Glacial melting fast in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region

Glaciers in the Himalaya are already known to be melting and a new study has found that glaciers in the regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are melting at a significant rate.

The study is claimed to be e first of its kind said to be first of its kind that used satellite data that looked into 1,200 glaciers in the Himalayan region. The report in the Scientific Reports said that they came across an annual reduction in mass of 35 centimetres on average between 2000 and 2012. The researchers studied 12,243 glaciers, especially studied its thickness and mass changes.

The researchers were quoted in the media as saying that the glaciers in the Pir Panjal range are melting at the higher rate. They melted at more than one metre per year. The glaciers in Karakoram range melted relatively at a slower rate. They melted at about ten cms per year.

The glaciers in others ranges such as the Greater Himalayan range, Shamabari range, Leh ranges and Zanaskar range were melting but at a slower rate.

They said that the data from two satellite observations made in 2000 by NASA and in 2012 by German space agency DLR was used for the study. They also said that such satellite data was not available after 2012 and as such it was the first of its kind study of the region.

The scientists said that glacier melting was a continuous process and the shrinkage in their area was estimated routinely. However, the thickness and mass changes are not possible always because of lack of satellite data.

They said that they found that region lost about 70.32 gigatonne of glacier mass in a decade.

The scientists noted that melting of the glaciers in the region was going to have serious impact on the water, food and energy security in the South Asian region. They noted that increasing temperatures and decreasing snow precipitation are the main drivers of glacial melt in the Himalayan region.


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