Glacier recession is best studied by the fluctuation of its equilibrium line. The equilibrium line which represents a balance between glacial accumulation and wastage, (the zone on a glacier where its mass lost is balanced by its mass gained over a year) swings in its altitude suggesting that glaciers in the Himalayas have responded to deprived precipitation conditions since 1980. Although temperatures have been increasing since the 1980s, glaciers are more sensitive to changes in precipitation.
The equilibrium line altitude fluctuated between 5,200m above sea level and 5,700m.
In the Himalayas, glaciers create a very different problem that includes
1. Shrinking glaciers form lakes at the mouth
2. Glacial Melting
3. Avalanche triggering caused by glacial snapping and landslide
4. Glacial damming
5. Glacial surge
7. Presence of Black shoots and aerosols increasing albedo to speed up melting.
There 1,000 big and small lakes in the high mountains of Uttarakhand. Many of them are increasing in size. A lot of them do pose a threat of some kind.
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Like World, Indian glaciers too have been receding. Himalayan glaciers have been retreating and losing their mass faster than anywhere else in the world. Study of the last eight glaciers of the upper Rishiganga catchment Uttari Nanda Devi, Changbang, Ramni Bank, Bethartoli, Trishul, Dakshni Nanda Devi, Dakshni Rishi Bank and Raunthi Bank—had lost over 10% of their mass in less than three decades.
Read More: Save the Himalayan river systems
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