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Recent changes of glacier coverage in the western Terskey-Alatoo range, Kyrgyz Republic, using Corona and Landsat

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Corona images from 1971 and a Landsat image from 2002 are used to assess glacier variations in the last 30 years in the western Terskey-Alatoo range (a part of the Tien Shan), in the northeast of the Kyrgyz Republic. The glaciers have shrunk during this period. The 269 mountain glaciers measured in the study area had an original combined area of 245 km2, which has decreased 18.4 km2, representing a loss of 8% of the original glacier coverage in 1971. Individual glaciers covering <1 km2 account for 28% of the combined glacial coverage, but loss from these small glaciers represents 38% of the total decrease in area. The relative change of area is larger for small-scale glaciers, and its contribution to shrinkage of glacier area is high. This shrinkage has been linked to climate changes as recorded at local stations. Many small-scale glaciers are distributed around Issyk-Kul lake, and rapid glacier reduction is expected in this area in the future.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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