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Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Climate Geography

Ecosystem-based Adaptation to climate change regarding abiotic factors of vulnerability in glaciated high mountain regions of Central Asia

Sub-project: Investigation and Modelling of melt water availabilty and runoff from small catchments under conditions of climate change (EbA-CA)

Climate fluctuations influence water resources in semi-arid regions in Central Asia, e.g. the Pamir Mountains where water is supplied by snowmelt, thawing permafrost and glacial runoff from high-mountain catchments. Changes in precipitation and temperature influence irrigation for settlements both temporally and quantitatively.

The project focusses on interdisciplinary science resulting in combined physical modelling of relevant components for future water resources that are relevant for hydrological planning. The project aims at creating a toolbox with a graphical user interface (GUI) allowing qualified staff to generate hydrological projections that can be supplied to administrations and regional consulting. Thereby resulting main objectives are:

  • development of most important modeling strategies and calibration based on meteorological, glaciological and hydrological field observations within two catchments in Kyrgyzstan (At-Bashi) and Tajikistan (Siponj/Darjomj)
  • enhancement of the COupled Snow and Ice energy and MAss Balance (COSIMA) model by additional high-mountain and snow cover tools and combination with a simple off-the-shelf hydrological tool
  • model runs with climate projection data (e.g. CMIP-5 or regional downscaling of CMIP-5)

Based on climate change induced modifications of glacial configurations, we can evaluate regime shifts in the hydrological cycle related to climate change. The results can then be applied for water management strategies within the test regions.




The duration of the project is 3 years: 2017 - 2019


The project is funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)