EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Forcings of mass-balance variability in Karakoram-Himalaya

Pankaj Kumar1, Vladimir A. Ryabchenko2, Aaquib Javed1, Dmitry V. Sein2, and Md. Farooq Azam3
Pankaj Kumar et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, India
  • 2Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Indian Institute of Technology Indore, India

Glacier retreat is a key indicator of climate variability and change. Karakoram-Himalaya (KH) glaciers are the source of several perennial rivers protecting water security of a large fraction of the global population. The region is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, hence the sensitivity of KH glaciers to regional microclimate, especially the impact of individual parameters forcing have been not quantified yet. The present study, using a coupled dynamical glacier-climate model simulation results, analyses the modelled interannual variability of mass-balance for the period 1989-2016. It is validated against available observations to quantify for the first time the sensitivity of the glaciers mass-balance to the individual forcing over KH. The snowfall variability emerges as the key factor, explaining ~60% of the variability of regional glacier mass balance. We provide insight into the recent divergent glacier response over the Karakoram Himalaya. The results underline the need for careful measurements and model representations of snowfall spatiotemporal variability, one of the HK's least-studied meteorological variables, to capture the large-scale, but region-specific, glacier changes at the third pole.





The work was supported by Indian project no. DST/INT/RUS/RSF/P-33/G, and the Russian Science Foundation (Project 19-47-02015).

How to cite: Kumar, P., Ryabchenko, V. A., Javed, A., Sein, D. V., and Azam, Md. F.: Forcings of mass-balance variability in Karakoram-Himalaya, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21221,, 2020.


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