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Current State of the Altai Glaciers (Russia) and Trends Over the Period of Instrumental Observations 1952–2008

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Results of research into climate and glacier dynamics in the Altai Mountains (Russia) over the period of instrumental observations (1952–2008) are presented in this article. About 1030 glaciers with a total area of 805 km2 and volume of 42.5 km3 have been recorded in the Altai Region. The average summer air temperature in different regions of the Altai has increased during the study period from about 0.2°C (Aktru) to 1.1°C (Akkem). The annual atmospheric precipitation rate has also increased, by 8–10%. Since 1952, the glacier area in different regions of the Altai has decreased by 9–27%, and volume by 12–24%. By 2008, as a result of degradation, the total number of glaciers was 953 with an area of 724 km2 and volume of 38 km3.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of all the colleagues from Tomsk State University, Russia, who conducted observations and research work in the Altai Mountains during the study period, and thanks also to Professor Terry Callaghan for his initiative to prepare a paper on the Altai glaciers and invaluable help and guidance in the whole process of manuscript preparation. The constructive and critical comments of two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the quality of this article.

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Correspondence to Valeriy Zemtsov.

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Narozhniy, Y., Zemtsov, V. Current State of the Altai Glaciers (Russia) and Trends Over the Period of Instrumental Observations 1952–2008. AMBIO 40, 575–588 (2011).

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