Himalaya glaciers gradually fragmenting

Lake Imja Tsho, south of Mount Everest in Nepal Photograph: AFP
Lake Imja Tsho, south of Mount Everest in Nepal Photograph: AFP

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Himalaya glaciers have been gradually fragmented. The number of Himalaya glaciers has increased to 3,080 in 2010 from 3,430 in 1980 due to fragmentation caused by global warming. According to the report “Status and Decadal Glacier Change from 1980s to 2010 in Nepal based on Satellite Data”, the ice level contained by Himalaya glaciers have also depleted to around 312.4 cubic metres of ice in 2010 from 441.36 cubic metres in 1980. The report was released on the occasion of second international conference on ‘Cryosphere of the Hindu Kush Himalayas: State of Knowledge’ organised by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). The 100-page research report provides an analysis of four decades of glacier data from Nepal. In addition, ICIMOD released four decades of glacier data from Bhutan, as well as current data on the glaciers of five river basins (Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Irrawaddy) of the HKH region, according to ICIMOD. The report was released in the concluding ceremony of a three-day international conference which concluded Friday. The conference brought together national, regional and international institutions on a common platform for sharing knowledge of the cryosphere, including on topics related to snow, glaciers, permafrost, glacio-hydrological monitoring, and mass balance. More than 140 experts, researchers, scientists, academics and professionals from around the world attended the event. The conference helped promote knowledge sharing and strengthen the cryospheric network for monitoring and understanding the cryosphere of the HKH region. “Forty research papers were discussed during the event, covering topics such as glacier mass balance measurements, satellite-based mapping of snow, ice and permafrost extent in the HKH region, glacio-hydrological measurements, and knowledge and modeling in the region”, ICIMOD states.

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