Response of Glacier Area Variation to Climate Change in Chinese Tianshan Mountains in the Past 50 Years

  • 1. College of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences/Tianshan Glaciological Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China

Received date: 2010-08-16

  Revised date: 2010-09-29

  Online published: 2011-01-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40701035; No.40631001; No.40571033; No.40701034; No.J0630966; The Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University by the Ministry of Education of China, No.NCET-10-0019; The Foundation for Young Innovative Scientists in Gansu Province; The National Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB951003; No.2007CB411501; The Knowledge Innovation Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX2-YW-127; The Independent Research Program of State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences; The Knowledge and Technological Innovation Project of Northwest Normal University, No.NWNU-KJCXGC-03-66


Based on the statistics of glacier area variation measured in Chinese Tianshan Mountains since 1960, the response of glacier area variation to climate change is discussed systematically. Results show that the total area of the glaciers has reduced by 11.5% in the past 50 years, which is a weighted percentage according to the glacier areas of 10 drainage areas divided by Glacier Inventory of China. The annual percentage of area changes (APAC) of glaciers in the Tianshan Mountains is 0.31% , after the standardization of the study period. According to the 14 meteorological stations in the Tianshan Mountains, both the temperature and precipitation display a marked increasing tendency from 1960 to 2009 with a rate of 0.34 ℃· (10 a)-1 and 11 mm·(10 a)-1, respectively. The temperature in dry seasons (from November to March) increases rapidly with a rate of 0.46 ℃·(10 a)-1, but the precipitation grows slowly at 2.3 mm·(10 a)-1; while the temperature in wet seasons (from April to October) grows with a rate of 0.25 ℃·(10 a)-1, but the precipitation increases at 8.7 mm·(10 a)-1.

Cite this article

WANG Shengjie, ZHANG Mingjun, LI Zhongqin, WANG Feiteng, LI Huilin, LI Yaju, HUANG Xiaoyan . Response of Glacier Area Variation to Climate Change in Chinese Tianshan Mountains in the Past 50 Years[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2011 , 66(1) : 38 -46 . DOI: 10.11821/xb201101004


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