Equilibrium configurations of Djankuat glacier in various climatic conditions

 О.О. Rybak1,2, Е.А. Rybak1,2, I.A. Korneva2,3, P.A. Morozova4, V.V. Popovnin5

 1Sochi Research Center of RAS, Sochi

2Branch of Institute of Natural and Technical Systems, Sochi

E-mail: o.o.rybak@gmail.com, elena.rybak@gmail.com

3Institute of Global Climate and Ecology of Roshydromet and RAS, Moscow

E-mail: comissa@mail.ru

4Institute of Geography of RAS, Moscow

E-mail: morozova_polina@mail.ru

5Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow

E-mail: begemotina@hotmail.com

DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2018-4-102-109

UDC 551.89, 551.583.7     


    Ubiquitous degradation of mountain glaciation all over the world (with occasional exceptions), including the Greater Caucasus, highlights the task of forecasting of states of glaciers under conditions of climate change. Implementation of relatively simple schematic climatic scenarios instead of using simulated continuous changes produced by global climate modeling is the alternative way of carrying out prognostic studies. The essence of this approach is investigation of consequences of an abrupt change of one or another component of climatic forcing. This paper continues the series of studies focused on various aspects of dynamics of Djankuat Glacier in the Central Caucasus. Here, we present results of the research of equilibrium states of Djunkuat Glacier after abrupt change of two climatic key variables – surface air temperature and precipitation.

    Mathematical model applied in the study, its architecture, the system of equations and numerical methods, as well as input of climatic, topographic and other data used in the numerical experiments, were considered in detail in earlier papers referenced in the text. As a result of eleven numerical experiments made during 150 modeling years we confirmed high sensitivity of the glacier to temperature rise. Sensitivity to a decrease of total precipitation was not as high as sensitivity to temperature rise. Nevertheless, predicted temperature rise in the region by more than 3ºС combined with considerable drop in precipitation (particularly in the period of snow accumulation) can hypothetically result in catastrophic degradation of the glacier. Since morphometric features of Djankuat are typical for the region, we can obviously expect similar changes for the whole glaciation in the Central Caucasus. Changes in hydrologic regime and decline of the contribution of glacial run off to its total volume will be the consequence of this degradation.

Keywords: climate, mountain glacier, mathematical model, numerical experiment, mass balance, debris, glacial run-off.

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