Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Indian glaciers melting at 5 to 20 meter rate annually

Indian glaciers are melting at a rate of 5 to 20 meters annually, the country's government has said.

"The studies carried out by the state-owned Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other institutions have revealed that majority of the glaciers are retreating at varying rates from 5-20 meter per year," Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave told the Parliament Tuesday.

However, he said that the rate of retreat is "not uniform" for all glaciers. "Gangotri, which is one of the largest glaciers of the northern state of Uttarkahand, and Satopanth glacier (14 km) are retreating, but not at an alarming rate."

Experts blame climate change for the melting of glaciers, mostly in the pristine Himalayan region that relies heavily on its more than 100 glaciers for water. At least two major glaciers have gone completely in the past 50 years, according to a study by an Indian scientist.

But the Indian government has ruled out seeking foreign aid for studies in the region. "There is no proposal with the government to seek foreign assistance for research on climate change in Himalayan region," the Minister said.

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