Rajendra Pachauri reheats Glaciergate row
Durban, Dec 7(ANI): Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri has reasserted that the glaciers in general were melting back, after the publication of the most authoritative report produced on those in the Himalayan-Hindu Kush region.
The report, from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) based in Kathmandu, used satellite data to establish the geography of the snow cover of Asia's giant mountains, revealing for the first time that the number of glaciers in the region is in excess of 54,000, the Independent reports.
Only 10 of them, it says, have been closely studied for changes in "mass balance" - the shifting volume of the ice which can indicate a glacier is growing, shrinking or stable.
But in these 10, the rate of ice loss has roughly doubled between 1980 and 2005. In the Everest area, the data shows a marked acceleration in the loss of glacial mass between 2002 and 2005, the report says.
Glaciers appear to be shrinking in both the central and eastern Himalayas, while country-specific studies have found that depletion of glacial area over the past 30 years was 22 percent in Bhutan and 21 percent in Nepal, the report said.
Dr. Pachauri said the glaciers of the Himalayas were "undoubtedly" melting and retreating.
"Of that there's no doubt at all... Yes, in the aggregate they are melting, there's no question about it," the newspaper quoted Dr. Pachauri, as saying.
"Those 10 [glaciers studied in the report] are those where we've got publications based on measurements, but I can tell you there are a large number of other measurements that have been made which have not necessarily been published in peer-reviewed journals - but if you look at the raw data, which incidentally I've done personally, you do get a similar conclusion," he added.
On the question of a timescale for the glaciers melting completely, he said: "It's very difficult, that's something which we have to get much more scientific evidence on." (ANI)
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