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Records of Precipitation in the Muztag Ata Ice Core and Its Climate Significance to Glacier Water Resources

DUAN Ke-qin1,2,YAO Tan-dong2,1,WANG Ning-lian1,2,TIAN Li-de2,1,XU Bai-qin2,1,WU Guan-jian2(1.State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou Gansu 730000,China;2.Tibetan Plateau Research Institute,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100029,China)  
During the summer 2003,a 41-m firn and ice core was extracted at the elevation of 7 010 m above sea level to determine annual accumulation rates at Muztag Ata Peak in the East Pamirs.Using strong seasonally variation of oxygen isotopic of the core to define annual layers,a 45-year record is obtained.Annual snow accumulation over the period is about 0.62 m water equivalent on average.The snow accumulation was higher during 1958-1975 than during 1976-2003.The accumulation decreased by a factor of two to three between 1958 and 2003.The reconstruction of mass balance in Muztag Ata glacier by using snow accumulation and temperature show a dramatically increasing wastage tendency in the past 20 years.The mean mass balance in Muztag Ata glacier was-123 mm·a-1 during the period of 1960-2003,while it reached to-419 mm·a-1 in the period of 1990-2003.Both the decreasing in snow accumulation at the high mountain and the increasing temperature are responsible for the wastage of glacier in Muztag Ata region.The increment of glacier wastage can enhance runoff of the Tarim River fed by glacier melting water in a short period.However,in the condition of global warming the glacier without enough supplements will shrink quickly.For a long period,most of the snow and ice will be gone and the Tarim River runoff will be reduced without glacier melting water fed.
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