Glaciers in the Himalayas shrink by 3.9 lakh hectares in 40 years, research reveals

Pankaj Prasad

Glaciers are melting rapidly due to global warming.

In the Himalayas, glaciers have shrunk from an area of ​​3.9 lakh hectares in 40 years due to increasing global warming due to dissolving pollution in the environment. Glaciers are melting rapidly due to global warming. Especially its effect is being seen more on small glaciers. Till four decades ago, the area of ​​glacier in the Himalayan range was 3 million hectares. This was disclosed by Dr. Anurag, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science at the Central University of Dharamsala, who has been researching glaciers in Himachal Pradesh since 2002.

Dr. Anurag, who did his PhD on the Chhota Shigdi Glacier from JNU, said that the impact of global warming is more on small glaciers spread over an area of ​​less than two square kilometers. These glaciers are breaking down and melting rapidly. He told that there are about 9,575 glaciers in the entire Himalayas from Sikkim to Kashmir. All glaciers are showing negative fluid balance due to global warming, due to which they are melting more. Due to this their area is decreasing. Chamba district in Himachal has up to 90 per cent small glaciers, while the tribal districts of Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur also have 50-50 small glaciers. 

Glaciers are found only in the Himalayan regions in India 

Glaciers are found only in the Himalayan regions in India. These glaciers are in Sikkim in the east, Himachal and Uttarakhand in the middle and Kashmir in the west.  

The need to focus on sustainable development 

Dr. Anurag, who has done PhD on glaciers, said that to save the glaciers, we need to focus on sustainable development. Emphasis will have to be given on driving electric vehicles instead of petrol-diesel-powered vehicles, stopping felling of trees from forests, preventing forest fires, stopping smoke and pollution from industries and planting trees. 

90% of glacier water going into rivers and streams

In the Himalayan region, the water of most of the glaciers goes only in the rivers and streams. In Lahaul, 90 percent of the water is going into drains apart from Chandra and Bhaga rivers. However, due to the geographical conditions, lakes are formed in many places due to the melting of glaciers in March-April, which is the law of nature.