LONDON: Scientists at the University of Leeds, UK, say the Himalayan glaciers are melting at an unusually fast rate and their area has shrunk by 8,400 square kilometers in just a few decades.
In a study published in the latest issue of the online research journal ‘Scientific Reports, Dr. Jonathan Kerrywick and his colleagues fear that if the Himalayan glaciers continue to melt at this rate, it may exceed our estimates. The first will end and millions of people in South Asia will face the worst water scarcity.
They collected photographs and other detailed information about the 14,798 Himalayan glaciers from various sources, covering their history and geography.
Analysis of these data shows that until about 400 years ago, the total area of Himalayan glaciers was 28,000 sq km, which has gradually decreased by 40% in the last two centuries to 19,600 sq km.
The rate of melting of Himalayan avalanches has increased over the last hundred years, while in the last few decades this melting has accelerated to alarming levels, the only possible reason being human activity and the dramatic increase in pollution.
Considering the size of the Himalayan glaciers, Dr. Jonathan and his colleagues estimate that in the last 30-40 years, the glaciers have shrunk from 390 cubic kilometers to 586 cubic kilometers, causing sea levels to rise by about one millimeter. Is done
It should be noted that the vast glaciers in the northern strip of South Asia have so much ice that they are collectively referred to as the “third pole”.
Most of the major rivers in South Asia, including the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra, depend on the seasonal melting of these glaciers.
If these glaciers disappear, there could be a catastrophic catastrophe in the subcontinent, apart from the worst water crisis, which is probably impossible for us to imagine today.
Experts have been warning of the rapid disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers for the past several years and dozens of investigations have been published in this regard. New research from the University of Leeds is a link in the same chain.