16 Sep '12, 5am

Himalayan Glaciers Retreating at Accelerated Rate in Some Regions but Not Others

Himalayan Glaciers Retreating at Accelerated Rate in Some Regions but Not Others

While glacier melt contributes water to the region's rivers and streams, retreating glaciers over the next several decades are unlikely to cause significant change in water availability at lower elevations, which depend primarily on monsoon precipitation and snowmelt, the committee said. Variations in water supplies in those areas are more likely to come from extensive extraction of groundwater resources, population growth, and shifts in water-use patterns. However, if the current rate of retreat continues, high elevation areas could have altered seasonal and temporal water flow in some river basins. The effects of glacier retreat would become evident during the dry season, particularly in the west where glacial melt is more important to the river systems. Nevertheless, shifts in the location, intensity, and variability of both rain and snow will likely have a greater impa...

Full article: http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1627

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