Himalayan glaciers are melting at a furious rate, shows study

What is the News?

According to a report, Glaciers across the Himalayas are melting at an extraordinary rate.

What are the key findings of the report?

The massive ice sheets in the Himalayan region have shrunk 10 times faster in the past four decades than during the previous seven centuries.

Himalayan glaciers have lost about 40% of their area in the last several hundred years.

Read more: Change in course of Himalayan glacier can help to understand the glacial-tectonic interaction
What is the reason for this Himalayan Glacier melting?

The researchers didn’t pinpoint a reason but noted that regional climate factors such as shifts in the South Asian monsoon may have played a role.

Moreover, there is also a scientific consensus that ice loss from glaciers and polar ice sheets is the result of rising global temperatures caused by greenhouse-gas emissions.

Read more: [Yojana October Summary] The Himalayan Floods – Explained, pointwise
What will be the impact of Himalayan Glaciers melting?

​​Himalayan mountains are referred to as the third pole because they hold the world’s third-largest amount of glacier ice following Antarctica and the Arctic. 

However, the impact of ice loss in the Himalayan region could be especially stark. This is because meltwater from the glaciers in the region feeds major rivers that support India’s vast northern agricultural belt.

As the glaciers continue to shrink, the availability of water for irrigation and drinking water could drop steeply and floods, avalanches could become more common.

In addition to floods, rising sea levels can cause soil erosion and jeopardize the structural integrity of roads and bridges, as well as power plants and other critically important industrial facilities located in coastal areas.

Read more: Launch of the Resource Book on Springshed Management in the Indian Himalayan Region by NITI Aayog

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Himalayan glaciers are melting at a furious rate, shows study’ published in Livemint on 21st Dec 2021.

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