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Posts tagged Taklamakan Desert

Climate Change’s Effect on Glaciers Around Lake Issyk Kul, Kazakhstan

40.6N 79.6E

June 22nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Deserts, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Kazakhstan and China – June 21st, 2013

In the last 15 years, all of the 22 glaciers around Lake Issyk Kul (center, between Lake Balqash and the Taklamakan Desert), in Kazakhstan, have retreated. There are a number of reasons for the degradation of glaciation in Issyk Kul, but the increase in surface pollution and climate change are the main ones.

Both contribute to more intense melting and therefore degrade the mass balance of the glacier. The average yearly temperature in the glaciation zone has risen by 0.2ºC; summers are warmer by 0.6ºC, evidenced not only by melting rates but by a longer ablation period. This continued warming trend will accelerate glacial collapse and, most important, lead to a change in the water volume in the rivers the glaciers help to feed (click here for more information).

Lake Balkhash and Climate Change’s Effects on Lakes in Central Asia – June 11th, 2013

42.8N 81.3E

June 11th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Kazakhstan and China – June 10th, 2013

Lakes in arid regions of Central Asia, such as Lake Balkhash, in Kazakhstan (upper left), northwest of China’s Taklamakan Desert (below), act as essential components of regional water cycles, providing sparse but valuable water resource for the fragile ecological environments and human lives.

Lakes in Central Asia are sensitive to climate change and human activities, and great changes have been found since 1960s. Mapping and monitoring these inland lakes can improve our understanding of mechanism of lake dynamics and climatic impacts. Satellite altimetry provides an efficient tool of continuously measuring lake levels in these poorly surveyed remote areas.

Scientists have shown that alpine lakes are increasing greatly in lake levels during 2003-2009 due to climate change, while open lakes with dams and plain endorheic lakes decrease dramatically in water levels due to human activities, which reveals the overexploitation of water resource in Central Asia (click here for more information).

Dust Storm on Eastern Edge of Taklamakan Desert, China

39.5N 90.0E

March 18th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

China – March 11th, 2013

A duststorm affects the Taklamakan Desert in western China, particularly by its eastern edge. The Taklamakan is China’s biggest desert and is an immense sea of shifting sand dunes, which dominates the west of the country.

The fringes of the desert are most susceptible to desertification, as overgrazing on farmland bordering the desert tends to strip the lands of their grass and hence allows the desert to take hold and expand. During the spring, winds tend to increase in intensity in the west of China. As the spring winds blow, they pick up the sand and dust lying on top of the degraded land and carry it into the air, creating these massive dust and sand storms.

Dust Storm Over Tarim Basin, China

39.1N 82.9E

March 15th, 2013 Category: Dust Storms

China – March 11th, 2013

Winds blowing about the Tarim Basin kick up a large quantity of dust particles that obscure the entirety of the Taklamakan Desert, in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The tall mountains surrounding the desert – the Tian Shan to the north, the Kunlun Mountains to the south, and the Pamir Mountains to the west, keep much of the dust from blowing beyond the basin. However, much escapes via the eastern side, through the Gobi Desert, and can blow eastward across the country.

Dust Over Taklamakan Desert and Influence on Asian Climate

39.5N 81.9E

March 3rd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Dust Storms

China – March 3rd, 2013

Dust blows about the Taklamakan Desert, in China, partially obscuring its northern rim at the foot of the Tian Shan Mountains. Dust storms in this region are relatively common, and also influence other regions such as the Tibetan Plateau. Scientists have suggested that large dust storms could be heating the region and even influencing the development of the monsoon in the neighboring country of India.

Dust particles tend to absorb heat from sunlight, creating an unusually warm area over the Tibetan Plateau. This heating enhances atmospheric circulation from relatively cold to warm areas, thus strengthening the Indian summer (rainy) monsoon. If desertification progresses in the Taklamakan desert as the climate warms, Tibet will probably become more dusty in summer, with important implications for central Asian climate (click here for more information).

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