Himalayan Glacier Melt Doubled Since 2000, Endangers Water of Billion People

The glacier melt in the Himalayan Mountains has doubled since 2000, satellites reveal, putting the drinking water for over a billion people at risk.
John Loeffler

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.




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