Indian Kashmir’s biggest glacier, which feeds the region’s main river, is melting faster than other Himalayas glaciers, threatening the water supply of tens of thousands of people.Rising temperatures are rapidly shrinking Himalayan glaciers, underscoring the effects of climate change that has caused temperatures in the mountainous region to rise by about 1.1 degrees Celsius in the past 100 years.
The biggest glacier in Indian Kashmir, the Kolahoi glacier spread over just a little above 11 sq km (4.25 sq mile), has shrunk 2.63 sq km in the past three decades, a new study said.
“Kolahoi glacier is shrinking 0.08 square kilometers a year, which is an alarming speed,” said the study, presented at a workshop on “Climate Change, Glacial Retreat and Livelihoods,” in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital.
The three year-long study was led by glaciologist Shakil Ramsoo, of the department of geology at the University of Kashmir.
The Kolahoi glacier is the main source of water for Kashmir’s biggest river, the Jhelum, and its many streams and lakes.
According to a United Nations Environment Programme and World Glacier Monitoring Service study, the average melting rate of mountain glaciers has doubled since the turn of the millennium, with record losses seen in 2006 at several sites.
the melting of Kashmir glaciers could have serious fallout as most Kashmiris rely on glaciers for water.