1. Seasonal change of a snow algal community on Asian glaciers
(funded by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, 2006-8)

It is well know that algal comunities in lake or ocean seasonally change. They usually start to bloom in spring, then reach maxima in summer. Species composition also change with time. Snow algal communties on glaciers also seasonally changes as winter snow melt from spring to summer. However, such information is still limited. This project aim to study seasonal change of a snow algal community on an Asian glacier. The study site is the Urumuqi No.1 Glacier, located in the Tien Shan Mountains in western China.

2. Paleo-environment reconstruction of the Asian oasis region by ice core analysis
(funded by the Oasis Project in RIHN)

The Oasis Project is one of the projects carried by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) from 2001 to 2006. The Oasis Project is a trans-disciplinary research project aiming to study historical evolution of adaptability to water resource changes in a Chinese oasis region for last 2000 years. Ice cores can be one of the best proxies to reconstruct past environmental condition of the region. In this project, two ice cores (Dunde ice cap and Belukha Glacier) have been drilled in the mountain glacier surrounding the Heife river basin in China (study site of the Oasis Project) .

The ice cores are now being analyzed with oxygen stable isotope, chemical ions, micro particles. Also, new methodologies for ice core analysis are tried such as pollen, lipids, snow algae, bacteria, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope. See more about ice coore analysis using biogenic material

Drilling sites of ice core in the Oasis Project

3. Effect of biological activity on glacial melting in the Asian glaciers
(funded by the Oasis Project in RIHN, 2002-6)

Glaciers in the western China supply water to the oasis in the desert. The study of glacial variations in this region is important for research into the long human history as well as the future water resources available to the present human population in this region. Surface dust deposited on glaciers substantially reduce the surface albedo, thus surface dust has a major influence on the glacial mass balance, particularly on Asian glaciers. Particularly, biogenic surface dust (cryoconite) derived from organisms living on the glaciers, is significantly covering the glacial surface. However, our information about the surface dust remains limited. I will study formation process of the biogenic surface dust and will quantify its effect on surface albedo on the glaciers.

4. Quantification of albedo reduction by biogenic material using sattelite images.
(funded by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, 2003-5)

Spatial variation in snow algal community could be seen from sattelites. Snow algae on snow and ice have a specific spectrum of light reflectance, which could enable to quantify their biomass. This project aims to survey distribution of snow algae on glaciers using sattelite images.

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