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Posts tagged Tian Shan Mountains

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).

Dust Along Northern Rim of Taklamakan Desert

39.9N 80.3E

November 15th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms

China – November 13th, 2012

The dust storm that has been shifting sands about the Taklamakan Desert since early October (click here for more images) continues. Here, the dust obscures the northern rim of the desert, bordered by the Tian Shan Mountains.

Dust Reaching Borders of Taklamakan Desert

40.2N 81.3E

November 7th, 2012 Category: Deserts, Dust Storms, Mountains

China – November 6th, 2012

Dust continues to blow about the Taklamakan Desert, in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The tall mountains surrounding the desert on three sides – the Kunlun Mountains to the south, the Pamir Mountains to the west, and the Tian Shan Mountains to the north – prevent the dust from spreading beyond the confines of the Tarim Basin.

Lakes and Mountains of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – October 13th, 2012

42.3N 77.2E

October 13th, 2012 Category: Lakes, Mountains

Kazakhstan – October 10th, 2012

Several lakes can be observed in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, northwest of the Taklamakan Desert (lower right) in China. Nearest the desert is Lake Issyk Kul, an endorheic lake in the northern Tian Shan mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. Although it is surrounded by snow-capped peaks, it never freezes.

North of Lake Issyk Kul is Lake Balkhash, in southeastern Kazakhstan, belonging to an endorheic basin shared by Kazakhstan and China, with a small part in Kyrgyzstan. The basin drains into the lake via seven rivers, most notably the Ili River, which is fed from precipitation (largely vernal snowmelt) from the mountains of China’s Xinjiang region.

Visible to the east of Lake Balkhash, near the right edge of the image, is Lake Alakol, located in east central Kazakhstan. The lake is the northwest extension of the region known as the Dzhungarian Gate (Alataw Pass), a narrow, fault-bounded valley that connects the southern uplands of Kazakhstan with arid northwest China.