Arid
DOI10.1007/s40333-020-0061-2
Glacier variations and their response to climate change in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China
Zhou Zuhao1; Han Ning1,2; Liu Jiajia1; Yan Ziqi1; Xu Chongyu3; Cai Jingya1; Shang Yizi1; Zhu Jiasong4
Corresponding AuthorHan Ning
JournalJOURNAL OF ARID LAND
ISSN1674-6767
EISSN2194-7783
Year Published2020
Abstract in English

Glaciers are a critical freshwater resource of river recharge in arid areas around the world. In recent decades, glaciers have shown evidence of retreat due to climate change, and the accelerated ablation of glaciers and associated impacts on water resources have received widespread attention. Glacier variations result from climate change, so they can serve as an indicator of climate change. Considering the climatic differences in different elevation ranges, it is worthwhile to explore whether different responses exist between glacier area and air temperature in each elevation zone. In this study, we selected a typical arid inland river basin (Sugan Lake Basin) in the western Qilian Mountains of Northwest China to analyze the glacier variations and their response to climate change. The glacier area data from 1989 to 2016 were delineated using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced TM+ (ETM+) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) images. We compared the relationships between glacier area and air temperature at seven meteorological stations in the glacier-covered areas and in the Sugan Lake Basin, and further analyzed the relationship between glacier area and mean air temperature of the glacier surfaces in July-August in the elevation range of 4700-5500 m a.s.l. by the linear regression method and correlation analysis. In addition, based on the linear regression relationship established between glacier area and air temperature in each elevation zone, we predicted glacier areas under future climate scenarios during the periods of 2046-2065 and 2081-2100. The results indicate that the glaciers experienced a remarkable shrinkage from 1989 to 2016 with a shrinkage rate of -1.61 km(2)/a (-0.5%/a), and the rising temperature is the decisive factor dominating glacial retreat; there is a significant negative linear correlation between glacier area and mean air temperature of the glacier surfaces in July-August in each elevation zone from 1989 to 2016. The variations in glaciers are far less sensitive to changes in precipitation than to changes in air temperature. Due to the influence of climate and topographic conditions, the distribution of glacier area and the rate of glacier ablation first increased and then decreased in different elevation zones. The trend in glacier shrinkage will continue because air temperature will continue to increase in the future, and the result of glacier retreat in each elevation zone will be slightly slower than that in the entire study area. Quantitative glacier research can more accurately reflect the response of glacier variations to climate change, and the regression relationship can be used to predict the areas of glaciers under future climate scenarios. These conclusions can offer effective references for assessing glacier variations and their response to climate change in arid inland river basins in Northwest China as well as other similar regions in the world.


Keyword in Englishglacier variations climate change glacier area remote sensing regression relationship elevation zone Qilian Mountains
SubtypeArticle ; Early Access
Language英语
CountryPeoples R China ; Norway
Indexed BySCI-E
WOS IDWOS:000534186200002
WOS KeywordHYDROLOGICAL RESPONSE ; CHANGE IMPACTS ; MASS-BALANCE ; QILIAN-SHAN ; RUNOFF ; INVENTORY ; SHRINKAGE ; MOUNTAINS ; RECESSION ; CANADA
WOS SubjectEnvironmental Sciences
WOS Research AreaEnvironmental Sciences & Ecology
Document Type期刊论文
Identifierhttp://119.78.100.177/qdio/handle/2XILL650/319133
Affiliation1.China Inst Water Resources & Hydropower Res, State Key Lab Simulat & Regulat Water Cycle River, Beijing 100038, Peoples R China;
2.North China Municipal Engn Design & Res Inst Co L, Beijing Branch, Beijing 100081, Peoples R China;
3.Univ Oslo, Dept Geosci, N-0316 Oslo, Norway;
4.Shenzhen Univ, Sch Civil Engn, Shenzhen 518000, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Zhou Zuhao,Han Ning,Liu Jiajia,et al. Glacier variations and their response to climate change in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China[J],2020.
APA Zhou Zuhao.,Han Ning.,Liu Jiajia.,Yan Ziqi.,Xu Chongyu.,...&Zhu Jiasong.(2020).Glacier variations and their response to climate change in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China.JOURNAL OF ARID LAND.
MLA Zhou Zuhao,et al."Glacier variations and their response to climate change in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China".JOURNAL OF ARID LAND (2020).
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