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109 Highly fragile Glacial Lakes formed in Himachal Pradesh in last Two Years: Study

In the Satluj basin alone, the number of glacial lakes increased by 352 in the two-decade period from 1993 to 2013

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Shimla, Oct 7, 2016: Highly fragile moraine-dammed lakes, an increasing phenomenon in the Himalayas, increased from 596 to 705 in barely two years in Himachal Pradesh, raising the spectre of glacial lake outburst floods, warns a state government study.

The study, conducted by the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, says there is accelerated glacial melting in the Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Satluj river basins in the state, resulting in the formation of 109 new lakes between 2013 and 2015.

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In the Satluj basin alone, the number of glacial lakes increased by 352 in the two-decade period from 1993 to 2013. However, between 2013 and 2015, unlike other three rivers basins, the Satluj has recorded no new addition of glacial lake formation.

The study said a number of such glacial lake outburst floods have occurred in the Nepal Himalayas. However, no such case has been reported in India so far.

The floods in Uttarakhand in 2013 have been correlated with the bursting of a lake.

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“Regular monitoring of moraine-dammed lakes will help avert any future natural disasters like glacial lake outburst floods in the Himalayas,” Kunal Satyarthi, Joint Member Secretary of the Council, told IANS.

He said the Council’s Centre on Climate Change has been carrying out studies in the state’s Himalayas since 1993, which includes the monitoring of snow and glaciers, maintaining the inventory of the glaciers, seasonal snow cover mapping and monitoring of all moraine-dammed glacial lakes.

The Parchu lake, which originates from Tibet in China, is also being monitored regularly during ablation period from April to September every year.

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The number of lakes in Chenab basin has increased to 192 in 2015 from 116 in 2013 — their number was only 55 in 2001.

In the Beas river basin, there were 67 lakes in 2013, while in 2015 they have increased to 89. Similarly, the Ravi basin saw an increase of 12 lakes during this period.

In the Satluj basin, out of 390 lakes, 42 lakes are spread over 10 hectares each. This basin has the maximum number of large lakes compared to the three other river basins.

“The lakes with area more than 10 hectares and area between 5-10 hectares can be seen as potential vulnerable sites,” Satyarthi said. (IANS)

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Women Are Rarely “Put Front And Center” At The Heart Of Climate Action

Feminism doesn't mean excluding men

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Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017.
Former President of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks during a meeting at Associated Press headquarters, in New York, May 8, 2017. VOA

Women must be at the heart of climate action if the world is to limit the deadly impact of disasters such as floods, former Irish president and U.N. rights commissioner Mary Robinson said on Monday.

Robinson, also a former U.N. climate envoy, said women were most adversely affected by disasters and yet are rarely “put front and center” of efforts to protect the most vulnerable.

“Climate change is a man-made problem and must have a feminist solution,” she said at a meeting of climate experts at London’s Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship.

“Feminism doesn’t mean excluding men, it’s about being more inclusive of women and – in this case – acknowledging the role they can play in tackling climate change.”

Research has shown that women’s vulnerabilities are exposed during the chaos of cyclones, earthquakes and floods, according to the British think-tank Overseas Development Institute.

In many developing countries, for example, women are involved in food production, but are not allowed to manage the cash earned by selling their crops, said Robinson.

Earth depletion
Earth depletion, Pixabay

The lack of access to financial resources can hamper their ability to cope with extreme weather, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the event.

“Women all over the world are … on the front lines of the fall-out from climate change and therefore on the forefront of climate action,” said Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of Britain’s United Nations Association.

“What we — the international community — need to do is talk to them, learn from them and support them in scaling up what they know works best in their communities,” she said at the meeting.

Also read: Climate change can have an effect on the taste of the wines

Robinson served as Irish president from 1990-1997 before taking over as the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now leads a foundation devoted to climate justice. (VOA)