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Even high-elevation Himalayan glaciers are melting

Jan 15, 2009 / alpMedia
Glacier studies by an international team led by Natalie Kehrwald of Ohio State University show that even high-elevation glaciers are suffering from the effect of climate change.
Himalaya Gletscher
Image caption:
© PIXELIO / Matthias Jäger
The ice of various glaciers contains two radioactive layers associated with thermonuclear bomb tests conducted during the 1950s and 1960s. However these layers are missing from Naimona'nyi, one of the highest glaciers (6050 m) in the Himalayan range. One possible reason might be mass loss since the late 1950s. If high-elevation glaciers were to shrink on a large scale, the implications for the water resources of around half a billion people in south-east Asia would be far-reaching.
Bibliography: Kehrwald, N. M. et al., Mass loss on Himalayan glacier endangers water resources, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, 2008. Abstract: (en)