
Ongoing climate change and associated glacier retreat is causing rapid environmental change, including shifts in high-alpine landscapes. Glacier lakes, which can form in topographical depressions left behind by glacier retreat, are prominent features within such landscapes. Whilst model-based estimates for the number and area of future glacier lake...
Article
Full-text available
Global glacier mass loss is causing expansion of proglacial landscapes and producing meltwater that can become impounded as lakes within natural topographic depressions or ‘overdeepenings’. It is important to understand the evolution of these proglacial landscapes for water resources, natural hazards and ecosystem services. In this study we (i) ove...
Preprint
Full-text available
The monitoring of glaciers in Switzerland has a long tradition, yet glacier changes during the 20th century are only known through sparse observations. Here, we estimate a halving of Swiss glacier volumes between 1931 and 2016 by mapping historical glacier elevation changes at high resolution. Our analysis relies on a terrestrial image archive know...
Preprint
Full-text available
Glacier monitoring in Switzerland has resulted in some of the longest and most complete data series globally. Mass balance observations at individual locations, starting in the 19th century, are the backbone of the monitoring as they represent the raw and original glaciological data demonstrating the response of snow accumulation and snow/ice melt...
Article
Full-text available
Ice surface albedo is a primary modulator of melt and runoff, yet our understanding of how reflectance varies over time across the Greenland Ice Sheet remains poor. This is due to a disconnect between point or transect scale albedo sampling and the coarser spatial, spectral and/or temporal resolutions of available satellite products. Here, we prese...
Article
Full-text available
Glacier retreat poses risks and benefits for species of cultural and economic importance. One example is Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), supporting subsistence harvests, and commercial and recreational fisheries worth billions of dollars annually. Although decreases in summer streamflow and warming freshwater is reducing salmon habitat quality...
Article
Full-text available
The glacier-dammed Lac des Faverges, located on Glacier de la Plaine Morte (Swiss Alps), has drained annually as a glacier lake outburst flood since 2011. In 2018, the lake volume reached more than 2 × 106 m3, and the resulting flood caused damage to the infrastructure downstream. In 2019, a supraglacial channel was dug to artificially initiate a s...
Article
Full-text available
Short-term glacier variations can be important for water supplies or hydropower production, and glaciers are important indicators of climate change. This is why the interest in near-real-time mass balance nowcasting is considerable. Here, we address this interest and provide an evaluation of continuous observations of point mass balance based on on...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers in Switzerland are shrinking rapidly in response to ongoing climate change. Repeated glacier inventories are key to monitor such changes at the regional scale. Here we present the new Swiss Glacier Inventory 2016 (SGI2016) that has been acquired based on sub-meter resolution aerial imagery and digital elevation models, bringing together to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Currently, about 12–13 % of High Mountain Asia's glacier area is debris-covered, altering its surface mass balance. However, in regional-scale modelling approaches, debris-covered glaciers are typically treated as clean-ice glaciers, leading to a potential bias when modelling their future evolution. Here, we present a new approach for modelling deb...
Article
Full-text available
Lakes in contact with glacier margins can impact glacier evolution as well as the downstream biophysical systems, flood hazard, and water resources. Recent work suggests positive feedbacks between glacier wastage and ice-marginal lake evolution, although precise physical controls are not well understood. Here, we quantify ice-marginal lake area cha...
Article
Gletscher sind ein Symbol für den Klimawandel. Ihr weltweiter Rückgang hat schwerwiegende Konsequenzen für den globalen Wasserkreislauf und den Anstieg des Meeresspiegels. Die vergangene und künftige Entwicklung von Gletschern kann mit modernen Berechnungsverfahren erforscht werden. Diese beschreiben die physikalischen Prozesse auf und im „ewigen“...
Preprint
Full-text available
The glacier-dammed Lac des Faverges, located on Glacier de la Plaine Morte (Swiss Alps), drained annually as a glacier lake outburst flood since 2011. In 2018, the lake volume reached more than 2 × 106 m3 and the resulting flood caused damages to the infrastructure downstream. In 2019, a supraglacial channel was dug to artificially initiate a surfa...
Article
Full-text available
With the Paris Agreement, the urgency of limiting ongoing anthropogenic climate change has been recognised. More recent discussions have focused on the difference of limiting the increase in global average temperatures below 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 ∘C compared to preindustrial levels. Here, we assess the impacts that such different scenarios would have on...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Glaciers in Central Asia act as water towers for millions of people by storing and releasing water in response to climate. Monitoring glaciers is difficult due to their often very remote locations. Satellite remote sensing has emerged as a powerful method but a drawback is their (semi‐)decadal resolution for glacier mass chan...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate knowledge of the ice thickness distribution and glacier bed topography is essential for predicting dynamic glacier changes and the future developments of downstream hydrology, which are impacting the energy sector, tourism industry and natural hazard management. Using AIR-ETH, a new helicopter-borne ground-penetrating radar (GPR) platform,...
Article
Full-text available
The land ice contribution to global mean sea level rise has not yet been predicted¹ using ice sheet and glacier models for the latest set of socio-economic scenarios, nor using coordinated exploration of uncertainties arising from the various computer models involved. Two recent international projects generated a large suite of projections using mu...
Article
Full-text available
Warming on Earth’s Third Pole is leading to rapid loss of ice and the formation and expansion of glacial lakes, posing a severe threat to downstream communities. Here we provide a holistic assessment of past evolution, present state and modelled future change of glacial lakes and related glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risk across the Third Pole...
Article
Full-text available
Glaciers distinct from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are shrinking rapidly, altering regional hydrology¹, raising global sea level² and elevating natural hazards³. Yet, owing to the scarcity of constrained mass loss observations, glacier evolution during the satellite era is known only partially, as a geographic and temporal patchwork4,5....
Article
Full-text available
Since rock glaciers are believed to be more resilient to climate change, water stores therein may become important water reservoirs in future, in particular in dry regions, which currently rely on glacial runoff. In order to estimate and evaluate the future runoff potential from permafrost and rock glaciers, distributed runoff models suitable for h...
Article
Full-text available
Due to climate change, worldwide glaciers are rapidly declining. The trend will continue into the future, with consequences for sea level, water availability and tourism. Here, we assess the future evolution of all glaciers in Scandinavia and Iceland until 2100 using the coupled surface mass-balance ice-flow model GloGEMflow. The model is initialis...
Article
Full-text available
Glacier mass-balance observations at seasonal resolution have been performed since 1914 at two sites on Claridenfirn, Switzerland. The measurements are the longest uninterrupted records of glacier mass balance worldwide. Here, we provide a complete re-analysis of the 106-year series (1914–2020), focusing on both point and glacier-wide mass balance....
Article
Full-text available
Accurate and reliable solid precipitation estimates for high mountain regions are crucial for many research applications. Yet, measuring snowfall at high elevation remains a major challenge. In consequence, observational coverage is typically sparse, and the validation of spatially distributed precipitation products is complicated. This study prese...
Preprint
Full-text available
With the Paris Agreement, the urgency of limiting ongoing anthropogenic climate change has been recognized. More recent discussions have focused on the difference of limiting the increase in global average temperatures below 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. Here, we assess the impacts that such different scenarios would have o...
Article
Full-text available
The artificial reduction of glacier melt is gaining increased attention due to accelerated ice wastage with atmospheric warming. In Switzerland, active coverage of glaciers using geotextiles is performed at currently nine sites and since up to 15 years. The measures represent an efficient method to locally safeguard the operability of ski slopes or...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of the subglacial drainage system has improved markedly over the last decades due to field observations and numerical modelling. However, integrating data into increasingly complex numerical models remain challenging. Here we infer two-dimensional subglacial channel networks and hydraulic parameters for Gorner Glacier, Switzerland...
Article
Full-text available
Knowing the ice thickness distribution of a glacier is of fundamental importance for a number of applications, ranging from the planning of glaciological fieldwork to the assessments of future sea-level change. Across spatial scales, however, this knowledge is limited by the paucity and discrete character of available thickness observations. To obt...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lakes in contact with glacier margins can impact glacier evolution as well as the downstream biophysical systems, flood hazard, and water resources. Recent work indicates that glacier wastage influences ice-marginal lake evolution, although precise physical controls are not well understood. Here, we quantify ice-marginal lake area change in underst...
Chapter
In large areas of the world, runoff and other hydrological variables are controlled by the spatial and temporal variation of the 0 °C isotherm, which is central for the temporal storage of precipitation as snow or ice. This storage is of crucial importance for the seasonal distribution of snow and ice melt, a major component of the movement of wate...
Chapter
Concurrent with atmospheric warming glaciers around the world are rapidly retreating, thinning, and losing mass. While total volume compared with the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica is small, glaciers outside the ice sheets have contributed significantly to recent global sea level rise. On average, these glaciers experienced only slightly ne...
Preprint
Full-text available
Glaciers fulfil important short-term functions like drinking water supply and they are important indicators of climate change. This is why the interest in near real-time mass balance nowcasting is high. Here, we address this interest and provide an evaluation of seven continuous observations of point mass balance based on on-line cameras transmitti...
Article
Full-text available
Although worldwide inventories of glacier area have been coordinated internationally for several decades, a similar effort for glacier ice thicknesses was only initiated in 2013. Here, we present the third version of the Glacier Thickness Database (GlaThiDa v3), which includes 3 854 279 thickness measurements distributed over roughly 3000 glaciers...
Article
Full-text available
The snowwater equivalent (SWE) is a key component for understanding changes in the cryosphere in high mountain regions. Yet, a reliable quantification at a high spatio-temporal resolution remains challenging in such environments. In this study, we investigate the potential of an operational weather radar - rain gauge composite (CombiPrecip) to infe...
Article
The World Meteorological Organization has developed a set of headline indicators for global climate monitoring. These seven indicators are a subset of the existing set of essential climate variables (ECVs) established by the Global Climate Observing System and are intended to provide the most essential parameters representing the state of the clima...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Glacier mass loss is recognized as a major contributor to current sea level rise. However, large uncertainties remain in projections of glacier mass loss on global and regional scales. We present an ensemble of 288 glacier mass and area change projections for the 21st century based on 11 glacier models using up to 10 general circulation mo...
Article
Full-text available
The Mont-Blanc massif, being iconic with its large glaciers and peaks of over 4,000 m, will experience a sharp increase in summer temperatures during the twenty-frst century. By 2100, the impact of climate change on the cryosphere and hydrosphere in the Alps is expected to lead to a decrease in annual river discharge. In this work, we modelled the...
Article
Full-text available
As glaciers adjust their size in response to climate variations, long-term changes in meltwater production can be expected, affecting the local availability of water resources. We investigate glacier runoff in the period 1955–2016 in the Maipo River basin (4843 km2, 33.0–34.3∘ S, 69.8–70.5∘ W), in the semiarid Andes of Chile. The basin contains mor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract. Although worldwide inventories of glacier area have been coordinated internationally for several decades, a similar effort for glacier ice thicknesses was only initiated in 2013. Here, we present the third version of the Glacier Thickness Database (GlaThiDa v3), which includes 3 854 279 thickness measurements distributed over more than 30...
Article
Full-text available
Meltwater from the glaciers in High Mountain Asia plays a critical role in water availability and food security in central and southern Asia. However, observations of glacier ablation and accumulation rates are limited in spatial and temporal scale due to the challenges that are associated with fieldwork at the remote, high-altitude settings of the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A glacier inventory describes the extent of all glaciers at a given point in time and in periods of rapid glacier change a frequent update is needed. The Swiss Glacier Inventory 2010 (SGI2010) is the last official inventory for Switzerland and was derived by manual digitization from high-resolution (25 cm) aerial orthophotographs from swisstopo (Fe...
Article
Full-text available
Comprehensive assessments of global glacier mass changes based on a variety of observations and prevailing methodologies have been published at multi-annual intervals. For the years in between, the glaciological method provides annual observations of specific mass changes but is suspected to not be representative at the regional to global scales du...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate estimations of ice thickness and volume are indispensable for ice flow modelling, hydrological forecasts and sea-level rise projections. We present a new ice thickness estimation model based on a mass-conserving forward model and a Bayesian inversion scheme. The forward model calculates flux in an elevation-band flow-line model, and transl...
Article
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An Amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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Glaciers in the European Alps rapidly lose mass to adapt to changes in climate conditions. Here, we investigate the relationship and lag between climate forcing and geometric glacier response with a regional glacier evolution model accounting for ice dynamics. The volume loss occurring as a result of the glacier‐climate imbalance increased over the...
Article
Full-text available
Snow water equivalent (SWE) measurements of seasonal snowpack are crucial in many research fields. Yet accurate measurements at a high temporal resolution are difficult to obtain in high mountain regions. With a cosmic ray sensor (CRS), SWE can be inferred from neutron counts. We present the analyses of temporally continuous SWE measurements by a C...
Article
Full-text available
Glacier-mass changes are a reliable indicator of climate change. On behalf of the worldwide network of glacier observers, we urge parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to boost international cooperation in monitoring these changes, and to include the results in the Paris agreement’s global stocktake.