Glaciers at Pangong region in Union Territory Ladakh have receded 6.7 percent for the last three decades, according to recent research. Experts have warned of serious consequences on the ecology of the cold deserted region of India.
The research titled Spatiotemporal dynamics and geodetic of glaciers with varying debris cover in the Pangong region of Trans-Himalayan Ladakh India between 1990 and 2019, has ascertained the area changes and frontal retreat of 87 glaciers in the Pangong region on the Indian side.
Using satellite data, the research found that glaciers at Pangong have retreated “6.7 percent” since 1990. “These glaciers are relatively small with an average size of 0.8 square kilometres,” said the study. Out of 87 glaciers in the study area, researchers found that four glaciers are associated with a proglacial lake. “Given the prevailing glacier melt scenario over the seismically-active Jammu and Kashmir, the development of new proglacial lakes and the presence of already existing ones would pose a significant glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) risk to the downstream communities and infrastructure,” it has warned.
The research was published in the Frontiers in Earth Sciences journal in December 2021 and was conducted by four faculty members and research scholars of Department of Geo Informatics, University of Kashmir; and Department of Earth Science, University of Kashmir. They include researchers Irfan Rashid, Ulfat Majeed, Nadeem Ahmad Najar and Nafeeza Gul.
Photo courtesy: ThePrint.in