Heat balance studies were carried out during summer ablation periods 1960-1983 by the glacial investigation team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The effect of energy exchange on development of mountain glaciers was determined, based on the observation of heat exchange over the glacial surface of various mountainous regions. Relationships between energy transfer and climatic parameters under different climatic regimes and landform conditions are analyzed in detail. It was found that the most important heat source for snow-ice melting is radiation, a contribution amounting to between 59.0% and 92.1% of the total. Sensible heat contributed 8 - 36%. The sensible heat flux depends on the bulk transfer coefficient and the glacier cooling effect. The mean value is about 16.3 Ly/day.K.. With the decrease of sea influence, altitude of the snow-line is elevated, aridity of glacier climate increases, evaporation increases gradually and melting decreases, providing conditions for glacial nourishment. When the glacier is covered with a debris layer, the glacier heat balance in continental regions is altered. Finally, the authors’ investigation on the glacier No 1, at the headwater of Urumqi river, shows that differences in structure of glacier heat balance are mainly the result of the influence of the topography and albedo on net radiation. Finally, diagrams of distribution of net radiation in space and time are presented.