Himalayan Glacier Melting Faster than Expected – Research Proved


Himalaya Glaciers in Nepal are melting faster than expected according to a research carried out at Khumbu Glacier. The minimum temperature of the coldest glacier ice of Nepal has been measured to be only -3.3 degree Celsius. The latest research has concluded that the temperature of the most frigid ice deep inside the glacier of Himalaya rose dramatically, which was previously believed to be at least up to -10 degree Celsius, was much higher than expected.

The two-year study (April 2016 to April 2018) based on “Hot Water Drilling Survey” conducted in a collaborative effort of Himalayan Research Center and the UK-based Leeds University has proved that the temperature of glacial ice is much warmer than we might anticipate for a glacier at the elevation over 5,000m. The scientific research has further concluded that the ice temperature of the glaciers in the Everest region was ranging from -1 to -3.3 degree Celsius.

Based on the findings of Everest Drill project, Mr. Duncan Quincey, a scientist from the University of Leeds, has reported having discovered warm ice in more than half of the ablated zone of the Khumbu Glacier. He added that about 56 percent of the ablation zone of Khumbu glacier consists of warm ice, and even the coldest ice was only 3.3°C lower than the melting point.

Mount Everest and mountain regions of Nepal being the highest geographical regions in world have tremendous ecological values. This Hindu Kush Himalayan region is responsible for fresh water source in Nepal, India and Bhutan. More than 1.4 billion people are dependent on Himalayas just for their daily drinking water from Asian rivers which are flowing from high Himalayan Glaciers in countries like Nepal.

This research has indicated that most of the ice in the glaciers was warmer than the air temperature. The floods and droughts are more likely to occur, and the growth of glacial lake along with its hazards, will accelerate in the coming decades. According to the scientists, some evidence suggested that the ice of the glacier was warming at the alarming rate of 0.5 degree Celsius every decade.

The study indicates that the glaciers located at the higher elevation of Nepal are vulnerable to slightest atmospheric warming and are extremely sensitive, especially to future climate change.

According to the geologist of Himalayan Research Center, Dr. Dhanjay Regmi, this was the first ever measurement of the ice temperatures in the mountainous region of Nepal. This sort of projects had so far been conducted only in Antarctica and the Arctic regions.

The total budget spending for the project is estimated to be around 30 million rupees in two years. In total, 30 scientists — 20 foreigners and 10 Nepali, participated in the research for measuring the temperature of the glacial ice.

An approach to keep Himalayas Clean

Extollo Adventures encourages action and awareness among travelers to protect the environment with sustainable practices to eliminate climate change. Also we constantly practice sustainable and Eco-friendly approaches while traveling in Himalayas to help protect the nature of Himalayas. All our field staffs are made aware of ecological importance of Himalayan Caps and Glaciers.

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