Himalayan lakes are exacerbating glacial melt

phys.org | 10/7/2019 | Staff
emiliaemilia (Posted by) Level 3
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The rate glaciers are melting in the Himalaya is being significantly accelerated by lakes already formed by glacial retreat, new research led by the University of St Andrews has found.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, concluded that the glaciers which have flowed into the lakes in recent decades are retreating and thinning at a much greater rate than any other glaciers in the Himalaya.

Glaciers - Percent - Ice - Loss - Parts

These glaciers are responsible for as much as 30 percent of the ice loss in different parts of the mountain range, despite comprising just 10 to 15 percent of the total glacier population.

The behavior of glaciers provides the clearest indication of climatic change in high mountain regions. Long-term atmospheric warming has caused the recession of glaciers across the Himalaya.

Meltwater - Glaciers - Region - Flow - River

Meltwater from glaciers in this region sustains the flow of river systems on which hundreds of millions of people depend for their basic needs.

Not all the meltwater instantly drains to downstream catchments and thousands of glacial lakes have developed and continue to expand high in the Himalaya. Until this study, the influence of glacial lakes on glacier behavior has not been thoroughly investigated in the Himalaya, despite the rapid increase in lake...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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