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Climate Change and Atmospheric Pollution in Issyk-Kyl Region


Influence of the Climate Change and Atmospheric Pollution on the State of Mountain Ecosystem for the Issyk-Kyl Lake Region (Kyrgyzstan)

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Kyrgyz-Russian Slavonic University, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek\nKarpov Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow


  • University of East Anglia / School of Environmental Sciences, UK, Norwich\nConsiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche / Institute of Sciences of Atmosphere and Climate, Italy, Torino\nSan Jose State University, USA, CA, San Jose\nRiso National Laboratory / Wind Energy and Atmospheric Physics Department, Denmark, Roskilde\nUniversity of Uppsala / Department of Earth Science, Sweden, Uppsala\nUniversity of Iowa, USA, IA, Iowa City\nSwedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden, Norrkoeping\nFrontier Research System for Global Change, Japan, Yokohama\nEwha Womans University / Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Korea, Seoul\nNCEP Environmental Modeling Center, USA, MD, Camp Springs\nNew Mexico State University / Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center, USA, CA, Carlsbad\nUniversita degli Studi di Genova / Dipartimento di Fisica, Italy, Genova

Project summary

The scientific and technological revolution, which started in the second half of the 20-th century, rose the problem of human adaptation to the changes of environment. Research of such changes is an important aspect of the problem of stable development of the region being investigated. Among substances causing changes of the environment a very important part is hold by the aerosol which participates in atmospheric photochemical transformations and takes place in forming of heat balance and climate of the planet. Typical size of aerosol particles is comparable with the wave-length of visible light and that makes aerosol particles very active light transformer. Particularly aerosol particles are able to pick up light quanta and pass their energy to the adsorbed reagents increasing speed of surface chemical reactions. Though chemical composition of the atmosphere and its evolution are being investigated for several decades, lots of actual and important questions are still open. And examining the role of aerosol component of the Earth atmosphere is among them. Aerosol particles either arise from chemical reactions causing formation of low-volatile matters, or serve as intermediate for new transformations of gas-core reagents.

The region of highland lake Issyk-Kyl (Kyrgyzstan) is unique according to its nature and climate and can be regarded as a unique resort which needs permanent control of natural and man-made pollution of environment. The problem of stable Kyrgyzstan and Issyk-Kyl region development especially in connection with problem of socio-economic development based on rational nature management include questions of development and rational use of huge recreational potential of the region. Due to the relief around Issyk-Kyl contaminant entry including aerosol depends greatly of not only local conditions but also of weather patterns and recirculating mechanism of larger region. In the 20-th century wide variations of hydrologic system were registered. The global warming, which speed increases during last decades, plays more and more significant role in that changes. The warming causes general increasing of the water content of the atmosphere, changes of evaporation, recirculating and some other hydrological processes, exerting in their part serious influence over generation and regeneration of aerosol particles.

During last decade in Kyrgyzstan a sharp reduction of industrial production took place. That caused changes of existing balance of man-caused components and sharp reduction of air venting of aerosol particles. However from the other hand there happened sharp increase of goods transportation by air transport using low-grade fuel. So air venting of high-toxic element of oil like benapilene increased.

Furthermore in the region of Kumtor, which is nearby Issyk-Kyl basin, an open-cut gold mining takes place. The problem of evaluation of possible air pollution as a result of open-cut mining is quite actual nowadays. Another problem of environment pollution is caused by return of local heat and power plants from gas to low-grade coal. Due to that reason sharp increasing of air venting of poisonous sulphides such as sulfur dioxide, nitrides. Air concentration of sulfur dioxide and nitrides exceeds maximum allowable concentration two and more times.

For the Issyk-Kyl lake region questions of radiation safety are also very actual, because Kyrgyzstan was one of the major USSR suppliers of uranic minerals such as uranium and molybdenum oxides. After stopping of mining 13 crude storage were left without necessary control. They pose a potential threat for the environment and population health because they produce oncological diseases. As a whole almost in all storages air concentration of Radon-222 exceeds maximum allowable concentration several times.

For solving of scientific and applied problems of environment control and protection it is being planned to make a detailed description of meteorological fields structure and processes of diffusion and transformations of admixtures in the Issyk-Kyl lake region. The investigations combining experimental measuring and mathematical modeling are planned to be carried out. For complex solving of ecological problem along with physical models aerosol and chemical models and different methods of environment control will be used as a part of a single system to analyze ecological processes in the most full way taking into account direct couplings and feedbacks. So for adequate description of the dynamics of the atmosphere and the admixtures transport process three-dimensional math models will be used. That models are complex systems of differential equations and boundary conditions. Numerical calculations based on such problems require huge computing power and high level of proficiency of algorithms and software developers. The world experience of numerical forecast of meteorological elements shows that adequate reproduction of evolution of meteorological elements can be done only by models having quite full description in parametrized form of physical processes and high spatial resolution. For the Issyk-Kyl lake region model with the step orography (ETA-model), developed in USA and Yugoslavia under the direction of professor F.Mesinger with co-authors and climatic model of A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics (CM IAP RAS) will be used. Though basic principles of model building have common base, some questions are specific for the region under investigation and need taking special ecological researches including data of long-term observations of hydrologic system local characteristics, precipitations and temperature. The results of measurements will allow to trace the development of the system under investigation, to find the estimates of possible after-effects and to propose optimal solutions for planning of the economical activity taking into account maximal allowable load of environment and socio-economic aspects.

So, the target of this project is gaining new up-to-date data about conditions of generation and transport of aerosol particles (including radionuclides) and gas admixtures, about physical and chemical properties of aerosols and soils and model estimation of influence of atmospheric pollutions on regional meteorological conditions and environment, including possible local changes of the temperature and hydrologic order and climatic characteristics of the Issyk-Kyl region. The solution of that goals will allow to settle the question about usage of region recreational resources for development of ecotourism particularly. That will make important contribution to development of local economy, attract foreign attention and investment of capital to the region and create new workplaces for population.

During the project following tasks are planned to be solved:

- taking field observation of atmospheric minor gases concentration, soils and aerosols, their structure and physicochemical properties for the Issyk-Kyl region;

- adaptation of three-dimensional transportation model for multicomponent gas admixtures and aerosol transfer in the Kyrgyzstan region atmosphere;

- laboratory and field observations of chemical processes on the aerosol particles surface;

- development of adequate method of experimental data processing that allow to get information about dispersed system in the atmosphere and its chemical transformations with key role of the processes on aerosol particles surface;

- investigation of Kyrgyzstan regional climate change peculiarities in a view of global warming process and estimation of major factors that influence atmosphere composition and local climate changes;

- investigation of present day condition of Kyrgyzian mountainous ecosystems for estimation of their recreational possibilities and determination of maximum ecological load at different strategies of Issyk-Kyl region development.

Basic expected results of the project

1. Reception of data about spatial temporal distribution of the key atmosphere constituents. This set of characteristics includes content of greenhouse gases (CO, CO2, CH4, H2O), chemically active radicals (O3, NOX), benzapilene, volatile organic compounds (hydrocarbons and derivative substances), aerosols (including carbon-black aerosol), radioactive substances and fluxes of integral and ultraviolet solar radiation, O3 and NO2 photodissotiation rates, meteorological, optical and other atmospheric parameters.

2. Characteristic of the photochemical transformation of admixtures in the Kyrgyzstan atmosphere and estimation of oxidation ability of the troposphere and rates of ozone generation in the region.

3. Adaptation of mathematical models of the dynamic of atmosphere processes and transport process for multicomponent admixtures developed by the project participants and collaborators.

4. Defining the intensity of major natural and man-made sources of dangerous admixtures in the Kyrgyzstan atmosphere and regularity of admixtures concentration changes based on observation data and the math model.

5. Estimation of the desert aerosol input in the Kyrgyzia regional climate forming, especially brought from the regions of the Aral Sea, deserts of Central Asia and China based on station and expedition observations.

6. Level of dryness estimation for the region under observation; sensitivity of the troposphere bottom layer climatic model to the atmosphere transparency changes; radio-ecological danger for the nature background of the landscape environment.

7. More accurate numeric estimations of the major factors defining structure of admixtures and radiative balance over the Kyrgyzstan territory, atmosphere mix and estimation of regional climate changes perspectives.

8. Up-to-date estimation of the state of the mountain ecosystems of Kyrgyzia, production of chemical elements into the Issyk-Kyl lake, structure of atmosphere falls and its influence on the mountains ecosystems of Kyrgyzia.

9. Investigation of the region mountain ecosystem dynamics for determination of maximum ecological load at different strategies of Issyk-Kyl region development.

In the year 2001 within Global geospheric-biospheric program (IGBP) and UNESCO program “Human and biosphere” a Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) was formed which considers mountainous regions as unique grounds for early discovery of global changes signals. Now within MRI a list of 24 mountainous biospheric reservations is formed. Issyk-Kyl lake region is the only reservation of the territory of Central Asia countries within Commonwealth of Independent States.

According to UNO General Assembly the year 2002 was announced as International Mountain Year and International year of Ecotourism. The International Mountain Year it was announced according to the President of Kyrgyzstan A.Akaev initiative. Due to that fact the Issyk-Kyl lake region again attracted attention of world science and world society.

That makes it necessary to investigate condition and recreational possibilities of the Issyk-Kyl lake region.

Also we think, that our project will be useful for the Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) Project (formed in Asian region).

The Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) Project is an international research effort initiated by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). We hope, that the results of our project will be used by UNEP and the regional governments to develop future strategies to mitigate the impact of Asian air pollution on climate, human health, and the environment.

Participants of the project have solid experience of the work both in Kyrgyzia and Russia and in some other regions of the world. They have both bases of experimental data and transportation models for gas admixtures and aerosols (including radioactive ones), condensation and coagulation, and use different models of climate and atmospheric motion. That will be the base of works of the project being suggested.

The project planes participation of members of Karpov Institute of Physical Chemistry who were involved before in investigations of radioactive and chemically active aerosols, investigations of gas and aerosol composition of reactive jets and creation of materials for missile equipment and participation of defense scientists and others. Execution of this project will allow to require this group of scientists for solving other fundamental tasks.


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