The increasing use of reinforced concrete cement structures replacing traditional wood and stone masonry is accelerating an island heat impact in the mountainous region. There are more than 8000 glacial lakes in the Himalayas, of which 200 are classified as dangerous.
The glacier collapse in Joshimath on Sunday led to a massive flood on the Dhauli Ganga River and caused large-scale destruction in the upper reaches of the ecologically fragile Himalayas.
Glacier retreat and permanent melting are projected to reduce the stability of mountain slopes and increase the number and area of glacial lakes (high confidence). The results of landslides and floods, and cascading events, will also be displayed where there is no data on previous events (high confidence), says the Special Report on Oceans and Cryptosphere (SROCC) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
There is high confidence that the current shrinkage of global glaciers caused new lakes to form and existing lakes to grow in most regions, for example in South America, Highland Asia and Europe, the report says.
There is also a high belief that the number and area of glacial lakes will continue to increase in most regions in the coming decades, and new lakes will develop closer to steep and potentially volatile mountain walls, where lake eruptions can be more easily caused by the impact of landslides, she adds.
“The IPCC reports that climate change has changed the frequency and magnitude of natural hazards. The scientist reported with moderate confidence that in some regions avalanches involving wet snow have increased while rain in snow floods has also increased to lower altitudes. We do not have data now to give you information on what caused the avalanche in Chamoli district but what we do know, prima-facia, is that this is very similar to a climate change event as glaciers are melting for due to global warming, “said Dr. Anjal Prakash, Director of Research and Associate Professor at the Indian Business School (ISB), Hyderabad.
The impact of global warming on glacial attraction is well documented. The latest evaluation report called the ICIMOD facilitated HI-MAP report also highlighted these. The report shows that temperatures are rising in the Himalayan Hindu-Kush region and rising global temperatures will have more impact on the Himalayan region due to altitude-dependent warming. “If the world could keep the temperature rising below 1.5 degrees Celsius, in the HKH region it would translate to at least an increase of 1.8 C, and in some countries, above 2.2 C,” said Prakash, who was the lead author of the special report. on Oceans and the Cryosphere, 2018 and Lead Author of the 6th IPCC Ongoing Assessment Report.
Calling it a “very rare incident”, Dr Mohd Farooq Azam, Assistant Professor, Glaciology & Hydrology, IIT Indore, said it was unlikely it was a blast of a cloud.
“Weather reports in Chamoli district show sunny weather to date with no rainfall. There is no doubt that global warming has resulted in global warming,” Azam says.
“Climate change has led to volatile weather such as increasing snowfall and precipitation, warmer winters have led to the melting of a lot of snow. The thermal profile of ice is rising, where earlier the ice temperature ranged from -6 to – “20 degrees C, it is now -2, making it more sensitive to melting,” Azam said.
Prakash wants the government to spend more on monitoring the Himalayan region.
“The Himalayan region is also the least monitored region and this event actually shows how vulnerable we can be. Spending more will ensure that we have more information about the change process. The result will be was for us to be more aware and develop better adaptation practices, “he added.
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