Gangotri Glacier Receding by 83 Feet Every Year

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 2 2007 11:27 AM

India admitted that global warming was severely affecting Himalayan glaciers and the Gangotri glacier, the source of river Ganga, was shrinking by 83 feet every year.

Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal said in the Lok Sabha the Geological Survey of India has been conducting studies on the recession of the Gangotri glacier since 1935.

"The rate of shrinking of 30.2-km long Gangotri Glacier in the last three decades has been found to be more than the rate during the earlier decades," Sibal said.

"The average rate of recession has been computed... and the 2001 satellite imagery and the results shows that average recession for this period (last three decades) is about 83 feet/year," he said.

Sibal, however, expressed optimism over the future of this process and the fate of the glacier.

"Although the shrinking of the Gangotri Glacier is a matter of concern, the prospect of disappearance of the glacier does not exist," the minister added.

Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a conglomerate of scientists and climate experts from across the globe, had portrayed a negative future for the globe in the wake of global warming.

It has said that India will be affected severely due to climate change. The glaciers will recede, the ocean will swell and cities and mangroves near the coast will face the threat of getting submerged.