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| Last Updated:19/09/2020

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Reduce carbon emissions to save glaciers: Experts

 Eminent scientists and experts engaged in study of Himalayan glaciology have stressed the need for reduction in carbon emissions and more inter-disciplinary and collaborative approach on a large scale to study the receding glaciers that feed all main rivers.


More than 100 scientists and experts from premiere institutes across the country, who are closely monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, shared their observations at a two-day national conference on “Himalayan Glaciology”, organised by the State Council for Science Technology and Environment, which began here today.


Tarun Sridhar, Principal Secretary, Forests and Environment, and Prof Anil Kulkarni, chairman of the Project Advisory Committee on Himalayan Glaciology delivered the keynote address.


Even as scientists from premiere institutes made presentations about the potential fallout of 10,000 fast melting glaciers in the Himalayan, Sridhar stressed the need for presenting data and statistics which could be comprehended easily by laypersons and policy-makers for effective use to arrest glacial melting. “We certainly need better water management and for this we need to undertake studies of Himalayan glaciers which are inter-disciplinary and collaborative,” Sridhar said. Sridhar said there should be constant data sharing as issues like climate change and global warming were not bound by physical or administrative boundaries.


Prof Kulkarni said, “We all know the area of glaciers, but we do not know their depth. We are soon going to launch a new technique, which makes it possible for us to find out the depth of a glacier and the water in it.”


“It is a challenging time because of the fact that there is a lot of burning of bio-mass, which has enhanced black carbon deposition on glaciers, leading to their faster melting,” he said.


He also stressed the need for identification of areas where there was potential for lake formation due to glacial melting in near future. He said the government was pumping in a lot of money to ensure that there were studies on global warming and glacial melting as there was a lot of interest in the international community on the issue. He added barring the glaciers in Karakoram and Arunachal Pradesh, most of the glaciers were being monitored.


Dr IM Bahuguna from the Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, highlighted the role of space-based inputs for monitoring Himalayan cryosphere. He said most of the Himalayan glaciers were witnessing enormous changes whether it was in the Karakoram Ranges or other places.


Scientists from institutes like geological Survey of India, Lucknow, Indian Institute of Science, Ahmedabad, Space Application Centre Ahmedabad, Wadi Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, JNU Delhi, IIT-Mumbai, Kashmir University, Srinagar, and Garhwal University, Srinagar, were present at the conference.