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Himalayan glacier recedes as climate change hits home

Himalayan glacier recedes as climate change hits home

News

According to a new research, Chaturangi glacier, a tributary of the Gangotri glacier, is retreating at a “considerable rate” and may vanish in the future.

Important facts

  1. The Chaturangi glacier was connected with the Gangotri glacier till 1989 but is now detached and retreating at the rate of about 22.84 m/year
  2. The study observes that the rate of retreat of Chaturangi glacier is much higher than Gangotri glacier. This is because of its smaller size and fast response time to climatic variability.

Impact:

  1. Scientists have raised concerns that retreat of glaciers like Chaturangi impact flow and water level in the Ganga as Ganga originates from Gangotri glacier, which is fed by tributary glaciers.
  2. According to NASA’s Land Use Land Cover Change programme, glacial melt in the long run will impact agriculture, reduce soil health, increase landslides and floods, and increase temperature in areas downstream.
  3. Glacial retreats will also increase Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) in Uttarakhand Himalayas
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