In the news item ‘Before your very ice: glacial evidence of global warming’, the news organization ‘The National’ based in UAE reported that the Rathong glacier in West Sikkim reveals further signs of deterioration.
Its foreign correspondent Hannah Gardner who visited the Rathong glacier recently along with New Delhi based Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) glaciologist Shresth Tayal works as a glaciologist reported that evidence collected at Rathong glacier is one thing: that climate change is causing the Himalayan glaciers – the largest store of fresh water in the world after the polar ice caps – to disappear.
Tayal’s claims are backed up by a wealth of anecdotal evidence, old maps and photographs, and occasional, but un-coordinated, scientific studies, The National reported.
“The United Nations’ Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change predicted in 2007 that the glaciers, which feed the great rivers of Asia, would dry up by 2035, leading to famine, disease, water wars and the displacement of millions of people.
Surprisingly, given their importance, there is still very little scientific proof about how climate change is affecting the 15,000-plus glaciers that dot the 2,414km line of the Himalayas”, the report further states.
This has allowed some people – including, as of last month, India’s environment ministry – to deny that the glaciers are receding abnormally fast, thus undermining calls for India and China to take stronger action on emissions.
The MoEF document had strongly rejected that the glacier meltdown is related with climate changing adding that glacier degeneration in Sikkim is the lowest..
Supplementing the MoEF findings, the State Glacier Commission member Milap Chand Sharma had stated that has been no significant decrease in glaciers in Sikkim due to global warming and climate change. There will be no decrease in the accumulation of snow / ice reserves in the glaciers of Sikkim in the near future due to precipitation in Sikkim throughout the year, he had said.
The MoEF and Sikkim Glacier Commission’s claims and the TERI findings on the health of glaciers of Sikkim has now become a debatable matter and full picture will emerge only after the commission tabled its full report to the State government.
It is also informed TERI has launched a project to gather the systematic data needed to prove that the glaciers are in danger. Under the plan, the institute is installing hi-technology monitors, including a weather station, a black carbon meter and a state-of-the-art global positioning system, on three glaciers spaced out along the breadth of the Indian Himalayas.
Their hope is that within two years, the sensors will have gathered enough information to establish a clear link between human activity and glacial retreat, it is reported. source: www.voiceofsikkim.com