Himalayan glaciers 'melting away'

Glaciers in the Himalayas are at risk of disappearing by the year 2035, according to Ajit Tyagi, Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Glaciers in the Himalayas are at risk of disappearing by the year 2035, according to Ajit Tyagi, Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department.

Studies have shown evidence of an accelerated rate of glacier-melt at the roof of the world. One example is Kolhai glacier in Kashmir, one of the largest glaciers in the Himalayas.

According to Muneer Ahmad of the National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad, India, the nose of this glacier receded by nearly 22 metres in 2007, while several smaller examples have disappeared completely.

Experts believe that global warming does seem a likely culprit, particularly given the extent of the infamous ’Atmospheric Brown Clouds’, three of which are suspended across Asia. These are clouds of pollutants up to three kilometres (1.8 miles) thick which have a complex effect on the atmosphere, alternately masking and magnifying climate change.

As the clouds drift across the continent they deposit particles of soot. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports that black soot has been noted around the base of Mount Everest at concentrations more typical of cities. Darker surfaces absorb more light and heat, and this might be one cause of the glacial melting.

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