What is Changing?
- Glaciers in the eastern and central regions of the Himalayas appear to be retreating at rates comparable to glaciers in other parts of the world.
- In the western Himalayas, glaciers becoming bigger and increasing in size. Variations in climate; in the timing, amount, and type of precipitation; and in glacial behavior and dynamics across the vast Hindu Kush Himalayan region means that it is challenging to determine exactly how retreating glaciers will affect water supply in each location.
What is a Gt?
- A Gt is 1 gigatonne and is used for measuring large amounts of glaciers or mountains using a satellite.
- 1 gigatonne is equal to 2,204,622,621,850 pounds.
Amount of Ice every year
- In 2005, they found 560 Gt of glacial ice in high mountain Asia. That is equal to 1,234,588,668,236,000 pounds of ice.
- In 2008 there was a dramatic decrease of glacial ice and dropped to 214 Gt.
How I calculated this
- 1 gigatonne is equal to 2,204,622,621,850 pounds. So I just simply multiplied how many gigatonnes there are in that year by 2,204,622,621,850 pounds.
- In the western Himalayas, glaciers are more stable and may even be increasing in size. There is uncertainty in projections of future changes in precipitation, but shifts in the location and intensity of snow and rain are also impacting the rate of glacial retreat.
Why Is this a Problem?
- People study this because the melt water from glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, which covers eight countries across Asia, supplements several great river systems such as the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra. If glaciers are freezing this could create a problem for the regions water supply.