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ヒマラヤの消失法: 過小評価されていた氷河の損失が明らかに


米国のランドサット ミッションによってキャプチャされたこの画像は、ガロン湖を特徴としています。 Nature Geoscience に掲載された新しい研究では、2000 年から 2020 年の間に、ヒマラヤの氷河から湖に流れ込む氷の損失が平均 6.5% 過小評価されていることが明らかになりました。アジアの人々。 クレジット: USGS/ESA

新しい研究は、ヒマラヤの湖に流れ込む氷河から失われている氷が大幅に過小評価されていることを明らかにしています. この発見は、この地域の氷河の消滅を予測し、重要な水資源を管理する上で重要な意味を持ちます。

ヒマラヤ氷河から湖に流れ込む氷の損失は、2000 年から 2020 年の間に 6.5% 過小評価されており、アジアの 13 億人を超える人々の氷河崩壊と水資源管理の予測に影響を与えています。 研究者は、将来の氷河の推定とモデルに水中の質量損失を組み込むことを求めています。

ヒマラヤの氷河は「第 3 極」の一部であり、高山アジアの氷原には極域以外で最大の淡水の貯水池が含まれているため、いわゆる「第 3 極」と呼ばれています。 全体として、第 3 極はアジアの 13 億人以上に淡水を提供しています。

気候変動は、極地だけでなく、これらの高山の氷河からも氷を失わせています。 そして、何百万もの人々がこの山の氷からの水に依存しているため、この貴重な資源が将来どのように影響を受けるかを理解し、予測することが重要です.


Changes in Himalayan Lake Volume

Changes in Himalayan lake volume. This map shows the changes in the volume of water held in lakes between 2000 and 2020. Orange indicates reduction in volume. The map shows the location of the Imja Tsho and Galong Co lakes. Credit: ESA (data source: Graz University of Technology/ Chinese Academy of Sciences

Digital elevation models based on satellite data have been used widely to estimate ice loss from glaciers. However, meltwater from glaciers often ends up as proglacial lakes – lakes that form in front of the ice. In effect, the glacial ice is replaced by lake water.

The traditional digital elevation model method of estimating ice loss measures the glacier and water surface but does not account for any ice loss that occurs below the surface of a lake.

The Himalayas and many other mountains have thousands of proglacial lakes, many of which are rapidly expanding. Yet, the contribution of subaqueous mass loss to total glacier mass loss has been largely neglected – until now.

An international team, including scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Graz University of Technology in Austria, used a long time series of satellite images, mainly from the US Landsat mission to detect changes in the outlines of lakes.

Galong Co Lake Volume Change

Galong Co lake volume change. Credit: ESA (data source: Graz University of Technology/ Chinese Academy of Sciences

They also measured the depth of numerous proglacial lakes between 2018 and 2021 using an uncrewed surface vessel and existing bathymetry data.

From the data on the changing shape of the lakes together with the bathymetry data, the team was able to estimate the volume of water the lakes held.

The research is, in part, an outcome of the Dragon program – a cooperation between ESA and China’s National Remote Sensing Centre that promotes the use of ESA, Third Party Mission, Copernicus Sentinel and Chinese satellite data for science and applications.

Although Landsat is a US mission, it is also an ESA Third Party Mission. Through the Third Party Missions program, ESA offers data from a wide range of satellite missions developed and operated by other agencies.

Imja Tsho Lake Volume Change

Imja Tsho lake volume change. Credit: ESA (data source: Graz University of Technology/ Chinese Academy of Sciences

Tobias Bolch, from Graz University of Technology in Austria and co-author of the paper, said, “While satellites provide a wealth of information about our changing world, they cannot ‘see’ underwater. We can only use satellite data to measure a lake’s surface, but not the ice below that is replaced by water.

“This had led to a gap in our understanding of the full extent of ice being lost from lake-terminating glaciers.”

Guoqing Zhang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and first author of the paper, explained, “From our research, we now know that proglacial lakes in the region increased by 47% in number, 33% in area, and 42% in volume between 2000 and 2020.

“We estimate that this equates glacier mass loss of around 2.7 Gt, which is about the same weight as 570 million elephants, and which has not been previously accounted for.”

The most significant underestimation of 10% occurred in the central Himalayas, where glacial lake growth has been the most rapid.

“This emphasizes the importance of incorporating subaqueous mass loss from lake-terminating glaciers in future mass-change estimates and glacier evolution models, regardless of the study region,” added Dr. Bolch.

Tandong Yao, co-author of the paper and who also co-chairs the Third Pole Environment program, noted, “By more accurately accounting for glacier mass loss, researchers can better predict future water resource availability in the sensitive mountain region.”

For more on this discovery, see Study Reveals Hidden Ice Melt in Himalayas.

Reference: “Underestimated mass loss from lake-terminating glaciers in the greater Himalaya” by Guoqing Zhang, Tobias Bolch, Tandong Yao, David R. Rounce, Wenfeng Chen, Georg Veh, Owen King, Simon K. Allen, Mengmeng Wang and Weicai Wang, 3 April 2023, Nature Geoscience.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-023-01150-1

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