Citizens' Issues
Over 70 percent of Everest glacier's volume may be lost by 2100: Study

It is a first approximation to how the Himalayan glaciers will react to increasing temperatures in the region

 

Over 70 percent of the glacier volume in the Mount Everest region in the Himalayas could be lost in 85 years if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, a new paper suggests. It also indicates more flood risk in the future in the Kosi river downstream from Nepal to India.
 
The paper, "Modelling glacier change in the Everest region, Nepal Himalaya", published on Wednesday in The Cryosphere, a journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), said the glacier volume could be reduced between 70 and 99 percent by 2100.
 
It is a first approximation to how the Himalayan glaciers will react to increasing temperatures in the region. The results depend on how much greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and on how this will affect temperature, snowfall and rainfall in the area.
 
A team of researchers from Nepal, France and the Netherlands have found the Everest glaciers could be very sensitive to future warming and that sustained ice loss through the 21st century is likely.
 
If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the glaciers could experience dramatic change in the decades to come, said the study.
 
"The signal of future glacier change in the region is clear: continued and possibly accelerated mass loss from glaciers is likely given the projected increase in temperatures," said Joseph Shea, a glacier hydrologist at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Kathmandu.
 
"Our results indicate that these glaciers may be highly sensitive to changes in temperature and that increases in precipitation are not enough to offset the increased melt," Shea said.
 
Increased temperatures will not only increase the rates of snow and ice melt but can also result in a change of precipitation from snow to rain at critical elevations, where glaciers are concentrated. Together, these act to reduce glacier growth and increase the area exposed to melt, said the leader of the study.
 
The researchers studied glaciers in the Dudh Kosi basin in the Nepal Himalayas, which are home to some of the world's highest mountain peaks, including Mt Everest, and to over 400 sq km of glacier area.
 
"Apart from the significance of the region, glaciers in the Dudh Kosi basin contribute meltwater to the Kosi river, and glacier changes will affect river flows downstream," Shea said.
 
Changes in glacier volume can impact the availability of water, with consequences for agriculture and hydropower generation.
 
While increased glacier melt initially increases water flows, ongoing retreat leads to reduced meltwater from the glaciers during the warmer months, with greatest impact for the local populations before the monsoon when rainfall is scarce, said the paper.
 
Glacier retreat can also result in the formation and growth of lakes dammed by glacial debris. Avalanches and earthquakes can breach the dams, causing catastrophic floods that can result in river flows 100 times greater than normal in the Kosi basin.
 
The Kosi river is known as the "sorrow of Bihar" as it has caused widespread damage in the past due to flooding and frequent change in its course.
 
To find out how glaciers in the region will evolve in the future, the researchers started by using field observations and data from local weather stations to calibrate and test a model of glacier change over the past 50 years.
 
"To examine the sensitivity of modelled glaciers to future climate change, we applied eight temperature and precipitation scenarios to the historical temperature and precipitation data and tracked how glacier areas and volumes responded," said study co-author Walter Immerzeel of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
 
"Our estimates need to be taken very cautiously, as considerable uncertainties remain," said Patrick Wagnon, a glaciologist at the L'Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement in Grenoble in France.
 
The paper stresses that "the signal of future glacier change in the region is clear and compelling" and that decreases in ice thickness and extent are expected for "even the most conservative climate change scenario".

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Nifty, Sensex weak. Bank Nifty struggling – Tuesday closing report
Nifty will turn higher, it can stay above 8,300, while Bank Nifty is in a no-man’s land
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that if the NSE’s CNX Nifty closes below 8,320 it will turn weaker. On Tuesday, except for the time when it hit its intra- day high, the 50-stock benchmark moved in the red for remaining session. Nifty reached exactly the break point mentioned above and closed marginally above it.
 
S&P BSE Sensex opened at 27,634 while Nifty opened at 8,377. Both the benchmark indices moved from the high of 27,676 and 8,379 to the low of 27,474 and 8,320, respectively. Sensex closed at 27,531 (down 112 points or 0.41%) while Nifty closed at 8,339 (down 31 points or 0.37%). Today although the Bank Nifty moved in the red for most of the session, during last few minutes, the index gained momentum and closed in the green. It opened at 18,339 and moved in the range of 18,226 and 18,378 and closed at 18,329 (up 4 points or 0.02%). NSE recorded a volume of 65.87 crore shares. India VIX rose 0.80% to close at 17.0675.
 
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan had said that while the country’s macro-economic parameters have improved, growth was still slow in picking up. Meanwhile, finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India has to bring the tax rate to global level while at the same time remove the exemptions.
 
The Ministry of Labour & Employment Tuesday announced that the government has decided to constitute an inter-ministerial committee to hold threadbare discussions with representatives of Central Trade Unions on 10-point charter of demands and other issues being raised by them and for recommending measures to address those issues.
 
Government expects inflation to remain under control as it has adequate stocks to deal with shortage of foodgrain in the eventuality of poor monsoon, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian said today.
 
The RBI has room to further ease its monetary policy, he told reporters.
 
A slowdown in exports is likely to bring down India's growth rate by 0.4% point in 2015, a report by global brokerage firm HSBC has said.
 
Retail investors' holding in NSE-listed companies has hit a 6-year high of 21.35% at the end of March 2015, with a valuation of nearly Rs8 lakh crore, from 20.99% on March 2014, according to Prime Database, the holding went up to 21.35% at the end of March 2015. 
 
In other words, the market valuation (in terms of Nifty-50 market cap over the period) is up by 25.79%. At the end of March 2015 the Nifty was up by 26.65% since March 2014 which means retail investors have actually reduced their holdings.
 
Coming back to stock markets, Dish TV rose 14.21% to close at Rs96.85 on the BSE. The stock hit it 52-week high after it posted superb March 2015 quarter results. It was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It posted a net profit of Rs35.01 crore for the March 2015 quarter as compared to net loss of Rs149.05 crore for March 2014 quarter. Its revenues increased from Rs636.91 crore to Rs754.72 crore for the relevant period.
 
PMC Fincorp fell 8.13% to close at Rs11.30 on the BSE. It was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It hit its new 52-week low today.
 
BHEL rose 2.88% to close at Rs241 on the BSE, in spite of posting a weak March 2015 quarter. It was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack while Vedanta today again was the top loser in the pack. It fell 2.33% to close at Rs195.35. 
 
US stock markets were closed Monday for the Memorial Day Holiday. 
 
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said yesterday that the central bank expects to follow a gradual and relatively slow trajectory of short-term interest-rate increases over the next three to four years to bring borrowing costs back to normal levels.
 
Most of the Asian indices closed in the green. Shanghai Composite (2.02%) was the top gainer while SET Composite index (0.67%) was the top loser.
 
There were news that China plans to launch in July a mutual-fund recognition program between Hong Kong and mainland China, which will allow cross-border sales of funds between the two markets.
 
European indices were trading in the red. US Futures were trading marginally lower.
In Europe, a Greek government spokesperson reportedly said that Greece intends to keep repaying its debt. Greece is scheduled to repay euro 1.6 billion ($1.76 billion) to the IMF between 5 June and 19 June 2015.
 

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Yash Birla among five Indians named in Swiss gazette

Industrialist Yash Birla, along with the Masoods related with multi-crore City Limousines scam, are among five Indian nationals whose names have been made public in Switzerland's official gazette for having bank accounts in that country

 

Industralist Yash Birla, whose companies are not repaying money to thousands of depositors and shareholders, is named by the Swiss authorities as having a bank account in that country. Names of Birla, Sayed Mohamed Masood, the kingpin behind the Citi Limousines scam and his colleague Chand Kauser Mohamed Masood, Ponty Chadha's son-in-law Gurjit Singh Kochar and Delhi-based businesswoman Ritika Sharma, along with Sneh Lata Sawhney and Sangita Sawhney are published in Switzerland's gazette.
 
Making public these names, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has asked them to file an appeal within 30 days before the Federal Administrative Court if they do not want their details to be shared with the Indian authorities under their 'mutual assistance' treaty on tax matters.
 
In the past, the Swiss authorities had already shared some details about Sayed Mohamed Masood, who is being probed for a major Ponzi scheme run from Mumbai through City Limousines. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also requested Swiss authorities to freeze his bank accounts.
 
As per the notifications published in Switzerland's official gazette, the Indian authorities have sought fresh details about Syed Masood and Chand Kauser Masood.
 
In February 2014, income tax (I-T) officials questioned Yash Birla as part of the investigation into alleged tax evasion involving his companies, says a report from the Times of India. In January that year, the I-T department raided premises belonging to Birla and found several undeclared foreign accounts with a balance of crores of rupees, the report added.
 
Yash Birla is known for its lavish lifestyle and Page3 parties instead of his business moves, which shows the careless attitude of the Group. People had invested in his companies on goodwill of ‘Birla Family’.
 
However, Yash Birla and his group companies had maintained a silence over refunding money invested as fixed deposits (FDs), to small investors, including several senior citizens. (Read: Yash Birla Group companies in deep trouble?)
 
Last year in April, the debt-ridden Yash Birla Group unit Birla Power Solutions Ltd (BPSL) had proposed to refund money it collected over eight years ago from investors for its corporate fixed deposit (FD) scheme. However according to the proposal submitted before the Bombay High Court, the company wanted to pay only the principal amount over next three years without any interest. Earlier in February, Yash Birla’s wife Avantika and her maternal uncle Narayan Baheti met officials form the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) and assured them that, the Group would arrange money to repay its depositors.
 
BPSL is being probed by EOW of Mumbai Police for defaulting in repaying its deposit holders. A criminal case has been registered under the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors' (MPID) Act. Its former managing director, PVR Murthy was also arrested. 
 
Moneylife Foundation has been receiving complaints from its members that they are not receiving their fixed deposit maturity amounts from two Yash Birla Group companies namely Zenith Birla (India) and Birla Power Solutions. Birla Power had problems in paying tax dues as well.
 
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