The overarching question driving the HiMAT-2 Cryosphere Subgroup is “How is High Mountain Asia’s cryosphere changing in response to climate change?” Within that question, we also consider:

  • How have the glaciers, snow, and permafrost changed in the past and present?
  • What processes are driving these changes and how can these processes be accounted for in models and projections?
  • What spatial and temporal resolution of forcing data and complexity of model physics are required to accurately model past, present, and future changes?
  • How do the various components of the cryosphere affect one another?

The Cryosphere Subgroup seeks to tackle these questions in a variety of interdisciplinary ways ranging from a fully coordinated subgroup effort to specific multi-team efforts. At the completion of HiMAT-2, the Cryosphere Subgroup plans to produce a review/synthesis of the current state of observations (e.g. Figure 1) and modeling with respect to glaciers, snow, permafrost, and the dynamic/integrated links between them with an eye towards the future. Along the way, a variety of multi-team efforts will be conducted that will foster the production of various datasets; advance our process-based understanding of key drivers at various spatial and temporal scales; use these new data and process-based understandings to improve, inform, and evaluate models; explore links across cryosphere components through data and models; and conduct model comparisons.

Figure 1: Regional geodetic glacier mass balance from 2000-2018.

The table below shows the different PI Teams, members, and their primary focus related to the subgroup efforts.

PI TeamSubgroup MembersPrimary component
C. GleasonLeigh Stearns, Malisse LummusGlaciers
D. KirschbaumDalia Kirschbaum, Thomas StanleyHazards, landslides
S. McCoyDan McGrath, Leif Anderson, Lucas Zeller, Wendy CalvinGlaciers and glacial lake outburst floods
H. RajaramRyan Haagenson, Harihar Rajaram, Venkataraman Lakshmi, Robin Kim, Prakrut HareshPermafrost
K. RajeshKumar RajeshSnow
B. RaupBruce RaupAll, data
K. RittgerNed Bair, Mary Jo Brodzik, Adina Racoviteanu, Karl Rittger, Timbo StillingerSnow
D. RounceShashank Bhushan, Mark Fahnestock, Regine Hock, David Rounce, David SheanGlaciers
S. RupperRick Forster, Ali Giese, Matt Olson, Emma Marshall, Summer RupperGlaciers