31 May 2012

Melting of Glaciers,‘Nature Geoscience’

University of Grenoble, France conducted a scientific study and published a report in the scientific journal ‘Nature Geoscience’ in April 2012, which indicates that the Karakoram glaciers have gained around 0.11 to 0.22 meters per year between 1999 and 2008. The study also revealed that in contrast to the central and eastern Himalaya where most glaciers were retreating, more than 50% of Karakoram glaciers were advancing or stable during this period. 

This information was revealed by the Minister of state (I/C) for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan in Lok Sabha today. 

In reply to a question the Minister stated that Shyok / Nubra valley glaciers were studied by Geological Survey of India in 1958 where in the advancing and retreating nature of the glacier was documented. A study conducted by Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also indicates surging/advancing nature of glaciers in Shyok Basin. However, reasons for the same could not be ascertained. 

The Minister said that the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) includes a National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system with a view, inter-alia, to strengthen the system for observing and monitoring the Himalayan glaciers. Besides, a research centre on Himalayan Glaciology has been established at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun to undertake comprehensive glacier research in the country. 

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