Himalaya | Seeking a Coordinated Approach in Glacier Research
"The 2400 km long arcuate Himalaya-Hindu Kush mountain range supports largest accumulation of snow and ice following the Polar regions of Arctic and Antarctic and Greenland. Apart from the several peaks that attain more than 8000 m heights above mean sea level, the Himalaya also brings to life many major rivers that support ~1.3 billion people in one of the most densely populated regions of the world. Researchers have attempted to understand the feedback mechanism between climate forcing and glacier response by mapping of glacier characteristics such as their distribution pattern, changes in their length and thickness, mass-balance, basement topography etc. It has been established that adjoining glaciers can display dissimilar behaviour even in similar regional climatic settings due to varying geometry, bedrock topography or debris cover, thus necessitating their long term monitoring to arrive at a conclusion regarding their dynamics (Parmanand Sharma et al, 2016). Bahuguna (2017) drawing greatly from IRS LISS IV image has depicted the morphological characteristics of a glacier from Zanskar Basin such as, accumulation and ablation zones, snout, snow line, moraines and tributary glacier joining the main trunk glacier (Fig. 1). Recognition of the changes in these surface mo
Himalaya has been warming at a rate much higher than the global average. The results of studies on the glaciers of three basins - Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra conducted over three decades are discussed.