Himalayan Glaciers Shrank 16% in Past 50 Years: Indian Space Research Org.

himalayan glacier photo

photo: Karunakar Rayker via flickr.

In the wake of this year's reassessment of the speed with which Himalayan glaciers are melting, and what year most of them might be gone, the Indian Space Research Organisation has released some new data showing that the region's glaciers have retreated 16% in the past 50 years.The Economic Times reports that ISRO came to the conclusion after examining glaciers in the Indian states of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim.

IRSO itself said:

Investigations on glacial retreat were estimated for 1,317 glaciers in 10 sub-basins from 1962. This has shown an overall reduction in glacial area from 5,866 square kilometers to 4,921 square kilometers...showing an overall de-glaciation of 16%.

In other words, yes, we still need to pay attention to the speed with which glaciers are melting, even if it's not quite as fast as erroneously believed just a few months ago. After all millions of people living in the basins of rivers which these glaciers head lives depend on it.

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