Scientists confirm glacial melting

2011-12-05 14:01

Kathmandu - Millions of people are under threat from melting of Himalayan glaciers, according to scientists carrying out the most comprehensive ever assessment of climate change in the region.

The findings, published in three reports by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod), show Nepal's glaciers have shrunk by 21% and Bhutan's by 22% over 30 years.

The reports, launched on Sunday at the UN climate talks in Durban provide the first authoritative confirmation of the extent of Himalayan glacial melting.

They follow a discredited announcement by scientists in 2007 that the region's glaciers would be gone by 2035.

A three-year Sweden-funded research project led by Icimod showed 10 glaciers surveyed in the region all are shrinking, with a marked acceleration in loss of ice between 2002 and 2005.

Another study found a significant reduction in snow cover across the region in the last decade.

"These reports provide a new baseline and location-specific information for understanding climate change in one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world," Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said.

"They substantially deepen our understanding of this region... while also pointing to the knowledge gaps yet to be filled and actions that must be taken to deal with the challenge of climate change."

Scientists said the effects of climate change in the Himalayas could be devastating, as the region provides food and energy for 1.3 billion people living in downstream river basins.

  • jay035 - 2011-12-05 14:49

    we have known this for ten years now, but alas its too late china and the US are refusing to commit to any treaties that aim to reduce global warming and save our planet,,the problem with countries that are run by businessman not politicians is that financial trumps all and becomes the innocent people will die to further corporate greed.."on that hippie tip"

      JohnnyBGood - 2011-12-05 15:19

      There are photos on the matter in the book by Bear Grylls, if I am not mistaken, which show the decline. Like you say, too late. It really amazed me that the 'gurus' needs more info, facts, photos... "bleugh" to the whole lot.

  • estee.mente - 2011-12-05 14:51

    Humans will always adapt, we've been adapting for millions of years, let the damn ice melt once and for all, it will only make headlines for a couple of weeks and it'll be business as usual after that....we're humans, we adapt

      Deon - 2011-12-05 15:07

      I agree, adapt or die. The only real constant in life is change.

      Trevor - 2011-12-05 15:23

      @ estee and deon , from here on to be refered to as Morons ! you have no idea of the scope of the UN-natural disater that is coming our way> must be nice to live in lala land !

  • Hallo - 2011-12-05 15:10

    Thanks Captain Obvious

      Trevor - 2011-12-05 15:29

      you will be suprised by the ammount of id10t's dont see this as obvious ! very sad indeed !

  • yolijvv - 2011-12-05 15:29

    they should send teams out, excavate the glaciers and take the water to countries that have drought. problem solved.

  • Peter - 2011-12-05 16:56

    This is hectic scary.There must be a plan.!!!

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