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Special Issue "Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water Resources Management and Governance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Shahgedanova

Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, UK
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +44 (0)1183787745
Interests: climate change; glaciers; water resources in glacierized regions
Guest Editor
Prof. Igor Severskiy

Department of Glaciology, Kazakhstan Institute of Geography
Website | E-Mail
Phone: (+7) 727 291-81-29 / 291-88-69
Interests: glaciology; glacier hydrology; water resources in Central Asia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The mountain cryosphere (including seasonal snow pack, glacier ice, rock glaciers and permafrost) plays a key role in the provisioning of water for plains, especially in regions with arid and semi-arid climates. Since the middle of the 20th century, all components of the mountain cryosphere have been strongly affected by climatic warming. The reduction in the area and volume of mountain glaciers and the degradation of permafrost are particularly prominent. The observed decline of the mountain cryosphere has already affected water resources in many regions (e.g., the tropical Andes) where a strong negative impact is anticipated in the future when glaciers and ground ice resources have been exhausted. In other areas (e.g., Central Asia), there is no agreement about alterations to the regional water cycle, the role of precipitation variability, and the relative contributions of the components of the cryosphere to discharge. The projections of future discharge and timing of peak flow, which are needed for the development of viable and timely adaptation plans, are subject to a very strong uncertainty in all glacierized regions.

This Special Issue invites original research papers that focus on glacierized catchments and regions and contribute to our ability to understand, quantify and predict the impacts of climate change on the cryosphere and water resources. We focus on the mountains, but do not exclude other regions where components of the cryosphere contribute to runoff. We particularly welcome topics including but not limited to: (i) Assessment of changes in the cryosphere which have implications for catchment and regional hydrology and water resources; (ii) Detection and attribution of hydrological response to changes in climate and cryosphere with emphasis on the natural catchments; (iii) Quantifying contributions of different sources to runoff (snow, glacier ice, ground ice); (iv) Changes in glacier and mountain lakes; (v) Hydrological hazards associated with the degradation of the cryosphere; (vi) Modelling future changes in the cryosphere, water balance and discharge; (vii) Water management and adaptation strategies and options.
 

Dr. Maria Shahgedanova
Prof. Igor Severskiy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Cryosphere
  • Discharge modelling
  • Glacier change
  • Glacierized catchments
  • Glacier lakes
  • GLOF
  • Peak flow
  • Projections of future water resources
  • Trends in discharge
  • Water resources
  • Water management in glacierized catchments

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
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(8), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081668
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 23 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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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 ± [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Reconciling High Glacier Surface Melting in Summer with Air Temperature in the Semi-Arid Zone of Western Himalaya
Water 2019, 11(8), 1561; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081561
Received: 27 March 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
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Abstract
In Himalaya, the temperature plays a key role in the process of snow and ice melting and, importantly, the precipitation phase changes (i.e., snow or rain). Consequently, in longer period, the melting and temperature gradient determine the state of the Himalayan glaciers. This [...] Read more.
In Himalaya, the temperature plays a key role in the process of snow and ice melting and, importantly, the precipitation phase changes (i.e., snow or rain). Consequently, in longer period, the melting and temperature gradient determine the state of the Himalayan glaciers. This necessitates the continuous monitoring of glacier surface melting and a well-established meteorological network in the Himalaya. An attempt has been made to study the seasonal and annual (October 2015 to September 2017) characteristics of air temperature, near-surface temperature lapse rate (tlr), in-situ glacier surface melting, and surface melt simulation by temperature-index (T-index) models for Sutri Dhaka Glacier catchment, Lahaul-Spiti region in Western Himalaya. The tlr of the catchment ranges from 0.3 to 6.5 °C km−1, varying on a monthly and seasonal timescale, which suggests the need for avoiding the use of standard environmental lapse rate (SELR ~6.5 °C km−1). The measured and extrapolated average air temperature (tavg) was found to be positive on glacier surface (4500 to 5500 m asl) between June and September (summer). Ablation data calculated for the balance years 2015–16 and 2016–17 shows an average melting of −4.20 ± 0.84 and −3.09 ± 0.62 m w.e., respectively. In compliance with positive air temperature in summer, ablation was also found to be maximum ~88% of total yearly ice melt. When comparing the observed and modelled ablation data with air temperature, we show that the high summer glacier melt was caused by warmer summer air temperature and minimum spells of summer precipitation in the catchment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Glacier Changes in the Qilian Mountains, Northwest China, between the 1960s and 2015
Water 2019, 11(3), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030623
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
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Abstract
Glaciers in the Qilian Mountains are important sources of fresh-water for sustainable development in the Hexi Corridor in the arid northwest China. Over the last few decades, glaciers have generally shrunk across the globe due to climate warming. In order to understand the [...] Read more.
Glaciers in the Qilian Mountains are important sources of fresh-water for sustainable development in the Hexi Corridor in the arid northwest China. Over the last few decades, glaciers have generally shrunk across the globe due to climate warming. In order to understand the current state of glaciers in the Qilian Mountains, we compiled a new inventory of glaciers in the region using Landsat Operational Land Imager (OLI) images acquired in 2015, and identified 2748 glaciers that covered an area of 1539.30 ± 49.50 km2 with an ice volume of 81.69 ± 7.40 km3, among which the Shule River basin occupied the largest portion of glaciers (24.8% in number, 32.3% in area, and 35.6% in ice volume). In comparison to previous inventories, glacier area was found to shrink by 396.89 km2 (20.5%) in total, and 109 glaciers with an area of 8.94 km2 disappeared over the period from the 1960s to 2015. This situation was primarily caused by the increase in air temperature, and also related with the size of glacier and some local topographic parameters. In addition, the change of glaciers in the Qilian Mountains showed a distinct spatial pattern, i.e., their shrinking rate was large in the east and small in the west. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Mass and Energy Balance Estimation of Yala Glacier (2011–2017), Langtang Valley, Nepal
Water 2019, 11(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11010006
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 14 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Six-year glaciological mass balance measurements, conducted at the Yala Glacier between November 2011 and November 2017 are presented and analyzed. A physically-based surface energy balance model is used to simulate summer mass and energy balance of the Yala Glacier for the 2012–2014 period. [...] Read more.
Six-year glaciological mass balance measurements, conducted at the Yala Glacier between November 2011 and November 2017 are presented and analyzed. A physically-based surface energy balance model is used to simulate summer mass and energy balance of the Yala Glacier for the 2012–2014 period. Cumulative mass balance of the Yala Glacier for the 2011–2017 period was negative at −4.88 m w.e. The mean annual glacier-wide mass balance was −0.81 ± 0.27 m w.e. with a standard deviation of ±0.48 m w.e. The modelled mass balance values agreed well with observations. Modelling showed that net radiation was the primary energy source for the melting of the glacier followed by sensible heat and heat conduction fluxes. Sensitivity of mass balance to changes in temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, surface albedo and snow density were examined. Mass balance was found to be most sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrochemical Changes and Influencing Factors in the Dongkemadi Region, Tanggula Range, China
Water 2018, 10(12), 1856; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121856
Received: 6 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
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Abstract
In order to detect the source and controlling factors of hydrochemical ions in glacier meltwater-recharged rivers, the chemical characteristics of the river water, precipitation, and meltwater of the Dongkemadi River Basin, China, in 2014 (from May to October) were systematically analyzed, and combined [...] Read more.
In order to detect the source and controlling factors of hydrochemical ions in glacier meltwater-recharged rivers, the chemical characteristics of the river water, precipitation, and meltwater of the Dongkemadi River Basin, China, in 2014 (from May to October) were systematically analyzed, and combined with the hydrological and meteorological data. The results show that the hydrochemical pattern of the typical river was HCO3-Ca2+. The most cations were Ca2+ and Mg2+, and the predominant anions were HCO3 and SO42−, in the river. The concentration of major ions and total dissolved solids (TDS) in the river water were much larger than that in the precipitation and meltwater. The TDS concentration was ordered: River water > precipitation > meltwater. The water-rock interaction and the dilution effect of the precipitation and meltwater on the runoff ions resulted in a negative correlation between the ion concentration of the river water and the river flow. The chemical ions of the river runoff mainly originated from rock weathering and the erosion (abrasion) caused by glacier movement. In addition, the contributions of different sources to the dissolved components of the Dongkemadi River were ordered: Carbonate (75.8%) > silicate (15.5%) > hydatogenic rock (5.7%) > atmospheric precipitation (3%), calculated by a forward geochemical model. And the hydrochemical weathering rates of carbonate and silicate minerals were 12.30 t·km−2·a−1 and 1.98 t·km−2·a−1, respectively. The CO2 fluxes, consumed by the chemical weathering of carbonate and silicate, were 3.28 × 105 mol·km−2·a−1 and 0.91 × 105 mol·km−2·a−1, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Glacier Changes between 1976 and 2015 in the Source Area of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, Myanmar
Water 2018, 10(12), 1850; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121850
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract
The Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar is one of the largest rivers in Southeast Asia. It is predominantly fed by monsoonal precipitation and, to a lower extent, by meltwater from glaciers located in the Himalaya mountains. Information about the glaciers in its headwater region [...] Read more.
The Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar is one of the largest rivers in Southeast Asia. It is predominantly fed by monsoonal precipitation and, to a lower extent, by meltwater from glaciers located in the Himalaya mountains. Information about the glaciers in its headwater region and glacier changes is scarce. Glaciers, in general, are highly important for the hydrological system and are contributing to river flow, therefore playing a key role in water availability, especially in catchments with (semi-) arid downstream areas as is in parts of Myanmar. This study investigated 130 glaciers in the Ayeyarwady headwaters by analyzing satellite images from Landsat missions between 1976 and 2015. The results of the glacier area and volume change analyses indicate that the glaciers are experiencing unprecedented losses. Over the 39 years, the glaciers lost up to 54.3 ± 7.64% of their area and 60.09 ± 1.56% of their mass and volume. The highest losses occurred in the period 2002–2015, which corresponds to increasing global and local warming. This development will probably have a strong influence on the glaciers’ storage function and will affect the local river runoff in the headwater region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Three-Dimensional Glacier Changes in Geladandong Peak Region in the Central Tibetan Plateau
Water 2018, 10(12), 1749; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10121749
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 24 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
PDF Full-text (11093 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, contour lines from the topographic maps at a 1:100,000 scale (mapped in 1968), Landsat MSS/TM/OLI images, ASTER images and SPOT 6-7 stereo image pairs were used to study changes in glacier length, area and surface elevation. We summarized the results [...] Read more.
In this study, contour lines from the topographic maps at a 1:100,000 scale (mapped in 1968), Landsat MSS/TM/OLI images, ASTER images and SPOT 6-7 stereo image pairs were used to study changes in glacier length, area and surface elevation. We summarized the results using the following three conclusions: (1) During the period from 1973 to 2013, glaciers retreated by 412 ± 32 m at a mean retraction rate of 10.3 ± 0.8 m·year−1 and the relative retreat was 5.6 ± 0.4%. The glacier area shrank by 7.5 ± 3.4%, which was larger than the glacier length. In the periods of 1968–2000, 2000–2005 and 2000–2013, the glacier surface elevation change rates were −7.7 ± 1.4 m (−0.24 ± 0.04 m·year−1), −1.9 ± 1.5 m (−0.38 ± 0.25 m·year−1) and −5.0 ± 1.4 m (−0.38 ± 0.11 m·year−1), respectively. The changes in the glacier area and thickness exhibited similar trends, both showing a significant increasing reduction after 2000. (2) Eleven glaciers were identified as surging glaciers. Changes of the mass balance in surging glaciers were stronger than in non-surging glaciers between 1968 and 2013. Changes of area in surging glaciers were weaker than in non-surging glaciers. (3) Increasing temperature was the major cause of glacier thickness reduction and area shrinkage. The increase in precipitation, to a certain extent, inhibited glacial ablation but it did not change the status of the shrinkage in the glacial area and the reduction in the glacier thickness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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Open AccessArticle
Future Climate Change and Its Impact on Runoff Generation from the Debris-Covered Inylchek Glaciers, Central Tian Shan, Kyrgyzstan
Water 2018, 10(11), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111513
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 21 October 2018 / Published: 25 October 2018
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Abstract
The heavily debris-covered Inylchek glaciers in the central Tian Shan are the largest glacier system in the Tarim catchment. It is assumed that almost 50% of the discharge of Tarim River are provided by glaciers. For this reason, climatic changes, and thus changes [...] Read more.
The heavily debris-covered Inylchek glaciers in the central Tian Shan are the largest glacier system in the Tarim catchment. It is assumed that almost 50% of the discharge of Tarim River are provided by glaciers. For this reason, climatic changes, and thus changes in glacier mass balance and glacier discharge are of high impact for the whole region. In this study, a conceptual hydrological model able to incorporate discharge from debris-covered glacier areas is presented. To simulate glacier melt and subsequent runoff in the past (1970/1971–1999/2000) and future (2070/2071–2099/2100), meteorological input data were generated based on ECHAM5/MPI-OM1 global climate model projections. The hydrological model HBV-LMU was calibrated by an automatic calibration algorithm using runoff and snow cover information as objective functions. Manual fine-tuning was performed to avoid unrealistic results for glacier mass balance. The simulations show that annual runoff sums will increase significantly under future climate conditions. A sensitivity analysis revealed that total runoff does not decrease until the glacier area is reduced by 43%. Ice melt is the major runoff source in the recent past, and its contribution will even increase in the coming decades. Seasonal changes reveal a trend towards enhanced melt in spring, but a change from a glacial-nival to a nival-pluvial runoff regime will not be reached until the end of this century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Water Resources in Glacierized Regions)
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