From: Smriti Mallapaty, SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published October 17, 2012 04:37 PM

Himalayan glaciers debate: melting or growing?

Satellite images are making the fate of the Himalayan glaciers clearer, but not that of the people who live downstream, finds Smriti Mallapaty. Satellite observations are providing a clearer picture of changes in the glaciers on the world's tallest mountain range — but there's still not enough information to answer a vital question: how will the changes affect the lives of about 1.3 billion people in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan?

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Running 2,000 kilometres from east to west, the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya (HKKH) region contains an estimated 60,000 square kilometers of glacier and surface ice, often called the Third Pole.

Himalayan glaciers have been the focus of fierce international debate since 2009 when it emerged that the 2007 report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — the reports of which form the basis of international negotiations on slowing and tackling human-induced climate change — had erroneously stated that the glaciers could disappear by 2035 as a result of global warming.

Article continues at Himalayas.

Mountain image via Wikipedia.

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