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Article: Recent variability of the climate and glaciers in China's monsoon region

TitleRecent variability of the climate and glaciers in China's monsoon region
Authors
KeywordsChina
Climatic Change
Monsoon Region
Temperate Glaciers
Issue Date2003
PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences
Citation
Iahs-Aish Publication, 2003 n. 280, p. 104-116 How to Cite?
AbstractClimatic data, ice core records, the tree-ring index and recorded glacier variations have been compared, and used to reconstruct a history of climatic and glacial changes in the monsoonal temperate-glacier region of southwestern China during the last 400 years. The results indicate that the region's temperature has increased in a fluctuating manner during the 20th century, after the two cold stages of the Little Ice Age of the 17th-19th centuries, with a corresponding retreat of most of the glaciers during the 20th century, against a background of global warming. Rates of retreat accelerated after the 1980s. The few advancing glaciers that did exist have started to retreat in recent years. The amount, trend and amplitude of variation of precipitation have differed in different parts of the region. The climatic records in the Dasuopu ice core, from the Himalaya area in the western part of the region, show a decreasing trend in precipitation, the converse of the trend in temperature. However, in the Hengduan Mountains and other areas of the eastern part of the region, a rising trend in rainfall has accompanied increasing temperatures, a result of the variable atmospheric circulations from different sources. The data indicate that the Southwest Monsoon, which is the principal controlling factor in the Chinese monsoonal temperate-glacier region, can be classified into two parts. One is the Indian Monsoon from the Arabian Sea, passing across the Indian Peninsula. This transports the vapour for precipitation in the Himalaya area, the western part of the monsoonal temperate-glacier region. The other part is the Bengal Monsoon originating in the Bay of Bengal, passing over Bengal and Burma. This is the major source of precipitation in the Hengduan Mountains and other areas in the eastern part of the region. In addition, the eastern part is influenced by the Southeast Monsoon arriving from the western Pacific, whilst the western part is affected in winter by the southern branch of the westerly circulation. This complex atmospheric situation results in differing patterns of precipitation in the western and eastern zones. Although it is clear that both temperature and precipitation affect the glaciers, further work is needed to confirm which is the major factor influencing present glacier change.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/157848
ISSN
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHe, Yen_US
dc.contributor.authorZhang, Zen_US
dc.contributor.authorTheakstone, WHen_US
dc.contributor.authorChen, Ten_US
dc.contributor.authorYao, Ten_US
dc.contributor.authorZhang, DDen_US
dc.contributor.authorPang, Hen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-08-08T08:55:57Z-
dc.date.available2012-08-08T08:55:57Z-
dc.date.issued2003en_US
dc.identifier.citationIahs-Aish Publication, 2003 n. 280, p. 104-116en_US
dc.identifier.issn0144-7815en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/157848-
dc.description.abstractClimatic data, ice core records, the tree-ring index and recorded glacier variations have been compared, and used to reconstruct a history of climatic and glacial changes in the monsoonal temperate-glacier region of southwestern China during the last 400 years. The results indicate that the region's temperature has increased in a fluctuating manner during the 20th century, after the two cold stages of the Little Ice Age of the 17th-19th centuries, with a corresponding retreat of most of the glaciers during the 20th century, against a background of global warming. Rates of retreat accelerated after the 1980s. The few advancing glaciers that did exist have started to retreat in recent years. The amount, trend and amplitude of variation of precipitation have differed in different parts of the region. The climatic records in the Dasuopu ice core, from the Himalaya area in the western part of the region, show a decreasing trend in precipitation, the converse of the trend in temperature. However, in the Hengduan Mountains and other areas of the eastern part of the region, a rising trend in rainfall has accompanied increasing temperatures, a result of the variable atmospheric circulations from different sources. The data indicate that the Southwest Monsoon, which is the principal controlling factor in the Chinese monsoonal temperate-glacier region, can be classified into two parts. One is the Indian Monsoon from the Arabian Sea, passing across the Indian Peninsula. This transports the vapour for precipitation in the Himalaya area, the western part of the monsoonal temperate-glacier region. The other part is the Bengal Monsoon originating in the Bay of Bengal, passing over Bengal and Burma. This is the major source of precipitation in the Hengduan Mountains and other areas in the eastern part of the region. In addition, the eastern part is influenced by the Southeast Monsoon arriving from the western Pacific, whilst the western part is affected in winter by the southern branch of the westerly circulation. This complex atmospheric situation results in differing patterns of precipitation in the western and eastern zones. Although it is clear that both temperature and precipitation affect the glaciers, further work is needed to confirm which is the major factor influencing present glacier change.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences-
dc.relation.ispartofIAHS-AISH Publicationen_US
dc.subjectChinaen_US
dc.subjectClimatic Changeen_US
dc.subjectMonsoon Regionen_US
dc.subjectTemperate Glaciersen_US
dc.titleRecent variability of the climate and glaciers in China's monsoon regionen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailZhang, DD: zhangd@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityZhang, DD=rp00649en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0042842534en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros90372-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0042842534&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.issue280en_US
dc.identifier.spage104en_US
dc.identifier.epage116en_US
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHe, Y=7404942217en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZhang, Z=38163110200en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTheakstone, WH=7003836274en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChen, T=15749870400en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridYao, T=7401886289en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridZhang, DD=9732911600en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridPang, H=7102237529en_US

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