Climate Change, Glacier Retreat, and Water Availability in the Caucasus Region

  • M. Shahgedanova
  • W. Hagg
  • D. Hassell
  • C. R. Stokes
  • V. Popovnin
Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)

The paper discusses the observed and projected warming in the Caucasus region and its implications for glacier melt, water availability and potential hazards. A strong positive trend in summer air temperatures of 0.05°C year−1 is observed in the high-altitude areas (above 2000 m) providing for a strong glacier melt. A widespread glacier retreat has also been reported between 1985 and 2000, with an average rate of 8 m year−1. A warming of 5–7°C is projected for the summer months in the 2071–2100 period under the A2 emission group of scenarios, suggesting that enhanced glacier melt and a changing water balance can be expected.

Keywords

Glaciers climate change climate modeling water resources Caucasus 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Shahgedanova
    • 1
  • W. Hagg
    • 2
  • D. Hassell
    • 3
  • C. R. Stokes
    • 4
  • V. Popovnin
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of GeographyThe University of ReadingWhiteknightsUK
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of Munich, MunichGermany
  3. 3.The Hadley CentreUK Met OfficeExeterUK
  4. 4.Department of GeographyThe University of DurhamDurhamUK
  5. 5.Faculty of GeographyMoscow State UniversityLeninskie GoryRussia

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