Uttarakhand News

Glaciers in Uttarakhand more sensitive to climate change: Scientists

A joint scientific research conducted by scientists at Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) and IIT Kharagpur found out that the glaciers in Uttarakhand are more susceptible to climate change that those situated in Himachal Pradesh.  The glaciers in Himachal Pradesh (HP) are mainly situated at higher altitude and therefore receive less rainfall and sunshine while Uttarakhand glaciers receive more solar radiation in comparison.

Although Himachal Pradesh has almost twice the numbers of glaciers as compared to Uttarakhand, there are around 809 supra-glacial lakes in Uttarakhand as compared to 228 in Himachal Pradesh. The presence of so many glacial lakes in Uttarakhand is not a good sign as these are formed  on the surface of glaciers when the snow melts, indicating the effect of climate change.

Monsoons play a major role in the melting of glaciers in Uttarakhand which shrinks rapidly when rain hits the lower part of the glacier. On the other hand, Himachal Pradesh glaciers are situated in rain shadow areas. Moreover, HP receives snowfall due to western disturbance, while this not the case in Uttarakhand. According to the 2015 WIHG study, researchers identified 1,266 glacial lakes in the Uttarakhand, of which 329 were moraine-dammed.

Inputs from Hindustan Times