Abstract : 1C.14
Meteorological observations at the mountaintop stations in the Khibiny (the Kola Peninsula, Russia) and regional climatic changes

Valery I. Demin, Yury L. Zyuzin
Polar Geophysical Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences

The Khibiny Mountain massif occupies the central part of the Kola Peninsula. It is of oval shape of about 1,300 sq. km. The highest altitude is 1200m.

Meteorological observations were carried out on Yukspor mountain (913m asl) between 1936 and 1982. Since 1962 till present meteorological observations have been implemented on Lovchorr mountain (1090m asl).

The increase of mean annual temperature on Lovchorr mountain is 0.28°Ñ/decade in the period of 1962-2005. In other parts of the Kola Peninsula the increases of mean annual temperature are between 0.22 and 0.45°Ñ/decade.

The warming in the Khibiny mountains detected by landscape researches too. For example the present-day upper limits of the pine forest is approximately 100m higher, than it used be 100 years ago.

Nevertheless, we can not assume that the modern climate warming has irreversible character. The air temperature has been increasing since the 1960s. However, the instrumental meteorological measurements indicate a different sign temperature variation in the 20th century. The period of warming of 1920-1940s was followed with a period of air cooling between 1950s and 1970s. The modern warming began with the later half of 1980s. We can conclude that there is a significant positive temperature trend if analyses of time series are limited by the period of only 1962-2005. At the same time a statistical significance between air temperatures in periods of 1937-1967 and 1976-2005 is not available. The 1930s were approximately as warm as the 1990s.

The annual precipitation in the Khibiny mountains decreased. The reduction of total precipitation was due to the winter (solid) precipitation decrease. At that time the summer precipitation changed weakly.

The temperature increase and significant drop of the solid precipitation caused the reduction of area of glaciers and snow patches. For example the modern area of the glacier on Kukisvumchorr mountain is 35% of its total area in 1958.