‘Glaciers melting due to weather variations’

Last Updated: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 14:00

New Delhi: Himalayan glaciers, including the
world`s highest battlefield Siachen, are melting due to
variations in weather and not because of global warming, Jammu
University scientists have claimed.

"The field studies from other glaciers in India also
corroborate the fact that inter and intra-annual variations in
weather parameters have more impact on the glaciers of
northwest Himalayas, rather than any impact due to global
warming," they said.

Geologists RK Ganjoo and MN Koul of Jammu University`s
Regional Centre for Field Operations and Research of Himalayan
Glaciology visited the Siachen glacier to record changes in
its snout last summer.

"To our surprise, the Siachen glacier valley does not
preserve evidences of glaciation older than mid-Holocene,
suggesting that the glacier must have advanced and retreated
simultaneously several times in the geological past, resulting
in complete obliteration and modification of older evidences,"
they said reporting their findings in `Current Science`.

Ganjoo and Koul dubbed as "hype" some earlier studies
which suggested that the Himalayan glaciers were melting fast
and caused serious damage to the Himalayan ecosystem.

There is sufficient field and meteorological evidence
from the other side of Karakoram mountains that corroborate
the fact that glaciers in this part of the world are not
affected by global warming, they said.

"Overwhelming field geomorphological evidences suggest
poor response of the Siachen glacier to global warming. The
snout of the Siachen glacier of 2008 has retreated by about
8-10 metres since 1995, making an average retreat of 0.6 metre
per year," the scientists said.

Ganjoo said that the east part of the Siachen glacier
showed faster withdrawal of the snout that is essentially due
to ice-calving, a phenomenon that holds true for almost all
major glaciers in the Himalayas and occurs irrespective of
global warming.

The west part of the Siachen has reduced due to the
action of melting water released from the retreated tributary
glacier, he said.

Ganjoo contended the Siachen glacier shows hardly any
retreat in its middle part and thus defies the "hype" of
rapid melting.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 14:00

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