2. The Study Area
3. Materials and Methods
- Air temperature and precipitation at weather stations.
- Analysis of the temperature increase dynamics and the forecast for the period up until 2050.
- The hydrological regime and river runoff response to climate warming.
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Regional Climate Change
4.1.1. Air Temperature
4.1.3. Analysis of Temperature Increase Rate and Forecast for 2050
4.2. Hydrological Regime and River Runoff Response to Climate Warming
4.2.1. The Current Trend in the Dynamics of Glaciation
- 42.83, 40.62 and 36.31 km2 in 1963, 1981 and 2003, respectively.
- The area of the glaciers decreased by 5.16% (with a 0.29% average annual decrease) and 10.6% (with a 0.48% average annual decrease) in 1963-1981 and 1981-2003, respectively.
- The area of glaciers decreased by 9.3% (with a 0.46% average annual reduction rate) in 1955–1979.
- The area of the glaciers decreased by 7.8% (with a 0.32% average annual reduction rate) in 1979–1999.
- The glaciers area decreased by 16.4% (with a 0.37% average annual decrease) for the entire period of 1955–1999.
4.2.2. Behavioural Reaction of Glacier- and Snow-Fed Rivers to Climate Change
4.2.3. Analysis of the River Runoff Dynamics under Conditions of Regional Climate Warming
4.2.4. Forecast of the Mean Annual Flow for the Period up until 2050
- The trend analysis of the river Shu basin WS showed a regional increase in air temperature amid global warming. The temperature rise began after 1972, and the most significant rise was recorded from 2001 to 2017. The amount of precipitation has not changed significantly, but a slight increase was recorded in the same period of 2001—2017.
- The increase in temperature has resulted in more active melting of glaciers and decreased mass and thickness. As a result, the mass balance of the glaciers of the Shu basin post-1970s is negative.
- An increase in the water availability of glacier- and snow-fed rivers was recorded post-1972 due to the more active melting of glaciers (i.e., the glacial component of runoff increased). An increase of water availability in rivers of this type will continue for the next five years, when the glacial share in the annual river runoff is to be decreased to a volume lower than previously recorded.
- The average annual discharge projection in terms of three rivers of the Shu basin, namely, Shu, Chon-Kemin, and Ala-Archa, was made based on the methodology of the retrospective analysis of runoff and the rate of water discharge increase for the observation period, as well as the further extension of data for the forecast period (until 2050).
- Considering that glacial runoff shall be reduced to a minimum by 2050, as projected by the glacier reduction forecast, the projected value was adjusted by reducing the share of glacier runoff. As a result, the mean annual discharge for the considered rivers will likely decrease by 25-30% on average by 2050.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Weather Station||Elevation m.a.s.l||Zone||Observation Period|
|River and Tributaries||Gauging Station||Catchment Area, km2||Mean Elevation|
|Channel Slope %||Glacier Coverage|
|Indicator δ||Observation Period|
|Drainage Area, km2||Mean Elevation, m.a.s.l||Air Temperature, °C||Precipitation, mm||Evaporation, mm||Runoff|
|Specific Discharge, L/s·km2|
|Weather Stations||R Squared||Observations||Standard Error||Intercept||X Variable||F||Significance F||t Stat||p-Value|
|Bishkek||0.40||59||0.72||10.06||0.03||38.2||ca 0||6.18||ca 0|
|Weather Station||R Squared||Observations||Standard Error||Intercept||X Variable||F||Significance F||t Stat||p-Value|
|Estimated Period, Years||Weather Station|
|Estimated Period, Years||Number of Years||Average T, |
|Difference of T,|
|T Increase Rate|
|Gauging Station||R Squared||Observations||Standard Error||Intercept||X Variable||F||Significance F||t Stat||p-Value|
|Shu at Kochkorka||0.056||81||5.18||26.51||0.053||4.73||0.033||2.17||0.032|
|Ala-Archa||0.49||90||0.6||3.68||0.023||86.2||ca 0||9.28||ca 0|
|Flow Parameter||Period of Years||Number of Years||Average Discharge|
|Discharge Increase Rate|
|The river Shu at Kochkorka|
|The river Chon-Kemin (tributary)|
|The river Ala-Archa (tributary)|
|Parameter||Period of Years||Number of Years||Discharge|
|The river Shu|
|Decrease in runoff||VII-IX||35%||12.1|
|Discharge probability 95%||1937–2017||81||22.6|
|Discharge probability 99%||1937–2017||81||20.5|
|The river Chon-Kemin (tributary)|
|Decrease in runoff||VII-IX||44%||11.5|
|Discharge probability 95%||1929–2017||88||17.6|
|Discharge probability 99%||1929–2017||88||16.1|
|The river Ala-Archa (tributary)|
|Decrease in runoff||VII-IX||57%||4.13|
|Discharge probability 95%||1928–2017||90||3.39|
|Discharge probability 99%||1928–2017||90||3.10|
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