Satellite data recorded over the past two decades reveals the accelerating ice loss of the Himalayan mountains' glaciers, doubling just since 2000, putting the source of drinking water for over a billion people in the region in jeopardy.
Loss of Himalayan Glacier Ice Threatens Drinking Water for 1 Billion People
Using recently declassified US government spy satellite imagery taken in the 1970s with more modern satellite data, scientists have been able to construct a record of the Himalayas' glaciers over a four-decade timeframe.
This historical data, according to a new report by The Guardian, reveals that the loss of Himalayan glacier ice is accelerating quickly, doubling since the year 2000 and losing more than a quarter of all its ice over this same timeframe.
By examining 650 glaciers over the period, scientists found that the surfaces of the glaciers dropped by just over half a foot a year from 1975 to 2000, but after 2000, the rate of the sinking was just under a foot and half, with no evidence of slowing down or even stabilizing. And since the rate of loss was consistent across all glaciers in the 1,200-mile long mountain range, it is almost certainly the latest example of how climate change isn't a future problem but a present crisis.