The Karakoram and the Himalayan mountain range accommodate a large number of glaciers and are the major source of several perennial rivers downstream. To interactively describe to response of glaciers to climate change, a glacier parameterization scheme has been developed and implemented into the regional climate model REMO. The scheme simulates the mass balance as well as changes of the areal extent of glaciers on a subgrid scale. The parameterization scheme is for the first time applied to the region.

A new method to estimate sulfur dioxide (SO2) lifetimes and emissions from point sources using satellite measurements is described. The method is based on fitting satellite SO2 vertical column density to a three-dimensional parameterization as a function of the coordinates and wind speed. An effective lifetime (or, more accurately, decay time) and emission rate are then determined from the parameters of the fit.

As the water vapor content in the atmosphere scales with temperature, a warmer world is expected to feature an intensification of the hydrological cycle. Work to date has mainly focused on mean precipitation changes, whose connection to climatic modes is elusive at a global scale.

We present ice velocities observed with global positioning systems and TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X in a land-terminating region of the southwest Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) during the melt year 2012–2013, to examine the spatial pattern of seasonal and annual ice motion. We find that while spatial variability in the configuration of the subglacial drainage system controls ice motion at short time scales, this configuration has negligible impact on the spatial pattern of the proportion of annual motion which occurs during summer.

Along the continental margins, rivers and submarine groundwater supply nutrients, trace elements, and radionuclides to the coastal ocean, supporting coastal ecosystems and, increasingly, causing harmful algal blooms and eutrophication. While the global magnitude of gauged riverine water discharge is well known, the magnitude of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is poorly constrained.

The separate and combined effects of different drivers of change to water fluxes and resources on land (CWOL) remain difficult to distinguish and largely unknown, particularly at a global scale. Our study analyzes CWOL during the period 1901–2008, based on available hydroclimatic data for up to 859 hydrological basins. We develop a worldwide spectrum of change magnitudes and directions in Budyko space, from which we distinguish climate and landscape drivers of CWOL.

We analyzed volume change and mass balance of outlet glaciers of the northern Antarctic Peninsula over the period 2011 to 2013, using topographic data of high vertical accuracy and great spatial detail, acquired by bistatic radar interferometry of the TanDEM-X/TerraSAR-X satellite formation. The study area includes glaciers draining into the Larsen-A, Larsen Inlet, and Prince-Gustav-Channel embayments. After collapse of buttressing ice shelves in 1995 the glaciers became tidewater calving glaciers and accelerated, resulting in increased ice export.

The Hawaiian Islands' location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is threatened by tsunamis from great earthquakes in nearly all directions. Historical great earthquakes Mw > 8.5 in the last 100 years have produced large inundations and loss of life in the islands but cannot account for a substantial (≤ 600 m3) paleotsunami deposit in the Makauwahi sinkhole on the Island of Kaua‘i. Using high-resolution bathymetry and topography we model tsunami inundation of the sinkhole caused by an earthquake with a moment magnitude of Mw ~9.25 located in the eastern Aleutians.

An accurate description of the abundance and size distribution of lakes is critical to quantifying limnetic contributions to the global carbon cycle. However, estimates of global lake abundance are poorly constrained. We used high-resolution satellite imagery to produce a GLObal WAter BOdies database (GLOWABO), comprising all lakes greater than 0.002 km2. GLOWABO contains geographic and morphometric information for ~117 million lakes with a combined surface area of about 5 × 106 km2, which is 3.7% of the Earth's nonglaciated land area.

Climate variability in the Norwegian Sea was investigated in terms of ocean heat and fresh water contents of Atlantic water above a reference surface, using hydrographic data during spring 1951–2010. The main processes acting on this variability were examined and then quantified. The area-averaged water mass cooled and freshened, but a deepening of the reference surface resulted in a positive trend in the heat content of 0.3 W m−2. Air-sea heat fluxes explained about half of the interannual variability in heat content.