Researchers Warn That Himalayan Glaciers Are Melting at Exceptional Rate
“While we must act urgently to reduce and mitigate the impact of human-made climate change on the glaciers and meltwater-fed rivers, the modeling of that impact on glaciers must also take account of the role of factors such as lakes and debris.”
Co-author Dr. Simon Cook, Senior Lecturer in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Dundee, said: “People in the region are already seeing changes that are beyond anything witnessed for centuries. This research is just the latest confirmation that those changes are accelerating and that they will have a significant impact on entire nations and regions.”
The Importance of Glaciers
Glacial ice accounts for about 75% of the world’s freshwater, and millions rely on it for drinking water. Other than that, glaciers provide resources for different aspects of life, including:
- Irrigating crops: India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have relied on melting glaciers to irrigate their crops for thousands of years. Many communities today still count on ice melt from glaciers for agriculture.
- Generating hydroelectric power: Scientists and engineers in Norway, central Europe, Canada, New Zealand, and South America have collaborated to create electricity from damming glacial meltwater. However, it’s unclear how reliable it will be to power hydroelectric power dams with glacial runoff due to climate change.
Final Thoughts on Study Showing the Alarming Melting of Himalayan Glaciers
Due to climate change, the Himalayan glaciers have started disappearing at great rates. In fact, over the last several decades, they’ve retreated ten times more quickly than average. Warmer air temperatures and less active monsoon seasons have significantly contributed to the accelerating ice melt. With all this evidence at our fingertips, it’s clear that we’ve caused the climate to change at an alarming rate. Hopefully, we can reverse many of these changes with clean energy, lower consumption, and a better relationship with Mother Earth.