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Change in the Extent of Glaciers and Glacier Runoff in the Chinese Sector of the Ile River Basin between 1962 and 2012

1
Department of Athmospheric Science, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
UNESCO Chair on Integrated Water Recourses Management, Kazakh-German University, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
3
Department of Glaciology, Institute of Geography, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
4
School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science (SAGES), The University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AB, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081668
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Abstract

Change in glacier area in the Kuksu and Kunes river basins, which are tributaries to the internationally important Ile River, were assessed at two different time steps between 1962/63, 1990/93, and 2010/12. Overall, glaciers lost 191.3 ± 16.8 km2 or 36.9 ± 6.5% of the initial area. Glacier wastage intensified in the latter period: While in 1962/63–1990/93 glaciers were losing 0.5% a−1, in 1990/93–2010/12, they were losing 1.2% a−1. Streamflow of the Ile River and its tributaries do not exhibit statistically significant change during the vegetative period between May and September. Positive trends were observed in the Ile flow in autumn, winter, and early spring. By contrast, the calculation of the total runoff from the glacier surface (including snow and ice melt) using temperature-index method and runoff forming due to melting of multiyear ice estimated from changes in glacier volume at different time steps between the 1960s and 2010s, showed that their absolute values and their contribution to total river runoff declined since the 1980s. This change is attributed to a strong reduction in glacier area. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier changes; Tien Shan mountains; glacier runoff glacier changes; Tien Shan mountains; glacier runoff
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kogutenko, L.; Severskiy, I.; Shahgedanova, M.; Lin, B. Change in the Extent of Glaciers and Glacier Runoff in the Chinese Sector of the Ile River Basin between 1962 and 2012. Water 2019, 11, 1668.

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