Geodetic mass balance of Azarova glacier, Kodar Mountains, eastern Siberia, and its links to observed and projected climatic change
Shahgedanova, M., Popovnin, V., Aleynikov, A. and Stokes, C. R. (2011) Geodetic mass balance of Azarova glacier, Kodar Mountains, eastern Siberia, and its links to observed and projected climatic change. Annals of Glaciology, 52 (58). pp. 129-137. ISSN 1727-5644
Official URL: http://www.igsoc.org/annals/v52/58/published.html
The Kodar Mountains in eastern Siberia accommodate 30 small, cold-based glaciers with a combined surface area of about 19 km2. Very little is known about these glaciers, with the first survey conducted in the late 1950s. In this paper, we use terrestrial photogrammetry to calculate changes in surface area, elevation, volume and geodetic mass balance of the Azarova Glacier between 1979 and 2007 and relate these to meteorological data from nearby Chara weather station (1938-2007). The glacier surface area declined by 20±6.9% and surface lowered on average by 20±1.8 m (mean thinning: 0.71 m a-1) resulting in a strongly negative cumulative and average mass balance of -18±1.6 m w.e. and -640±60 mm w.e.a-1 respectively. The July-August air temperature increased at a rate of 0.036oC a-1 between 1979 and 2007 and the 1980-2007 period was, on average, around 1oC warmer than 1938-1979. The regional climate projections for A2 and B2 CO2 emission scenarios developed using PRECIS regional climate model indicate that summer temperatures will increase in 2071–2100 by 2.6-4.7°C and 4.9-6.2°C respectively in comparison with 1961–1990. The annual total of solid precipitation will increase by 20% under B2 scenario but decline by 3% under A2 scenario. The length of the ablation season will extend from July–August to June-September. The Azarova Glacier exhibits high sensitivity to climatic warming due to its low elevation, exposure to comparatively high summer temperatures, and the absence of a compensating impact of cold season precipitation. Further summer warming and decline of solid precipitation projected under the A2 scenario will force Azarova to retreat further while impacts of an increase in solid precipitation projected under the B2 scenario require further investigation.