Ice Regime Variation in the 20th Century Along the Serbian Sector of the Danube and Assessment of Global Climate Change Impact

Slobodan Petković1, Marina Babić-Mladenović1, Vladislava Batroš Divac1

 

 

1Jaroslav Černi Institute for the Development of Water Resources, Jaroslava Černog 80, 11226 Pinosava-Belgrade, Serbia; E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Abstract

The ice regime along the Serbian sector of the Danube river is considered in this paper. During the 20th century, the change in the ice regime was related to the modified hydraulic and morphological conditions when the river was dammed for the purposes of the Đerdap 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (Iron Gate 1 HPP) and the resulting reservoir which is more than 300 km long. The change in the Danube's thermal regime has also had an effect on the formation of ice. Considerable chemical pollution has affected the river's cooling process, and consequently the occurrence of ice as well. In addition, this paper assesses the effect of global warming on the ice regime along the Serbian sector of the Danube. In this regard, it should be kept in mind that the ice regime variation along this sector is a result of the synergy of all the above drivers, so that the impact of climate change needs to be considered in the general context.

Keywords: Ice, Danube, Thermal Regime, Climate Change.

 

Introduction

 

Jaroslav Černi Institute for the Development of Water Resources (JCI) has been studying ice phenomena on the Danube and its tributaries for nearly five decades. This effort has resulted in numerous studies, reports, scientific and technical papers, and monographs (listed under References). Given its vast theoretical knowledge and practical experience in this field of study, JCI is actively involved in the activities of government agencies entrusted with water management, including both the development of ice control plans and active ice defense.

The data produced by research and monitoring over a period of more than one century make it possible to associate recorded ice regime variations with climate change and anthropogenic impacts, such as river channelization, impoundment, and thermal and chemical pollution.

The greatest change in the ice regime along the Serbian sector of the Danube was caused by modified hydraulic and morphological conditions when the river was dammed for the purposes of the Đerdap 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant (Iron Gate 1 HPP) and the resulting reservoir which is more than 300 km long. The change in the Danube's thermal regime has also had an effect on the formation of ice. Considerable chemical pollution has affected the river's cooling process, and consequently the occurrence of ice as well.

Global climate change has recently become one of the focal topics of research worldwide. It was only to be expected that this would include the study of climate change impact on river ice regimes. Given the availability of a long time series of meteorological monitoring data on the Danube, this paper assesses the effect of global warming on the ice regime along the Serbian sector of the Danube. In this regard, it should be kept in mind that ice regime variation along this sector is a result of the synergy of all the above drivers, so that the impact of climate change needs to be considered in the general context.