New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Climate change in the Himalayan region may have set off the glacial burst in Uttarakhand's Tibet bound district of Chamoli on Sunday morning, experts have said. The collapse had triggered flash floods in the Dhauli Ganga river, causing widespread devastation that left seven people dead and scores of others missing.  

The heat-island impact in the Himalayan region has accelerated over the years due to the incremental use of reinforced concrete cement structures replacing stone masonry and traditional wood.

Speaking to Times of India, Dr Anjal Prakash, Research Director and Adjunct Associate at the ISB Hyderabad said that prima facia, the glacier burst in Uttarakhand looks like a climate change event, when considered the alarming rate with which  that the Himalayan glaciers are melting due to the global warming. 

"The IPCC (Inter Governmental Panel Report for Climate Change) reports that the climate change has altered the frequency and magnitude of the natural hazards. The scientist reported with medium confidence that in some regions snow avalanches involving wet snow have increased while the rain on snow floods have also increased in lower elevations of spring. We do not have the data now to give you the information on what has caused the avalanche in Chamoli district but what we know, prima facia, is that this looks very much like a climate change event as glaciers are melting due to global warning," Anjal told the newspaper. 

Dr. Mohd Farooq Azam, and Assistant Professor at Glaciology and Hydrology in the IIT Indore said that erratic weather patterns like increased snowfall and rainfall has increased the thermal profile of ice in the Himalayan region.  

The Himalayan glaciers are melting at twice the rate since the start of the 21st century, losing over a foot and a half of ice each year, a study published in journal science advances in June 2019, has showed.

As part of the study, the researchers analysed 40 years of satellite images across India, Bhutan, China and Nepal, and found that the glaciers are melting at double the speed than they did between 1975 and 2000 due to global warming.  

Posted By: Lakshay Raja