Some Himalayan Glaciers Have Been Melting For 400 Years, Scientists Discover

  • Date: 13/09/17
  • Times of India

Global warming and climate change are serious issues that are drawing the attention of the world. However, the phenomenon of Himalayan glaciers melting is not a recent one. In fact, it has been happening for 400 years.

It was during the Little Ice Age, a period of cold conditions from 1645 CE-1715 CE, that Arctic and sub-Arctic glaciers were expanding but Himalayan glaciers were melting.

Melting of glaciers is not only caused due to industrialization and global warming but natural factors like oceanic currents and total solar irradiance (TSI), which means total sun energy coming to earth, are equally responsible. Oceanic currents affect monsoon and since glaciers are dependent on monsoon precipitation in the form of snow, any change in it affects glaciers. TSI affects temperature and other climatic factors which affect glaciers.

A study by a team of nine scientists from Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences has unfolded the health status and behaviour of Himalayan glaciers over a period of four centuries.

The scientists used tree ring data of around 400 years from Himalayan conifers in the glaciated valleys of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir for research.

The study has been published in the prestigious international journal BSIP director Sunil Bajpai.

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87% Of Himalayan Glaciers Stable Since 2001, Indian Minister Confirms

Times of India, 15 December 2017

• ISRO in collaboration with MoEF conducted a study on a part of glaciated Himalayas.
• It was found that 87% of the glaciers have stable fronts.
• In fact, 18 of the glaciers are advancing.
• But alarming news is that 248 of the 2,018 glaciers are retreating or melting.


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