Air temperature and precipitation data have been obtained from the Geladandong region at the headwaters of the Yangtze River. At the equilibrium line altitude of the glaciers, mean annual and summer air temperatures are –10 to –12.0°C and 1.0 to –1.0°C, respectively. Accumulation on the glaciers on the south side of the Tanggula mountains depends mainly on water vapour transported from the south and southeast. The moisture source for the glaciers on the north side is from the east. Precipitation increases with altitude in the glaciated areas. An estimated annual accumulation in the firn areas is about 400 to 600 mm of water equivalent. The Geladandon region has a cold, dry climate and the glaciers in the region can be classified as continental. The present climatic conditions result in a negative mass budget for most glaciers.
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