“That the Himalayan glaciers are melting rapidly is known. But what is unnerving is that the rate of their erosion has doubled in recent years. This latest revelation calls for focused strategies to tackle its causes and consequences. ” Comment. (250 Words)

Mentors Comment:
Begin with facts of climate changing around the Himalayan glaciers.
Then, explain the melting of Himalayan glaciers, and that Himalayas are losing 8 billion tonnes of frozen water annually. Then explain how these revelation calls for focused strategies to tackle its causes and consequences. The Himalayan snow deposits, the lifeline of the rivers emanating from this mountain chain, are critical to meet the water needs of millions of people in India and other Asian countries, particularly during the pre-monsoon summer months.
Conclude with way forward.

Answer:

The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east. According to ICIMOD report, 70–80% of the region’s original habitat has already been lost and that loss may increase to 80–87% by 2100. Two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers, the world’s “Third Pole”, could melt by 2100 if global emissions are not reduced.

Importance of Himalayan Glaciers:
The Himalayan snow deposits, the lifeline of the rivers emanating from this mountain chain.
It is critical to meet the water needs of millions of people in India and other Asian countries.
The Himalayan altitude and snow have been protecting India from outside invaders since the early times thus serving as a defence barrier.
By virtue of their scenic beauty, they have developed a large number of tourist spots.

Causes for melting glaciers:

Global warming as the most dominant cause for snow decay.
It also adds that the rampant environmental pollution in the plains along the Himalayan hills as also a cause.
The air pollutants, such as black soot (carbon) and dust, which find their way to the glacial ice, absorb heat from the sun and hasten snow melting.
Human activities like burning of fossil fuels, oil and gas drilling, deforestation, increasing land use in mountain regions, etc. are responsible for increasing rate of melting of these glaciers. Carbon dioxide and various Greenhouse gases emissions have caused temperature to rise even in poles.

The consequences of melting glaciers are:
It has ramifications for the global climate. This region is a heat source in summer and a heat sink in winter.
Along with the Tibetan Plateau, this influences the Indian summer monsoon.
So, any changes in this region would have a bearing on the monsoon itself that already shows signs of changes in spread and distribution.
It could trigger a multitude of biophysical and socio-economic impacts, such as biodiversity loss, increased glacial melting, and less predictable water availability—all of which will impact livelihoods and well-being in the HKH.
Faster snow and glacier melting due to warming is already manifesting in formation of glacial lakes.
Glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) are becoming frequent and causing huge casualties and loss to local infrastructures.
Glaciers in HKH have been retreating faster, and consistently causing greater water flows in rivers. In Tibetan Plateau, river run off has increased by 5.5 per cent.
Most of the lakes in high altitudes have also reported water level rise by 0.2 m/year besides their surface areas expanding.
ICIMOD report paints a bleak picture for the future of a region that is the source of Asia’s 10 major rivers and provides water, food, energy and carbon storage for almost two billion people.
Biodiversity is in steep decline driven by human development, pollution, overexploitation of resources and climate change. Example: Urbanization is on rise in many of the HKH countries.
With the growing impacts of climate change, along with new infrastructure development, trade routes and hydropower dams planned for the fragile region, the effects on the biodiversity is set to worsen further.
Along with species loss this will mean the loss of the key environmental services the region provides – such as water and carbon storage – to the rest of Asia.
Hydropower is a big threat, with over 550 large projects in existence or under construction. Example: The dams constructed and diversions of Amu-Darya and Syr Darya have now almost stopped feeding the Aral Sea.
Many of these areas are remote and authorities have little control over border regions sometimes plagued with ongoing conflict. Example: Indo-Burma hotspot.

Way forward:

To stop this temperature rise and to cool the planet, slowing down greenhouse gas emissions won’t be enough. Current conditions will have to reversed, which will be the greatest challenge for the human race in the coming years.
Better for all of us to accelerate to net zero as a matter of the highest priority. Net zero means the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere is no more than the amount taken out.
Governments must focus on creating enabling environments and institutions that empower mountain people to share in the regional and global achievements and benefits of inclusive growth and sustainable development.

Even 1 degree rise in global earth temperature is alarming because it takes a lot of heat to do so. Various impacts of climate change today are being seen and faced on earth like melting of glaciers, uneven extreme climate events, loss of habitats of various species, etc. It is very important thus, to control any further increase in temperature through environmental treaties and efforts by all the nations on planet Earth.

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Lubna Pathan
Lubna Pathan
3 years ago

Himalaya glaciers rapidly melt every year 0.5 km Himalaya shrinks. At previous years glaciers also melt but at now the speed of melting is double.

The reason behind melting of glaciers is only and only climate changing at that region. The climate changing effect is because global warming effect ; as rise in earth tempreture ; pollution in environment ; ozon layer distraction ; chemical plants and industries their fumes , these all cause change in climate .

These climate change results in melting of ice all around world but it affects more in India because the Himalaya water full fill requirements of 10 million people.
Here 800 billion tone water losing seen because of ice melting. It also lead to other natural daister effect like cyclones which increase from past few years.

It will also hazardous animal and birds leavse in Himalaya region they are also dying , nature destroyment occur

The quality of Himalaya water also reduce . It become more contaminated as prenaturaly melting of it occur.

Seasons become unpredictable early summer starts because of it.

If we want to come out this situation we have to reduce green house effect , controlling air pollution and factors which will lead increase in Tempreture.

This is done by Increase work area in Forest devlopment , planting more tresses , try to cool Himalaya region by less industrial devlopment at that region , proper removal of weast of chemicals and all.

Because we have to save water and earth , as many millions poeple depend on it.

Lubna Pathan
Lubna Pathan
3 years ago
Reply to  Lubna Pathan

Please it’s my 1st answer writing so correct me and require point also tell me