Glaciers in eastern Himalayas melting: Report
KATHMANDU: Scientists have
found fresh evidence of retreating glaciers in the eastern Himalayas in India
and Nepal, though the water flow in numerous Himalayan rivers will not decline
significantly, an international institute said here on Monday.
presented evidence of the retreat of glaciers in the eastern Himalayas, but
suggested that river flows will not decline significantly in the coming
decades, as melt rates and precipitation are projected to increase,” the
Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development
(ICIMOD) said in its new report.
The study brought
together 240 scientists from 26 countries, who took part in the six-day
International Symposium on Glaciology in High-Mountain Asia to share the latest
findings on glaciers, glacier change, glacier contribution to river flow, and
mountain hazards in the region.
The study also
highlighted Karakoram as a region where glaciers are not retreating, and underlines
the need for future research in this region to explain this anomaly.
“We are making progress
on understanding the region as a whole, but when we look at glacier change in
more detail, we realise the picture is not yet clear," a statement quoting
Joseph Shea, a glacier hydrologist at ICIMOD, said.
“Glaciers in high
mountain Asia are the highest on earth, and we have built a strong foundation
for future research through this symposium,” IGS president Doug MacAyeal said.
remain about the role of debris cover and black carbon in glacier melt and the
limited number of high-altitude precipitation observations,” he said.
Results from the
symposium will be published in a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal
Annals of Glaciology, set to be released next year.