Himalayan glaciers lose weight to 20 centimeters per year, say scientists

Climate data from GRACE satellite showed that the ice cover is declining in the Himalayas at a height of 20 centimeters, and not on about the same level as previously thought, say climate scientists in a paper published in the journal Nature.

It is believed that climate change is largely manifested today in the reduction of glaciers in the polar regions and at high altitudes in other areas of the Earth. The ubiquity of this phenomenon is disputed by some climatologists. For example, in February 2012, U.S. researchers led by John Vara (John Wahr) from the University of Colorado said the volume and area of Himalayan glaciers is unchanged and not rapidly reduced, as previously thought.

Group of climate scientists led by Andres Kaaba (Andreas Kaab) from the University of Oslo (Norway) monitors the status of the Himalayan glaciers a long time. In April 2012 Ka'b and his colleagues led Gardel Julie (Julie Gardelle) from the University of Grenoble (France) found that glaciers in the Karakoram Mountains, in the north-west Himalayas, not losing, and gaining "a lot."

In the new work, scientists traced the changing balance of the Himalayan ice, and not one of them. To do this, climate scientists have analyzed the three-dimensional map of the mountains, for a U.S. space shuttle "Endeavour" in 2000 as part of mapping SRTM, and data collected by the satellite ICESat for 2003-2009.

Ka'b and his colleagues used the same methodology as in April 2012 — they were three-dimensional profiles of the glacier on the ICESat data and track changes in the volume and weight of the ice, "imposing" volume models to each other.

It turned out that the Himalayan glaciers lose mass more rapidly than the survey showed John Vara and his colleagues. According to the calculations of climate scientists, each year the Himalayan ice sheet loses 20 centimeters, or 210 pounds of ice per square meter. Thus, the Himalayas have lost up to 12 billion tons of ice per year over the last decade, which is about two times larger than the data that is gathered February article.

Least "lose weight" Karakoram mountains that lose the minimum amount of ice or gaining height. On the other hand, the Himalayas in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered the most — the glaciers in the area are losing about 66 centimeters in height per year.

According to the calculations of climate scientists, much of the melt water gets into the Ganges and Indus — its volume is approximately 2-3.5% of the annual flow of the major rivers in the Indian Ocean. Such a large volume of water can explain why the real and the theoretical amount of precipitation in the northern parts of India do not coincide with each other.

Source: ria.ru.

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