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Article

Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Snowline Altitude and Their Responses to Climate Change in the Tienshan Mountains, Central Asia, during 2001–2019

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Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Geo-Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
3
National-Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Geo-Spatial Information Technology, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
4
School of Resource Environment and Safety Engineering, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Bradley Hiller
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073992
Received: 14 January 2021 / Revised: 28 March 2021 / Accepted: 30 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Air, Climate Change and Sustainability)
Snow cover is an important water resource in arid and semi-arid regions of Central Asia, and is related to agricultural and livestock production, ecosystems, and socio-economic development. The snowline altitude (SLA) is a significant indicator for monitoring the changes in snow cover in mountainous regions under the changing climate. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal variation of SLA in the Tienshan Mountains (TS) during 2001–2019 using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow cover products on a grid-by-grid basis. The potential influence of topographic factors (slope gradient and aspect) on SLA and the correlation between SLA, temperature, precipitation, and solar radiation are also investigated. The results are as follows: (1) The annual cycle of SLA shows strong seasonal fluctuations (from about 2000 m in late December to 4100 m in early August). The SLA over the TS exhibits a large spatiotemporal heterogeneity. (2) SLA increases with a steeper slope gradient. The SLA of the northerly aspect is generally less than the southerly. (3) The SLA over the TS generally shows an increasing trend in the recent years (2001–2019). The change trend of SLA varies in different months. Except for a slight decrease in June, the SLA increased in almost all months, especially at the start of the melt season (March and April) and the end of melting season (July and August). (4) The SLA increases with increased temperature/radiation in the TS, and decreases with increased precipitation. Solar radiation is the dominant climatic factor affecting the changes of SLA in the TS. Compared with precipitation, temperature is more correlated to SLA dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: snowline; snow hydrology; high mountain; climate change; spatiotemporal dynamics snowline; snow hydrology; high mountain; climate change; spatiotemporal dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Deng, G.; Tang, Z.; Hu, G.; Wang, J.; Sang, G.; Li, J. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Snowline Altitude and Their Responses to Climate Change in the Tienshan Mountains, Central Asia, during 2001–2019. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3992. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073992

AMA Style

Deng G, Tang Z, Hu G, Wang J, Sang G, Li J. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Snowline Altitude and Their Responses to Climate Change in the Tienshan Mountains, Central Asia, during 2001–2019. Sustainability. 2021; 13(7):3992. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073992

Chicago/Turabian Style

Deng, Gang, Zhiguang Tang, Guojie Hu, Jingwen Wang, Guoqing Sang, and Jia Li. 2021. "Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Snowline Altitude and Their Responses to Climate Change in the Tienshan Mountains, Central Asia, during 2001–2019" Sustainability 13, no. 7: 3992. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073992

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