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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (5): 687-695    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0083-3
Research Articles     
Effects of atmospheric circulation on summertime precipitation variability and glacier mass balance over the Tuyuksu Glacier in Tianshan Mountains, Kazakhstan
Nina K KONONOVA1, Nina V PIMANKINA2, Lyudmila A YERISKOVSKAYA2, LI Jing3, BAO Weijia3, LIU Shiyin3
1 Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117312, Russia;
2 Institute of Geography, Ministry of Education and Science, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan;
3 State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  The amount and the form of precipitation have significant effects on glacier mass balances in high al-titude mountain areas by controlling the accumulation, the ablation and the energy balance of a glacier through impact on the surface albedo. The liquid precipitation has negative effects on glacier accumulation and may in-crease the ablation of surface ice through the heat input for melting. The timing and the forms of precipitation over glacierized regions depend on the weather processes both locally and regionally. Early studies showed that regional to large-scale atmospheric circulation processes play a key role in affecting the precipitation events over glaciers. This paper analyzed the relationship between the inter-annual variability of the summertime precipitation over the Tuyuksu Glacier and the atmospheric circulation types, which related to various atmospheric circulation types in the Northern Hemisphere. Results indicated that the decrease in the duration of zonal processes and the increase in the meridional northern processes were observed in the last decade. The total summer precipitation associated with these processes also increased along with an increase of summertime solid precipitation. Although the decadal fluctuation of glaciological parameters were found in dependent of the above large-scale atmospheric circulation processes, global warming was a dominant factor leading to the mass loss in the recent decades under the back-ground of the increase in precipitation over the Tuyuksu Glacier.

Key wordsclimate change      erosion      rill and interrill      physically based model      sediment transport     
Received: 04 November 2014      Published: 05 October 2015

International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (2010DFA92720-23, 2012BAC19B07), Knowledge Innovation Project of the Chi-nese Academy of Sciences (KZCX2-YW-GJ04) and carried out by the Institute of Geography, Republic of Kazakhstan with the support from the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan.

Corresponding Authors: LIU Shiyin     E-mail:
Cite this article:

Nina K KONONOVA, Nina V PIMANKINA, Lyudmila A YERISKOVSKAYA, LI Jing, BAO Weijia, LIU Shiyin. Effects of atmospheric circulation on summertime precipitation variability and glacier mass balance over the Tuyuksu Glacier in Tianshan Mountains, Kazakhstan. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(5): 687-695.

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