Global warming is real and has been affecting the water towers of Asia, the Himalayas. In one of the recent research study conducted by a group of scientists, it has been revealed that glaciers situated in Nanda Devi region in Central Himalayas have lost 10% of their glaciated area between 1980 to 2017. The study was published in Quaternary International, a global peer-reviewed journal. The study revealed that eight major glaciers in the Nanda Devi region have lost an area of 26 sq. km. between 1980 to 2017.

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has been designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2004. The world-famous Valley of Flowers is situated in the same region. As per UNESCO, the unique topography, climate, soil and biogeographical location of the Biosphere Reserve gives rise to diverse habitats, communities and ecosystems, and a large number of ecologically and economically important species.

The study was conducted by scientists Vinit Kumar, Tanuj Shukla, Manish Mehta, D.P Dobhal from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology along with Mahendra Pratap Singh from Uttarakhand Space Application Centre and Srikrishna Nautiyal from Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University.

The study examined eight glaciers – Changbang, Ramani, Barthartoli, North Nanda Devi, South Nanda Devi, Raunthi, South Rishi Bank and Trishul – situated in upper Rishi Ganga catchment in the Nanda Devi region. The study used satellite images for analysis and research. As per the study, the glaciers in the region have responded to deprived precipitation conditions since 1980. They have shrunken due to temperature increase in the region.

(By: Rishabh Shrivastava)

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