EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Glacier-climate Interaction over the High-Mountain Asia during the Last Glacial Maximum

Qiang Wei1, Yonggang Liu1, Yongyun Hu1, and Qing Yan2,3
Qiang Wei et al.
  • 1Departmant of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, Peking University, Beijing, China (
  • 2Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

Glacier advances affect the local climate, and in turn, can either promote or prohibit its own growth. Such feedback has not been considered in modeling the High-Mountain Asia (HMA) glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; ~28-23 ka), which may contribute to the large spread in some of the published modeling work, with some notable discrepancy with existing reconstruction data. By coupling an ice sheet model (ISSM) with a climate model (CESM1.2.2), we find that the total glacial area is reduced by 10% due to the glacier-climate interaction; glacier growth is promoted along the western rim of HMA, and yet reduced in the interior. Such changes in spatial pattern improve model-data comparison. Moreover, the expansion of glaciers causes an increase in the winter surface temperature of the eastern Tibetan Plateau by more than 2 K, and a decrease of precipitation almost everywhere, especially the Tarim basin, by up to 60%. These changes are primarily due to the increase in surface elevation, which blocks the water vapor brought by westerlies and southwesterlies, reducing precipitation and increasing surface temperatures to the east and northeast of the newly grown glaciers.

How to cite: Wei, Q., Liu, Y., Hu, Y., and Yan, Q.: The Glacier-climate Interaction over the High-Mountain Asia during the Last Glacial Maximum, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12206,, 2023.