Climate change Impact on Himalayan Glaciers

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  • 1. GREEN HOUSE EFFECT / GLOBAL WARMING RESPONSE TO HIMALAYAN GLACIERS & RIVERS Yogesh R. Kulkarni M.Sc. II
  • 2. Global warming
    • Global warming - a gradual increase in planet-wide temperatures.
    • The warming and cooling phases are common in the history of earth.
    Global temp.anomaly from 1884 to 2006 . Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C during the last century. (source: IPCC)
    • latest IPCC report indicate that the global surface temperature will probably rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C during the twenty-first century.
  • 3. The recent Green house effect mostly due to the anthropogenic activities. The excessive emission of green house gases such CO2,SO2, CFC, Methane etc. Green House effect
  • 4.
    • Second largest body of ice in the world.
    • covering 17% of the mountain area.
    • In total Himalayan region, the glacial cover is about 1,12,767 sq. km.
    • In case of Himalayan ranges it encompasses about 18,067 glaciers with area of 35,110 sq. km of glacier, which store about 12,000 km3 of freshwater.
    • The higher regions of the Himalayas are snowbound throughout the year in spite of their proximity to the tropics .
    Map of Himalaya Satellite image of Himalayan Glaciers Himalayan Glaciers
  • 5. Major glaciers & rivers in Himalayan ranges
    • Siachen Glacier
    • Baltoro Glacier
    • Biafo Glacier
    • Gangotri Glacier
    • Yamunotri Glacier
    • Nubra Glacier
    • Hispur Glacier
    • The Brahmaputra river
    • The Ganga river
    • The Indus river
    • The chenab river
    • The Ravi river
    • The Sutlej river
    There is a dynamic interrelation between glaciers & rivers. Any change in climate of Himalayan region simultaneously affect on both glaciers and rivers.
  • 6. Impact of Global warming on Himalayan Glaciers Satellite image of Gangotri glacier & Snout position from 1780 to 2004
    • Glacial retreat: The Himalayan glaciers that are the sources of Asia's biggest rivers could disappear by 2035 if the temperatures rise continued with present day.
    • In India, the Gangotri glacier, which supports one of India's largest river basins, is receding at an average rate of 23 meters per year. experts predict that the Ganges eventually will become a seasonal river, largely dependent on monsoon rains.
    • Glacier shows the appearance of surging and calving.
    • Melting glaciers moves 100 times faster than normal rate.
    • Change in Albedo effect .
    • Change in Mass- Balance.
    AX010 Glacier, Shorong Himal, Nepal.
  • 7. Glacial Lake Formation & risk of G.L.O.F. (Glacial lake outburst flood): Melted glaciers increase in water level of lake. Formation of lake.
    • Reactivation of thrusts.
    • Landslides due to frost heave .
    • Change in topography.
    Retreat of the greater Himalayan glaciers compared to the global average (Erikson2009).
  • 8. Summer Rupper, professor of geology at Brigham Young University in the United States, reports in the September issue of Quaternary Research that a small group of Himalayan glaciers grew by several kilometers 9,000 years ago. Some abnormal behavior
    • The warming causes shifting in climate pattern.
    • Resulting in Increasing precipitation.
    • More cloud & subsequently snow formation.
    • Decrease in temperature.
  • 9.
    • Changes in runoff:-
    Increasing runoff: Floods, rapid melting leads to flash floods. Impact on Himalayan Rivers: Decreasing runoff: Water stress, drought after the flood. The Ganga, Indus, Brahmaputra and other rivers in northern India becoming seasonal rivers (IPCC 2007). Change in river morphology: River channels, terraces, drainage pattern etc.
  • 10. Sediment load in Kosi river, Bihar Increase in sediment load in rivers Due to glacial melting : Sediment deposition in Indus fan & Bengal fan
    • Change in course of rivers.
    • Failure of reservoirs.
    • Local subsidence & earthquake due to isostatic disequilibrium
    Glacier melting in Himalayas may bring devastating floods in north Bihar plains of India. (Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi July 17, 2009)
  • 11. THE COUNTRIES AT RISK
    • India , Pakistan , Afghanistan ,
    • The Central Asian Republics , China ,
    • Burma/Myanmar , Bangladesh ,
    • Nepal , Bhutan.
  • 12. Other impacts associated with Himalayan rivers and glaciers
    • Rise in Sea Level.
    • Change in ecosystem.
    • Major impact on habitat on humans & other biota .
    • Impact on water & agriculture.
    • Change in salinity of Ocean water .
  • 13. Thank you. So save the Glaciers….