Global warming, climate change, Char Dham projects in focus

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NEW DELHI: While the precise reason behind ‘calving’ of a glacier in Uttarakhand is but to be ascertained, a workforce of consultants will go to the positioning on Monday to seek out out the explanations for the catastrophe.

Prima facie, world warming and climate change seem like the elements. The Nanda Devi biosphere reserve, the place the glacier is situated, hasn’t been assessed but, besides by distant sensors.

While the incident is a powerful reminder of the 2013 flash floods, consultants level out that the present incident is totally different from the earlier one, which occurred resulting from a climate occasion — a cloud burst.

“In this case, there has not been any unusually high rainfall or even extreme snowfall. It is also not clear what kind of lake was there and how it was breached at the mouth. At first assessment, a weather event is ruled out. Only closer inspection will help understand the causes clearly,” Vinit Kumar, Scientist on the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology specialising in glaciology, informed ET.

Kumar and his workforce will probably be visiting the positioning on Monday.

The incident, nonetheless, has as soon as once more introduced into focus climate change and elevated human exercise in the ecologically delicate area. The Char Dham street growth mission in addition to a number of hydel projects on the higher reaches of the Himalayan rivers in Uttarakhand are being hotly debated and the matter is presently in the Supreme Court.

Prof AP Dimri of JNU’s School of Environment Sciences and a lead scholar on the National Mission on Himalayan Studies stated: “It is clearly not linked to a weather event like 2013. Overall impact of global warming, debris aggregation and multiple factors weighing in are likely to have some role to play.”

Dimri stated whereas developmental actions are certain to have some impression on the general ecology, mini hydel projects are normally seen in conjunction with the ecology. “The bigger dams obviously have impact as they cause more precipitation and so on. However, in this case there was rainfall, so other factors seem at play,” he added.

Mohd Farooq Azam, assistant professor, glaciology and hydrology, IIT Indore, agreed with Kumar and Dimri and stated: “Climate change-driven erratic weather patterns like increased snowfall and rainfall, warmer winters has led to the melting point of a lot of snow. The thermal profile of ice is increasing — earlier the temperature of ice ranged from -6 to -20 degree C; it is now -2, making it more susceptible to melting.”

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