Glacier changes since the early 1960s, eastern Pamir, China

Zhang, Zhen; Xu, Jun-li; Liu, Shi-yin; Guo, Wan-qin; Wei, Jun-feng; Feng, Tong
February 2016
Journal of Mountain Science;Feb2016, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p276
Academic Journal
Glaciers in the eastern Pamir are important for water resources and the social and economic development of the region. In the last 50 years, these glaciers have shrunk and lost ice mass due to climate change. In order to understand recent glacier dynamics in the region, a new inventory was compiled from Landsat TM/ETM+ images acquired in 2009, free of clouds and with minimal snow cover on the glacierized mountains. The first glacier inventory of the area was also updated by digitizing glacier outlines from topographical maps that had been modified and verified using aerial photographs. Total glacier area decreased by 10.8%±1.1%, mainly attributed to an increase in air temperature, although precipitation, glacier size and topographic features also combined to affect the general shrinkage of the glaciers. The 19.3-21.4 km estimated glacier mass loss has contributed to an increase in river runoff and water resources.


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