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The changing water cycle: Burabay National Nature Park, Northern Kazakhstan

Yapiyev, V., Sagintayev, Z., Verhoef, A., Kassymbekova, A., Baigaliyeva, M., Zhumabayev, D., Malgazhdar, D., Abudanash, D., Ongdas, N. and Jumassultanova, S. (2017) The changing water cycle: Burabay National Nature Park, Northern Kazakhstan. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 4 (5). e1227. ISSN 2049-1948

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1227

Abstract/Summary

Water resources in Central Asia are scarce, so complicated issues arise from this. Kazakhstan is a Central Asian landlocked country which has mostly closed drainage basins, characterized by endorheic lakes that do not drain to the oceans. These endorheic lakes are very sensitive to climate change and anthropogenic influences. Very few studies have been conducted on the hydrological cycle of the small endorheic lakes. This work reviews the endorheic lakes within Burabay National Nature Park (BNNP), Northern Kazakhstan. BNNP is a small ecozone consisting of terminal lakes watersheds covered by mixed forests and grasslands. These endorheic lakes have been drying out during the last one hundred years or so with the water level decrease accelerated in the past few decades. According to historical observations (1935-2014), on the one hand precipitation amounts did not significantly change, while on the other hand, air temperature steadily increased. The lake level decrease is most probably caused by a water budget deficit, with evaporation exceeding the precipitation inputs in the long-term. The direct anthropogenic impact (water abstraction) plays a minor role in deterioration of water levels, with most significant impacts through localized land use changes such as road and building construction in the catchments. The future of the park’s sensitive ecosystems in a changing climate is uncertain; therefore, BNNP requires modern ecohydrological monitoring methods and analysis tools to improve our understanding of its hydrological cycle variability, and to enable us to develop adequate adaptation and mitigation measures.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:70308
Publisher:Wiley

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