New Delhi: As a result of climate change, the glaciers on Mount Everest, which are the birthplace of major Asian rivers such as the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus, have shrunk by 28 per cent in the past 40 years, according to a report.
The report released by Hunan University of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Mount Qomolangma Snow Leopard Conservation Centre, made comparisons according to measurements taken in the 1970s.
The glacier area in the southern slope of Everest in Nepal has reduced by 26 per cent since 1980s, the report said.
Known as Mount Qomolangma in Tibet, Mt Everest has also been getting warmer for the past 50 years, added the report.
A researcher from the State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences under the CAS, Kang Shichang, informed that the report was compiled based on information collected by on-site monitoring and long-term remote sensing.
Covering 2,030 square kilometres, the national nature reserve of China’s Mt Qomolangma at present consists of 1,476 glaciers, as reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Glacial lakes have been swelling, and river levels have been rising downstream, said Kang, who has led several teams for glacier inspection.
Kang added that a glacial lake in the Mt Everest nature reserve which earlier in 1990, covered an area of 100 square kilometres, swelled to occupy 114 square kilometres in 2013. This information was gathered via remote sensing data.
Earlier in May, a group of international researchers had warned that the in the– site of many of the world’s tallest peaks including Mount Everest – could reduce their volume by 70-99 per cent by 2100, with dire consequences for farming and hydropower generation downstream.
By 2100, the Hindu Kush –Himalayan (HKH) region—would possibly face a 70-99 per cent reduction in its estimated 5,500 glaciers, a group of international researchers warned in May. This will create disastrous effects in farming and hydropower generation in downstream areas.