Rapid Shrinking of Glaciers in the Middle Qilian Mountain Region of Northwest China during the Last ~50 Years
- Received Date: 2018-07-15
- Rev Recd Date: 2018-07-15
- Publish Date: 2018-07-15
Abstract: During the past five decades, fluctuations of glaciers were reconstructed from historical documents, aerial photographs, and remote sensing data. From 1956 to 2003, 910 glaciers investigated had reduced in area by 21.7% of the 1956 value, with a mean reduction for the individual glacier of 0.10 km2. The relative area reductions of small glaciers were usually higher than those of large ones, which exhibited larger absolute loss, indicating that the small glaciers were more sensitive to climate change than large ones. Over the past ~50 years, glacier area decreased by 29.6% in the Heihe (黑河) River basin and 18.7% in the Beidahe (北大河) River basin, which were the two regions investigated in the Middle Qilian (祁连) Mountain region. Compared with other areas of the Qilian Mountain region, the most dramatic glacier shrinkage had occurred in the Middle Qilian Mountain region, mainly resulting from rapid rising temperatures...