This page is the online copy of my Habilitation thesis, submitted in February 2021 to the Faculty of Geo- and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and accepted in September 2021.
This thesis is also available as PDF (same content): download link.
This habilitation thesis consists of 13 peer reviewed publications completed between 2015 and 2020. It also contains two short, previously unpublished chapters introducing what I believe to be my most important contributions to the field of large-scale glaciology to date: (i) the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM), an open-source glacier evolution model, and (ii) OGGM-Edu, a collaborative educational website about glaciers. All papers, web platforms and software presented here were prepared while I was working at the University of Innsbruck.
This thesis addresses several aspects of the numerical modelling of glacier change, at various spatial (glacier to global) and temporal (annual to centennial) scales. Thanks to the projects I had the chance to contribute to, it also develops some aspects of observational glaciology and meteorology. However, the main bulk of this work is focussing on the central topic of this thesis: the development of modern numerical methods to (i) estimate the ice thickness of mountain glaciers and their volume, (ii) compute their mass balance and (iii) simulate their evolution under climate change.
A further important theme that is developed in this thesis is the topic of open science. Because of my personal conviction that all scientific results should be openly available, I have spent a lot of thought and energy on developing methods and workflows that enable a more open, accessible, documented, and reproducible scientific practice. Many of these ideas are not from my own invention, but are workflows that I borrowed and adapted from the open-source software development community.
All the work presented here is the result of numerous collaborations, within the University of Innsbruck, but also originating from a wider network of collaborators and from international working groups. Five of these papers arose from my contributions to the doctoral studies of Beatriz Recinos and Julia Eis (University of Bremen), Ben Pelto (University of Northern British Columbia), Stephan Galos (University of Innsbruck) and the master thesis of Tobias Zolles (University of Innsbruck).
Table of contents¶
- Paper 02: How accurate are estimates of glacier ice thickness? Results from ITMIX, the Ice Thickness Models Intercomparison eXperiment
- Paper 03: A consensus estimate for the ice thickness distribution of all glaciers on Earth
- Paper 04: Impact of frontal ablation on the ice thickness estimation of marine-terminating glaciers in Alaska
- Paper 05: Bias-corrected estimates of glacier thickness in the Columbia River Basin, Canada
- Paper 06: ENSO influence on surface energy and mass balance at Shallap Glacier, Cordillera Blanca, Peru
- Paper 07: Robust uncertainty assessment of the spatio-temporal transferability of glacier mass and energy balance models
- Paper 08: Reanalysis of a 10-year record (2004–2013) of seasonal mass balances at Langenferner/Vedretta Lunga, Ortler Alps, Italy
- Paper 09: Global glacier mass changes and their contributions to sea-level rise from 1961 to 2016
- Paper 10: Initialization of a global glacier model based on present-day glacier geometry and past climate information: an ensemble approach
- Paper 11: Testing the consistency between changes in simulated climate and Alpine glacier length over the past millennium
- Paper 12: Partitioning the Uncertainty of Ensemble Projections of Global Glacier Mass Change
- Paper 13: Limited influence of climate change mitigation on short-term glacier mass loss
All content in this thesis (except the linked publications) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
The following papers are published with an open creative commons license:
01, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12.
The following papers are protected under publisher copyright: 03, 09, 13.
In order not to violate any copyright protection laws, the following documents have been generated:
the online version of this thesis and the pdf available for download only link to the publisher versions of the papers. This may lead you to a paywall for papers 03, 09, 13.
the pdf version sent to the reviewers contains all papers.