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Glaciers in Himalayas melting rapidly in some regions

Washington, Sep 15 (): Glaciers in the central and eastern regions of Himalayas seem to be disappearing at shocking rates, while the glaciers in western regions are stable and might even be increasing, says a latest report.

A report from National Research Council observes how alterations to the glaciers that covers eight Asian countries in the regions of Hindu Kush-Himalayas, could affect that region’s water supplies, river systems and the people in South Asia. This new question of water supply in future in these regions is of profound importance.

The mountains in that region are the source of some main river systems that includes the Ganges, Yangtze, Yellow river and Mekong, which are the sources of irrigation supplies and drinking water for nearly 1.5 billion people.

The Himalayan climate is totally changing, how this variation will impact particular places remains unknown, the committee involved in writing the report, stated. Eastern Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau are warming; this trend is pronounced more at greater elevations.

Study model suggests that black carbon, one of the components of soot and desert dust, could contribute to fast atmospheric warming, glacier retreat and quickened snowpack melting.

While the melting of glaciers contribute water to streams and rivers of the region, disappearing glaciers in the next few decades are likely to cause major changes in availability of water at lower areas, which primarily depend on snow melting and monsoon precipitation.

Water supply variations in these areas are expected to be seen from the extensive extraction of water from groundwater resources, growth in population, and changes in water-use.

Finally the statement said many basins in these regions are ‘water-stressed’ owing to both environmental factors and social changes, and the stress is expected to intensify. The report answered questions and laid out potential solutions to the water problems in India and it warned probable long-term risks related with climatic warming of the region.