Dangerous signs! Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting fast due to climate change

The Himalayan region is showing rapid mass loss of mass and melting of glaciers as climate change is causing a rise in temperature, a number of studies have revealed, Union Minister of State for Geology and Science and Technology Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha. The Center has conducted a number of studies and data on melting glaciers in the Himalayas. The study found that the average retreat rate of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Glacier was 14.9 ± 15.1 m / year, compared to 12.7 ± 13.2 m / year in the Indus, 15.5 ± 14.4 m / year in the Ganges and 20 ± 15.1 m / year. Annual in the Brahmaputra Basin. However, Karakoram glaciers showed a slight change in length (-1.37 ± 22.8 m / year), indicating stable conditions.

For various studies including Geological Survey of India, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, National Center for Polar and Ocean Research, National Institute of Hydrology, and Indian Institute of Science (IISc). .

The Union Ministry of Geology, through the National Center for Polar and Ocean Research, has been observing six glaciers in the lunar basin of the western Himalayas since 2013. The center has set up a state-of-the-art field research station, Himanshu, in the lunar basin that has been in operation since 2016, to conduct field tests and expeditions to glaciers. The research center found an annual mass balance (melting) rate equal to -0.3 ± 0.06 m of water per year between 2013-2020.

The Geological Survey of India has studied the melting of nine glaciers by assessing the mass balance. It has observed recession / improvement of 76 glaciers in the Himalayan region, most of which have been observed melting / retreating at different speeds in different regions.

A glacier observation program at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology in Uttarakhand has revealed that the Dokriyani Glacier in the Bhagirathi Basin has been retreating at a rate of 15-20 m / year since 1995, while the Chorabari Glacier in the Mandakini Basin has been retreating at 9-11 m / year. During the period 2003-2017. The agency is also monitoring the Durung-Drong and Pennsilumpa glaciers in the Suru Basin of Ladakh, which are retreating at speeds of 12 m / s and ~ 5.6 m / s, respectively.

Glacier basin hydrology changes significantly affect the water resources of Himalayan rivers, melting glaciers, affecting hydropower plants due to discharge variations, downstream water budgets, flash floods and siltation, Singh told House. They increase the risk of glaciers due to the high number and size of glacial lakes, rapid flash floods, and glacial lake eruptions affect flooding and farming practices in the high Himalayan region.

IISc Bangalore’s Devecha Center for Climate Change has investigated the Satluj Basin and reported that the contribution of glacier melting will increase by the middle of the century before the fall. Numerous small glaciers in the low-lying areas of the basin indicate significant damage to the area until the middle of the century, leading to water shortages in dry summers.

Glacier melting is a natural process that cannot be controlled, Singh said. However, the risk of melting glaciers increases. Various institutes, institutes and universities are observing glaciers through a large range of remote sensing data to assess melting-related disasters.

Recently, the National Disaster Management Authority collaborated with the Swiss Development Corporation to create guidelines, summaries, and summaries for policymakers on glacier lake eruption flood management.

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