Summer School on Glacier Mass Balance

19 February 2015

On 2-8 August 2015 the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), with co-sponsorship from UNESCO Almaty Office, organized a summer school in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This summer school was carried out within the framework of the project "Capacity Building and Twinning for Climate Observing Systems" (CATCOS) led by MeteoSwiss and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Global warming and climate change will have effects on the high mountains of Central Asia. It will lead among others to natural disasters and will affect the socio-economic development of the region. Still, not enough research has been conducted in this regard and not enough reliable knowledge and information is available. Among the regions with limited glacier observations, Central Asia is probably one of the most vulnerable to secondary impacts related to glacier changes. Here the glaciers make a major contribution to water availability during dry seasons and the glacier-related hazards, such as glacier lake outburst floods, and endanger the local communities and their infrastructure. Strengthening both the glaciological expertise and the regional exchange between scientists is essential in order to improve the availability and quality of glacier mass balance observations from this region.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) organized a Summer School on Mass Balance Measurements and Analysis on 2-8 August 2015 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. UNESCO was co-sponsoring and partnering in the organization of the summer school. The course was open to about a dozen participants from Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. During the selection process, priority was given to candidates involved in established mass balance programmes. The participants were trained in both field and office work by an international team of experts in glacier monitoring and capacity building. Theoretical lectures took place at the Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG). Practical training in field work and safety aspects was conducted on nearby Golubin Glacier in the Ala Archa Range.

This summer school introduced good practices for glacier mass balance measurements and analysis and give an opportunity for discussing their potential adoptions in order to fit regional peculiarities.

Deadline for application is 28 February 2015.

For more information on the summer school please visit official website of the WGMS.

Field study on Abramov glacier, Kyrgyzstan ŠThorben Dunse

Field study on Abramov glacier, Kyrgyzstan ŠThorben Dunse

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