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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-269
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-269
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Dec 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Dec 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Applying artificial precipitations to mitigate the melting of the Muz Taw Glacier, Sawir Mountains

Feiteng Wang1, Xiaoying Yue1, Lin Wang1, Huilin Li1, Zhencai Du2, and Jing Ming3 Feiteng Wang et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences/Tien Shan Glaciological Station, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 2Centerfor Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 3Beacon Science & Consulting, Doncaster East, VIC 3109, Australia

Abstract. The Glaciers in the Sawir Mountains, Altai area, are characterized by higher latitudes and lower elevations. Influenced by the westerly circulation and the polar air mass, the precipitation is abundant and evenly distributed over the year in this area. However, a continuing and accelerating mass loss of glaciers has been in presence since 1959. To study the role of precipitation in mitigating the glacier’s melting, we carried out two artificial-precipitation experiments on the Muz Taw Glacier of the Sawir Mountains on 19 and 22 August 2018, respectively. We measured the albedo and MB at different sites along the glacier before and after the individual experiment. According to the records of the automatic weather station (AWS) set up at the equilibrium line (EL, 3400 m), the amount of precipitation was 6.2 mm and 12.4 mm water equivalent in solid form by the two experiments, respectively. Due to the artificial solid precipitations, the glacier’s surface albedo significantly increased in the mid-upper area, and the amounts of the mass loss decreased by 17 %. We also propose a possible mechanism describing the role of precipitation in mitigating the melting of the glacier.

Feiteng Wang et al.
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Short summary
How to mitigate the melting of most mountainous glaciers is a disturbing issue to scientists and the public. We chose the Muz Taw Glacier of the Sawir Mountains as our study object. We carried out two artificial-precipitation experiments on the glacier to study the role of precipitation in mitigating its melting. The amounts of the mass loss from the glacier decreased by 17 %. We also propose a possible mechanism describing the role of precipitation in mitigating the melting of the glacier.
How to mitigate the melting of most mountainous glaciers is a disturbing issue to scientists and...
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