Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1008
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1008
13 May 2024
 | 13 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Increasing Area and Decreasing Depth: Climate Change Influence on Snow Variations in the Qilian Mountains

Enwei Huang, Guofeng Zhu, Yuhao Wang, Gaojia Meng, Ling Zhao, Xuan Zhang, Xiaoyu Qi, Qinqin Wang, Yinying Jiao, Jiawei Liu, Siyu Lu, Longhu Chen, and Rui Li

Abstract. The Qilian Mountains serve as a critical water source for the Yellow River and various inland rivers, playing a pivotal role in regulating the regional climate. Given their significance as one of the foremost water resources in the area, the spatial and temporal dynamics of the snow are crucial for understanding potential impacts on regional hydrology and ecology. This study examines the characteristics of spatial and temporal variations in snow-covered extent (SCE), snow depth (SD), snow-covered days (SCD), snow onset date (SOD), and snow end date (SED) within the Qilian Mountains region. We investigate the hydrological and ecological implications utilizing snow area and phenology data, alongside SD data. The findings indicate that: (1) the distribution of snow across the Qilian Mountains mainly splits between the central and western areas, with the central region showing deeper snow than both the eastern and western parts; (2) the area covered by snow in the Qilian Mountains is growing, but the depth of the snow is on a decline, especially in the central area; (3) in terms of snow phenology, most of the region is witnessing an earlier start of SOD, a longer SCD, and an earlier SED. An overall increase in precipitation is identified as the key factor behind the expanded SCE in the Qilian Mountains, while rising temperatures are pinpointed as the primary cause for the reduction in SD. As global climate change intensifies, the observed alterations in the snow of the Qilian Mountains present emerging challenges for regional water security and ecological equilibrium.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Enwei Huang, Guofeng Zhu, Yuhao Wang, Gaojia Meng, Ling Zhao, Xuan Zhang, Xiaoyu Qi, Qinqin Wang, Yinying Jiao, Jiawei Liu, Siyu Lu, Longhu Chen, and Rui Li

Status: open (until 24 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Enwei Huang, Guofeng Zhu, Yuhao Wang, Gaojia Meng, Ling Zhao, Xuan Zhang, Xiaoyu Qi, Qinqin Wang, Yinying Jiao, Jiawei Liu, Siyu Lu, Longhu Chen, and Rui Li
Enwei Huang, Guofeng Zhu, Yuhao Wang, Gaojia Meng, Ling Zhao, Xuan Zhang, Xiaoyu Qi, Qinqin Wang, Yinying Jiao, Jiawei Liu, Siyu Lu, Longhu Chen, and Rui Li

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Short summary
(1) the distribution of snow across the Qilian Mountains mainly splits between the central and western areas; (2) the area covered by snow in the Qilian Mountains is growing, but the depth of the snow is on a decline (3) most of the region is witnessing an earlier start of snow onset date (SOD), a longer snow-covered days (SCD), and an earlier snow end date (SED).