The melting of Himalayan glaciers has doubled since the turn of the century. Joshua Maurer, from Columbia University ‘s Lamont – Doherty Earth Observatory, used a computer tool that enabled converting US spy satellite images of mid-1970s into 3D maps. It led to declassify the satellite data to create the first detailed, four – decade record of ice along the 2,000km mountain chain. The scientists thus found the changes in 650 Himalayan glaciers. On average, the glacier surfaces sank by 22cm a year from 1975 to 2000.But the melting has accelerated, with an average loss of 43cm a year from 2000 to 2016.The analysis shows that 8bn tonnes of ice are being lost every year and not replaced by snow, with the lower level glaciers shrinking in height by 5 meters annually.
As per the report at least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya ranges was already doomed to melt by the end of the century. Serious consequences will be felt by those who rely on the great rivers that flow from the peaks into India, Pakistan, China and other nations. Increasingly, uncertainty and irregular water supplies will impact the 1 billion people living downstream from the Himalaya mountains in South Asia. The study shows that only global heating caused by human activities can explain the heavy melting.