August 8, 2011
Analysis of two glaciers in Nepal, for the past 10 years, have revealed that they are shrinking in an alarming rate.
According to a research conducted by researchers from Japan’s Nagoya University, the Yala glacier of Langtang Himal and the AX010 glacier of Shorong Himal have shrunk annually by 0. 8 meters and 0.81 meters respectively in the 2000s. The rate of shrinkage was 0.68 and 0.72 meters per year in the time between 1970 and 1990.
Study of another glacier, Rikha Samba, glacier located in the Kaligandaki Hidden Valley however showed an opposite trend. The rate of shrinkage of Rikha Samba has increased from 0.57 meters per year between 1970 and 1990 to 0.48 meters per year in the 2000s.
Located at an altitudes of 5,400 meters and 5,200 meters respectively, the Yala glacier and AX010 glacier are considered to be at lower altitudes, when compared to other glaciers in the Himalaya. Rikha Samba is located at a slightly higher altitude of 5,700 meters, and has an arid environment. The researchers say that the humidity and elevation should have helped in the acceleration of the shrinkage of Yala and AX010 glaciers.
The research was published in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences, last week. (Photo of AX010 from – o3enzyme,