Indian, Chinese team to map glacier melt

MSNBC carried this report.

NEW DELHI – A joint Indian-Chinese team plans to chart remote Himalayan glaciers that scientists fear are rapidly melting because of global warming, threatening the great rivers that give life to one of South Asia’s most fertile regions.

The two expeditions, announced Thursday, will take scientists into some of the most remote areas of Tibet to explore the sources of two rivers that provide water for vast agriculture regions that feed nearly a sixth of the world’s population.

“The melting of the ice sheets and the glaciers is a crisis in the Himalayas,” said H.P.S. Ahluwalia, who runs the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, which is organizing the expedition with China’s Institute of Geology and Geophysics.

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  1. says: Ajit Singh

    ‘Siachen and Himalayan glaciers are melting due to military activity’

    Press Trust of India

    Islamabad, December 30: Siachen glacier has been melting alarmingly more due to military activity of India and Pakistan than global warming, a new study has said.
    Siachen glacier was rapidly melting because of the ongoing military activity at the highest flashpoint of the world, according to the study conducted by Arshad H Abbasi, a consultant for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

    “Siachen is weeping, tomorrow the world will cry,” the excerpts of the study, pubished in the local daily The News, say.

    Siachen is the longest glacier in the non-polar regions from where the Nubara river originates and is a source of the Indus river in Pakistan which caters to 75 per cent of its irrigational requirements.

    Another study conducted by Pakistan’s Ministry of Water and Power confirmed the decline of cold temperatures in Siachen. Pakistan Meteorological Department on November 25 last year informed the government that the Himalayan glaciers, particularly Siachen, have been receding for the last 30 years, with losses accelerating to alarming levels in the past decade.

    “We are very much concerned over the development, but human activity with regard to the Siachen war could not be stopped until and unless the peoples of the two countries exert pressure upon their respective governments to stop the war,” it quoted an official as saying.

    The studies reportedly pointed out that during the last two decades, the melting of Siachen glacier has now been bracketed amongst the fastest in the world. Its retreat is evident from the snout (base of the glacier) and through the continuous thinning of ice along its entire length. Siachen, along with several other major tributary glaciers, reduced their volume by 35 per cent during the last twenty years and retreating at the rate of 110 metres per year.


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