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01-10-2020 | Original Article | Issue 19/2020

Environmental Earth Sciences 19/2020

Analysis of the response of glaciers to climate change based on the glacial dynamics model

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 19/2020
Authors:
Zhen Wu, Wen Hui Zhang, Yin Shi Liu, Dong Ren, Jie Zhao Xun, Jian Xue Bai
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Abstract

Changes in velocity and temperature of ice are the internal driving factors accelerating glacial regression under the condition of climatic warming. To evaluate glacial response to climate from the perspective of the internal driving forces of glaciers, we used a two-dimensional force balance and energy balance model to simulate the ice velocity and temperature of the No. 8 glacier (H8) in Tianshan Mountains, China. We analyzed the influence of dynamic characteristics caused by climatic warming on glacial changes. The simulation results of ice velocity showed: when the atmospheric temperature changed by 2 °C, the maximum velocity increased from 9 to 20 ma−1, and the total average ice velocity increased from − 9.2 to − 6.9 °C. Apparently, climatic warming could lead to an increase in ice flux. In addition, to analyze the effect of velocity increment on glacial changes, we set the difference mass balance to simulate the glacier change in the future. And the results showed that climatic warming would increase the glacial area in terminus in a short period of time and weaken the ice reserves at upstream. Under the condition of continuous climatic warming, it would accelerate the loss of glacial area and ice reserves.

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