Specialists Katunsky Biosphere Reserve in the Altai Mountains are studying how fast shrinking largest glacier Belukha, from which originated the main artery of the region — Katun River, as well as going to find out how much water is lost each year due to warming the glacier, told RIA Novosti Reserve Eugene Beskonchin.
Specialists reserve, which is included in the list of World Heritage by UNESCO, embarked on a new stage in the study of the motion of the glacier Gaebler — survey of glacial deposits. Experts believe such research is extremely important, because the glaciers contain the main reserve of fresh water on the planet, which is being phased out. Formerly director of the reserve Zateev Alexander said that the warming of the part of small glaciers in decades have disappeared completely.
Gaebler Glacier — the largest glacier Belugas, in fact, it originates from the largest artery of Altai — Katun River. It has been studied for 120 years. During this time, according to studies, he retreated more than two kilometers. Thus the speed of the retreat, depending on various factors is different.
"Glacier retreating from one to 15 meters per year, depending on weather conditions. For 10 years, he has retreated by about 150 meters. One of the reasons for its melting — rising temperatures," — said the source.
Told Beskonchin, in October this year experts Reserve embarked on a new stage in the study of the glacier. Experts examine glacial sediments transported ice at the moment, and has deferred deposits (moraine complexes). In addition, with the help of special techniques they try to determine the age of these complexes. According to preliminary calculations, the age of moraines already surveyed over 70 years.
"In the future, after the data, it will help to reconstruct the dynamics of the glacier in the historical era to further predict the balance of its mass and its response to the temperature increase in the future," — said Beskonchin.
The next year, experts involved in monitoring climate change and glaciers in the Katun Reserve, waiting for a new stage: in 2013, it is planned to install pillar — benchmarks for studying the glacier Gaebler. These works, scientists believe, will help to understand how much water is lost annually in the process of melting glacier.
Gaebler Glacier — the largest glacier on Mount Belukha its southern slope. Another name for the glacier — Katun. Located in Ust-Koksinsky region of the Republic of Altai. Named in honor of Friedrich August von Gebler outstanding naturalist, geographer, corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences. Length of the glacier — 8.5 kilometers, the area — 8.5 square kilometers. Nourishing source of the Katun River, a major waterway of the Altai Mountains. Consists of two main streams — "East" and "Middle", which is adjacent inflow from the west.