HIMALAYAN GLACIERS ARE MELTING TWICE AS FAST SINCE 2000: STUDY
21, Jun 2019
Prelims level : Environment Climate Change and its Impacts Mains level : Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Comparing data obtained by Cold War• era spy satellites with images from modern stereo satellites have shown Himalayan glaciers are Melting.
- During cold war Spy satellite war deployed by US, this satellite took images across the globe, now this image are compared to new images and global warming impact is studied.
- US spy programme – code named Hexagon – launched 20 satellites into orbit to secretly photograph the Earth.
- The research is published in the journal Science Advances.
- Annual mass losses suggest that of the total ice mass present in 1975, about 87% remained in 2000 and 72% remained in 2016.
- Similar mass loss rates across sub regions and a doubling of the average rate of loss during 2000– 2016 relative to the 1975– 2000 interval.
- The study goes on to assert that rising temperatures are responsible for the accelerating loss.
- The study rules out other causes for glacier changes, such as the deposition of soot on snow and ice and changing precipitation patterns.