65 percent Himalayan glaciers melting: Scientist

July 19th, 2011 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) In a startling comparison between the state of glaciers in the Himalayan ranges in the last 50 years, glaciologists say nearly 65 percent glaciers are melting due to global warming.

“Almost 65 percent of the glaciers are depleting in the Himalayan region in a comparison between 1955 and 2007. There are many recently formed lakes in the region, resulting to changing weather pattern,” said scientist Alton Byer, who is studying melting glaciers, in a documentary screened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) here Tuesday.

The film examines the shrinking glaciers of the Himalayas and the effects they have on the lives and livelihood of people in Asia.

Glaciologists from the Mountain Studies Institute and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) have stated the ice melting poses a huge risk of disasters in the regions surrounding the mountain range.

“There is a huge risk of avalanches and high magnitude earthquakes in the region. The meltdown poses threat to millions across Asia,” said Byer in the documentary.

The UNDP also awarded Chhewang Norphel, popularly known as the ‘Ice Man’ of Leh, for preventing glacier melting in the Leh mountains.

Norphel, chief project officer of the Leh Nutrition Project, brought hope to thousands of farmers in the Ladakh region through his innovative idea of building artificial glaciers that store melting glacial water and help irrigate land in the region.

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