Observed Changes in Himalayan Glaciers (2014)

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In the Himalaya, large areas are covere d by glaciers and seasonal snow. They are an important source of water for the Himalayan rivers. In this article, o b serve d changes in glacial extent and mass balance have been discussed. Various studies suggest that most of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating though the rate of retreat varies from glacier to glacier, ran g ing from a few meters to almost 61 m/year, d e pe nding upon the terrain and meteorological parameters. In addition, mapping of almost 11,000 out of 40,000 sq. km of glaciate d area, distribute d in all m a jor climatic zones of the Himal aya, suggests an a l most 13% loss in area in the last 4 – 5 decades. The gl a cier mass balance observations and estimates made u s ing methods like field, AAR, ELA and geodetic me asur e me nts, suggest a significant increase in mass wastage of Himalayan glacie rs in the last 3 – 4 decades. In the last four de c- ades loss in glacial ice has been e s timated at 19 ± 7 m. This suggests loss of 443 ± 136 Gt of gl a cial mass out of a total 3600 – 4400 Gt of glacial store d water in the Indian Himalaya. Th is study has also shown tha t mean loss in glacier mass in the Indian Himalaya is accelerate d from – 9 ± 4 to – 20 ± 4 Gt/year between the periods 1975 – 85 and 2000 – 2010. The estimate of gl a cial stored water in the Indian Himalaya is base d on gl a- cier inve ntory on a 1 : 250,000 scale and scaling met h- ods; the refore, we assume u n certainties to be large.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: Current Science,

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 Record created 2018-08-23, last modified 2018-08-23