Vanishing river ice cover in the lower part of the Danube basin – signs of a changing climate


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Monica.Ionita [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Many of the world’s largest rivers in the extra tropics are covered with ice during the cold season, and in the Northern Hemisphere approximately 60% of the rivers experience significant seasonal effects of river ice. Here we present an observational data set of the ice cover regime for the lower part of the Danube River which spans over the period 1837–2016, and its the longest one on record over this area. The results in this study emphasize the strong impact of climate change on the occurrence of ice regime especially in the second part of the 20th century. The number of ice cover days has decreased considerably (~28days/century) mainly due to an increase in the winter mean temperature. In a long-term context, based on documentary evidences, we show that the ice cover occurrence rate was relatively small throughout the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), while the highest occurrence rates were found during the Maunder Minimum and Dalton Minimum periods. We conclude that the river ice regime can be used as a proxy for the winter temperature over the analyzed region and as an indicator of climate-change related impacts.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
47275
DOI 10.1038/s41598-018-26357-w

Cite as
Ionita, M. , Badaluta, C. A. , Scholz, P. and Chelcea, S. (2018): Vanishing river ice cover in the lower part of the Danube basin – signs of a changing climate , Scientific Reports, 8 (1) . doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26357-w


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