Himalayan glaciers could vanish within 40 years due to global warming


First 3 of 3 paragraphs shown A research study to be disclosed at an international meeting that opened at Birmingham University, will trigger fears of sea levels rising at a faster rate across the globe, swamping small island states like the Maldives and the Marshall Islands. The meltwaters of the Himalayas and the nearby Tibetan plateau make up two thirds of the flow of the Ganges and other rivers, such as the Indus and Brahmaputra, which are crucial for drinking water, livestock and irrigation. The melting glaciers will also increase the risk of dangerous floods, experts fear. One of the researchers involved, Syed Hasnain, of the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, said studies indicate that the glaciers in the region could be gone by 2035. The Gangotri glacier, at the head of the Ganges, is receding at a rate of about 90ft a year.

Meltwater lakes could burst and swamp villages: Scientists studying the region's glaciers say that dozens of meltwater lakes that are forming could burst and swamp villages. In 1985 a hydroelectric plant was destroyed when a wall of water 45ft high swept down from just such a lake in the Khumbu region of Nepal. A glacier lake forming in Nepal's Sagarmatha Park has accumulated about 30 million gallons of water since the 1960s and could burst within five years.
(1999-08-13)

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