Hot Spots of Glacier Mass Balance Variability in Central Asia

Barandun, Martina; Pohl, Eric; Naegeli, Kathrin; McNabb, Robert; Huss, Matthias; Berthier, Etienne; Saks, Tomas; Hoelzle, Martin (2021). Hot Spots of Glacier Mass Balance Variability in Central Asia. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(11), pp. 1-14. American Geophysical Union 10.1029/2020GL092084

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Abstract The Tien Shan and Pamir mountains host over 28,000 glaciers providing essential water resources for increasing water demand in Central Asia. A disequilibrium between glaciers and climate affects meltwater release to Central Asian rivers, challenging the region's water availability. Previous research has neglected temporal variability. We present glacier mass balance estimates based on transient snowline and geodetic surveys with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution from 1999/00 to 2017/18. Our results reveal spatiotemporal heterogeneity characterized by two mass balance clusters: (a) positive, low variability, and (b) negative, high variability. This translates into variable glacial meltwater release (~1-16%) of annual river runoff for two watersheds. Our study reveals more complex climate forcing-runoff responses and importance of glacial meltwater variability for the region than suggested previously.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Naegeli, Kathrin

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology

ISSN:

0094-8276

Publisher:

American Geophysical Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Kathrin Naegeli

Date Deposited:

10 Jun 2021 11:29

Last Modified:

10 Jun 2021 11:29

Publisher DOI:

10.1029/2020GL092084

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Tien Shan and Pamir, cryosphere, transient snowlines, annual glacier mass balance time series, climate change, hydrological cycle

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/156833

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/156833

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