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MODELING THE EVOLUTION OF MOUNTAIN GLACIERS: A CASE STUDY OF SARY-TOR GLACIER, INNER TIEN SHAN

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In the paper, we consider evolution of Sary-Tor Glacier, Ak-Shiyrak Massif, Inner Tien Shan under changing climatic conditions. We describe in necessary detail structure of the model and set-up of the numerical experiments. For calibration and validation of the model we use results of measurements in snow pits and on ablation stakes in 2014–2016. A series of ten prognostic numerical experiments of 90 model years duration was performed. As a climatic forcing, we used air temperature and precipitation records on the weather station Tien-Shan–Kumtor located in the vicinity of the glacier. In the schematic scenarios, average daily surface air temperature grows with gradients 0–4 °С/100 years. Present-day glacier configuration is in imbalance with the climate of 2014–2016. As a result, its area and volume proceed to decrease until equilibrium is achieved after several tens of model years. Under extreme rates of temperature increase (+4 °С/100 years) Sary-Tor almost diminishes by the end of experiments. Glacial run-off rapidly decreases after initial growth in the first half of the experiments. Mathematical model inevitably contains simplifications of the real natural conditions. Nevertheless, obtained results will be useful in prognostic water balance сalculations.
Tijdschrift: Earth's Cryosphere
ISSN: 1560-7496
Issue: 3
Volume: 23
Pagina's: 33-51
Aantal pagina's: 19
Jaar van publicatie:2019
Trefwoorden:Mountain glacier, Sary-Tor, Tien-Shan, mass balance, climate, climate change, mathematical model, numerical experiment