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Sun Sep 2, 2012, 10:24 AM

Kashmir’s Melting Glaciers May Cut Ice With Sceptics

http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/08/kashmirs-melting-glaciers-may-cut-ice-with-sceptics/


Kashmir’s Melting Glaciers May Cut Ice With Sceptics

By Athar Parvaiz

SRINAGAR, India, Aug 31 2012 (IPS) - Jowhar Ahmed, an air-conditioner dealer in Srinagar, is pleased at a spurt in business this summer caused by temperatures soaring over 35 degrees Celsius – unusual in this alpine valley ringed by snow-capped mountains.

“I sold more than 70 air-conditioners in just one month,” Ahmed, who runs the Oriental Sales electrical goods outlet, told IPS. To cope with the demand Ahmed and other dealers have begun stocking air-conditioners in Srinagar rather than book orders for later delivery.

That the weather is warming over Kashmir is not news for climate scientists who have shown in several studies that the glaciers in the vast Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya (HKKH) region – called the world’s ‘third pole’ – are melting and receding at an increasing pace.

In the latest of these studies, European scientists led by Andreas Kaab of the department of geosciences, University of Oslo, have shown that glacial melt is worse in the Kashmir Himalayas than in other regions of the HKKH.

Kaab’s findings, published in the Aug. 23 edition of ‘Nature’, suggest that Kashmir’s glaciers may be receding by as much as half-a-metre annually, presenting an immediate threat to the rivers that feed into the Indus basin.

“Glaciers are among the best indicators of terrestrial climate variability,” said Kaab in the study. “They contribute importantly to water resources in many mountainous regions and are a major contributor to global sea-level rise.”


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