Himalayan glaciers are in danger!

Manojit Ghosh

Photographs: NASA World Wind
Category: Featured Article
Date of Publication: Aug 16 , 2012Vol-01 Issue-01


Recent report says that global warming is solely responsible for this devastating situation. The chhota sigri glacier in the Pir Panjal ranges amidst Himachal has diminished to a large extent. This news has been currently uncovered by some Indian as well as French researchers. The study, also supported by the department of technology and science, the Indo-French centre for Promotion of Advanced Research and ISRO says that the mass of the glacier is weakening briskly this century.

It is a fact that billions of people depend on Himalayan glaciers for water and the current situation is heavily affecting their livelihood. It is also assumed by the researchers that the current scenario can result in droughts in some parts of Asia. Himalayan glaciers located nearby areas like China, India, Bhutan and Pakistan supply water for nine largest rivers of Asia, that serves the purpose for 1.4 million people who resides at those regions.

himalayan glacier

Temperature in those areas has started rising between 0.25 and 1.02 degrees each and every decade since last 25 years along with increasing the rate of ice melting. After the vast climatic change summit begins, campaigners warned that glaciers may break down completely in the coming decades.

Some scientists have predicted that most of the glaciers will melt down completely within 40 years because of the vast and strange climatic change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned saying that by 2035 the Himalayan Glaciers could completely disappear.

Dawa Steven Sherpa, mountaineer and environmental crusader started working to divert every one's attention towards this strange climatic change in the year 2007 when some parts of Khumbu icefall above the camp of Mt. Everest buckled all of a sudden.

He said that every time he visits the mountains, the older sherpas tells him that this is the warmest year. He added saying that this initially struck him of how dangerous the mountaineering would become in the future.

In spite of having vast amount of research on how global warming is affecting several areas around the world, work regarding environment covering the Himalayan glaciers is not enough. Even experts don't like focusing too much on this topic. Jairam Ramesh, India's Environment Minister recently disapproved the concept that climatic change is responsible for the melting down of the Himalayan glaciers.

Apart from the varying opinions, ICIMOD (International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) feels an urgent requirement for further study on this topic to hit upon out the exact reason for such a devastating situation. The organization said that they want the researchers to study more on this topic to find out every minute detail regarding the climatic change and its impact.

There are questions rising everyday revolving around how, where and to what extent the Himalayan region will be affected by this strange climatic change. Arun Shrestha said that most of the climatic experts consider that temperatures are changing and this is happening at altitude. On the other hand, ICIMOD has warned that the recent statistics in glacial melt advocate some vital rivers will be reduced substantially in the upcoming years.

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