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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Climate Geography

Dynamic Response of Glaciers in the Qilian Shan to Climate Change (Dyn-Q)



The Qilian Shan Mountain Range, located at the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau is part of the High Mountain Asia region that due to its high number of glaciers and ice caps is also called the "Third Pole". Climatologically, Qilian Mountains are controlled by mid-latitude westerlies, Indian Summer Monsoon and the East Asian Summer Monsoon. Glaciers in the Qilian Shan pose important elements of the natural environment by providing water resources of cardinal importance both for ecosystems and local population. A rapid glacier shrinkage as consequence of the global warming trend indicates their sensitivity to climate change.

The project's main objective is to improve our understanding of atmosphere-cryosphere interactions in the Qilian Shan by modelling the temporally integrated variations in glacier flow patterns. This procedure includes modelling of glacier geometry due to atmospheric forcing, including variations in corresponding energy and mass balance components induced by climate change impacts on regional water resources. We investigate the accelerated recession of glaciers in the context of increased air and glacier ice temperatures as well as a reduced albedo on the glacier surface.

The Dyn-Q project is associated with the prime-SG project and constitutes a German-Chinese cooperation between HU Berlin investigating glacier surface and mass energy balances and Cold and Arid Environment and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) investigating ice flow patterns of two glaciers within the Qilian Shan.




The project duration covers 3 years: January 2018 - December 2020


The project is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Project parnter


For project related publications please see the climate geography publication list.