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Article

Glaciers in Xinjiang, China: Past Changes and Current Status

1
State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science/Tianshan Glaciological Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
College of Sciences, Shihezi University, Shihezi 832000, China
4
College of Geography and Environment Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092367
Received: 18 June 2020 / Revised: 8 August 2020 / Accepted: 11 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Whither Cold Regions Hydrology under Changing Climate Conditions)
The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China is the largest arid region in Central Asia, and is heavily dependent on glacier melt in high mountains for water supplies. In this paper, glacier and climate changes in Xinjiang during the past decades were comprehensively discussed based on glacier inventory data, individual monitored glacier observations, recent publications, as well as meteorological records. The results show that glaciers have been in continuous mass loss and dimensional shrinkage since the 1960s, although there are spatial differences between mountains and sub-regions, and the significant temperature increase is the dominant controlling factor of glacier change. The mass loss of monitored glaciers in the Tien Shan has accelerated since the late 1990s, but has a slight slowing after 2010. Remote sensing results also show a more negative mass balance in the 2000s and mass loss slowing in the latest decade (2010s) in most regions. This needs further investigation on whether the slowing is general and continuing. In addition, glacier surging occurs more frequently in the Karakoram and Kunlun Mountains. View Full-Text
Keywords: glacier change; mass loss; climate change; Xinjiang; Central Asia glacier change; mass loss; climate change; Xinjiang; Central Asia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, P.; Li, Z.; Li, H.; Zhang, Z.; Xu, L.; Yue, X. Glaciers in Xinjiang, China: Past Changes and Current Status. Water 2020, 12, 2367. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092367

AMA Style

Wang P, Li Z, Li H, Zhang Z, Xu L, Yue X. Glaciers in Xinjiang, China: Past Changes and Current Status. Water. 2020; 12(9):2367. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092367

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Puyu, Zhongqin Li, Hongliang Li, Zhengyong Zhang, Liping Xu, and Xiaoying Yue. 2020. "Glaciers in Xinjiang, China: Past Changes and Current Status" Water 12, no. 9: 2367. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092367

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