High Asia

High Mountain Asia (HMA) is a geographic region that includes the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding mountain ranges, such as the Himalayas, the Karakoram, and the Tian Shan. Climate-triggered natural hazards pose a threat to human lives in HMA, e.g., landslides (see CaTeNA ) and Glacier Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). Climate data with high spatial and temporal resolution is crucial for a better understanding of climatic triggering mechanisms of localized hazards as well as to deepen our knowledge about the coupling of climate and hydrological cycles (see WET ). However, in HMA, in situ meteorological observations are unevenly and sparsely distributed due to the harsh environment and complex terrain. We apply regional climate models (RCMs) for dynamical downscaling to overcome this problem (see High Asia Refined Analysis - HAR ) and to address the above-mentioned aspect within different research fields (hydrology, cryosphere, natural hazards).

Central Asia


CaTeNA


The project is part of the CLIENT II program focused on natural risks. Provision of high-resolution climate data as input for a landslide susceptibility model developed by project partners of Education and Research (BMBF).

Climatic and Tectonic Natural Hazards in Central Asia (CaTeNA)
CaTeNA
CaTeNA

Halji


The Halji River (Halji Khola, Nepal) drains the source area of the GLOFs (Glacial Lake Outburst Flood). A GLOF is a sudden release of water from a glacial lake episodically forming during the snowmelt season. GLOFs are able to cause large numbers of casualties and huge economic damages by flooding of downstream areas.



Halji
Automatic weather station (AWS) on Halji glacier

Tibet Plateau

Q-TiP


The project is part of the CAME II program funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Quaternary Tipping Points of Lake Systems in the Arid Zone of Central Asia (Q-TiP)

(Project completed)
Q-TiP
Q-TiP

DynRG-TiP


Improvement of understanding the interaction between atmosphere and cryosphere on the Tibet Plateau with focus on the glaciers of the Nyainqentanglha mountains

Dynamic response of glaciers on the Tibetan plateau to climate change (DynRG-TiP)

(Project completed)

Tibet Plateau
Nomads at Nam Co Lake, Tibet Plateau

WET


Investigation of the coupling of climate and water cycles using the example of characteristic catchment areas on the Tibetan Plateau

Variability and Trends in Water Balance Components of Benchmark Drainage Basins on the Tibetan Plateau (WET)

(Project completed)
Tibet Plateau
Langa Co Lake, Mount Kailash region, south-west Tibet

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Lead and contact:

Dr. Marco Otto

Publications

Wang, X. et al. (2020):
WRF–based dynamical downscaling of ERA5 reanalysis data for High Mountain Asia: Towards a new version of the High Asia Refined analysis. Int. J. Climatol., 1–20. DOI: 10.1002/joc.6686
Link

Scherer, D. (2020):
Survival of the Qaidam mega-lake system under mid-Pliocene climates and its restoration under future climates. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 3835–3850. DOI: 10.5194/hess-24-3835-2020.
Link

Curio, J. & D. Scherer (2016):
Seasonality and spatial variability of dynamic precipitation controls on the Tibetan Plateau. Earth Syst. Dynam., 7(3), 767–782. DOI: 10.5194/ESD-7-767-2016.
Link

Maussion, F. et al. (2011):
WRF simulation of a precipitation event over the Tibetan Plateau, China – an assessment using remote sensing and ground observations. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15(6), 1795–1817. DOI: 10.5194/HESS-15-1795-2011.
Link