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Preliminary Results of Mass-Balance Observations of Yala Glacier and Analysis of Temperature and Precipitation Gradients in Langtang Valley, Nepal

  • Mool, P. K.
  • Joshi, S. P.
  • Springer, C.
  • Galos, S.
  • Shahi, S.
  • Bhattarai, B. C.
  • Pradhananga, N. S.
  • Immerzeel, W. W.
  • Kayastha, R. B.
  • Baral, P.

Monitoring the glacier mass balance of summer-accumulation-type Himalayan glaciers is critical to not only assess the impact of climate change on the volume of such glaciers but also predict the downstream water availability and the global sea-level change in future. To better understand the change in meteorological parameters related to glacier mass balance and runoff in a glacierized basin and to assess the highly heterogeneous glacier responses to climate change in the Nepal Himalaya and nearby ranges, the Cryosphere Monitoring Project (CMP) carries out meteorological observations in Langtang Valley and mass-balance measurements on Yala Glacier, a debris-free glacier in the same valley. A negative annual mass balance of –0.89 m w.e. and the rising equilibrium-line altitude of Yala Glacier indicate a continuation of a secular trend toward more negative mass balances. Lower temperature lapse rate during the monsoon, the effect of convective precipitation associated with mesoscale thermal circulation in the local precipitation and the occurrence of distinct diurnal cycles of temperature and precipitation at different stations in the valley are other conclusions of this comprehensive scientific study initiated by CMP which aims to yield multi-year glaciological, hydrological and meteorological observations in the glacierized Langtang River basin.

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