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Monitoring Himalayan cryosphere using remote sensing techniques

Kulkarni, Anil V (2010) Monitoring Himalayan cryosphere using remote sensing techniques. In: Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, 90 (1).

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In the Himalayas, large area is covered by glaciers, seasonal snow and changes in its extent can influence availability of water in the Himalayan Rivers. In this paper, changes in glacial extent, glacial mass balance and seasonal snow cover have been discussed. Field and satellite based investigations suggest, most of the Himalayan glaciers are retreating though the rate of retreat is varying from glacier to glacier, ranging from few meters to almost 50 meters per year, depending upon the numerous glacial, terrain and meteorological parameters. Retreat was estimated for 1868 glaciers in eleven basins distributed across the Indian Himalaya since 1962 to 2001/02. Estimates show an overall reduction in glacier area from 6332 to 5329 sq km, an overall deglaciation of 16 percent.Snow line at the end of ablation season on the Chhota Shigri glacier suggests a change in altitude from 4900 to 5200 m from late 1970’s to the present. Seasonal snow cover monitoring of the Himalaya has shown large amounts of snow cover depletion in early part of winter, i.e. from October to December. For many basins located in lower altitude and in south of Pir Panjal range, snow ablation was observed through out the winter season. In addition, average stream runoff of the Baspa basin during the month of December shows an increase by 75 per cent. This combination of glacial retreat, negative mass balance, early melting of seasonal snow cover and winter time increase in stream runoff suggest an influence of climate change on the Himalayan cryosphere.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of the Indian Institute of Science
Publisher: The Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to The Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 09:33
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2012 09:33
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/43268

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