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| Last Updated:19/09/2020

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No impact on glaciers due to growth: Experts

 Glaciologists and scientists from different research institutions have exploded the myth that the country’s industrial and economic growth has impacted the Himalayan glaciers, as the developed world is using “receding glaciers” as a tool to browbeat India either to reverse its growth or import the expensive “green technology from the West”.

In a pilot project study sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), glaciologists, space scientists and environmental scientists have come up with a finding that 2,208 glaciers studied and monitored by them were steady for the past 10 years.

Dr Milap Chand Sharma, professor, Glaciology Geomorphology, Centre for Regional Development (CRD), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi, who hails from Lahaul-Spiti, said: “As many as 86 per cent glaciers, including those in Kashmir and Ladakh in Zanskar, Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Garhwal and Sikkim, are steady and have shown no signs of receding for the past 10 years.”

The study was conducted jointly by the CRD, JNU, Indian Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, GB Pant Institute for Himalayan Environment and Development, Garhwal, J&K universities, HP Council for Science, Technology from 2001 to 2012. It was published in Current Science in March 2014.

It concluded that the developed world was pushing its agenda though the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was forcing India to either import expensive “green technology” or "reverse development”.

Sharing the findings of the study with The Tribune, Dr Milap Chand, who was on his way to Lahaul-Spiti, said: “The study has ascertained that it is wrong to put the blame of climate change or global warming on India’s industrial and economic growth.”

"Even big glaciers such as Bara Shigri and Chhota Shigri and Gangotri glaciers have retreated marginally over the past 10 years. The Gangotri glacier has retreated by 740 m in the past 100 years. But it is a natural process and there is no alarm,” he said. Dr Milap was involved in the study of Kangla, Mayad, Bara Shighri, Chhota Shigri, Gangstang, Sonapani, Perad, Mulkila, Daka and Lady of Keylong glaciers in Lahual-Spiti.

“There is no significant sign of carbon footprints in the glaciers as these are out of human activity and even small glaciers have increased their size in many cases,” he said.