Universität Innsbruck



Snowline4DailyWater (2021 – 2021)

picture_sn4dw.jpgUnder ongoing climate change, the availability of freshwater resources of Central Asia will become increasingly sensitive to glacier retreat. Thereby, the role of glaciers is twofold: (1) as a continuous source for fresh water and (2) as buffer against droughts during dry spells. Expected changes of glacier meltwater release will lead to water shortage during the irrigation season in the future. Regional monitoring of glacier mass balances and of the associated melt water release are so far missing for Central Asia. However, such detailed scientific knowledge, particularly at high temporal and spatial resolution, is vital to implement adaptation and mitigation measures for sustainable water management. The objective of Snowline4DailyWater is to provide sub-seasonal monitoring of glacier response to climate change and the associated melt water release for glaciers in Central Asia.

By joining the expertise of the EURAC and the University of Innsbruck, we aim on developing a novel setup that combines the well-established AMUNDSEN glacier mass balance model with multi-sensor and multi-resolution remote sensing observations of the transient snowline; first at Vernagtferner and the Rofental, then for the entire Tien Shan and Pamir. Finally, Snowline4DailyWater will provide an operational tool enabling sub-seasonal monitoring for individual glaciers and catchments, based on the relation between snowline and the sub-seasonal mass balance. This tool will help relevant policy-makers and stakeholders to improve their water resource management with a cost effective strategy to better cope with climate change related challenges.

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