Study Finds There’s Still Hope For Himalayan Glaciers
Previous fears regarding the Himalayan glacier may have been unduly warranted, according to the results of the HIGHNOON (Adaption to changing water resources availability in northern India with Himalayan glacier retreat and changing monsoon pattern) project. Researchers led by the University of Zurich in Switzerland claim that previous predictions made in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) overstated the decline of the Himalayan glaciers. “The detected length changes and area and volume losses correspond to the global average”, explained Dr Bolch, summarizing the new results. However, Dr Bolch advised caution: “Due to the expected shrinkage of the glaciers, in the medium term we can expect a greater variability in the seasonal water drainage. Individual valleys could dry up seasonally”. Besides, scientists do see considerable hazard potential from outbursts of glacial lakes. According to them, increased efforts are urgently needed to monitor the lakes as well as changes in the glaciers and the climate in the Himalayas. The state of the Himalayan glaciers is vitally important, considering that several hundreds of millions of people in Southeast Asia alone depend, to varying degrees, on the freshwater reservoirs that are provided to them.
Photo (c) Trey Guinn / Flickr