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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GM mustard trial report to be submitted to Centre soon: Pental

Tested in Rajasthan and Punjab and at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Delhi, the GM mustard's yield is 20 to 30 percent more than the best varieties available currently, said Delhi University's Deepak Pental, who heads the research on the transgenic mustard

 

A team of Indian scientists has completed the final field trials of a genetically-modified variety of mustard and will submit a report on its yields and safety to the central government within a month.
 
Tested in Rajasthan and Punjab and at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Delhi, the GM mustard's yield is 20 to 30 percent more than the best varieties available currently, said Delhi University's Deepak Pental, who heads the research on the transgenic mustard.
 
"It was tested in Rajasthan at three places for two years; at two places in Punjab for one year; and in Delhi in IARI. Results reveal that it yields 20 to 30 percent more crop than the best varieties ... no mean achievement by global standards," Pental, a professor at DU's department of genetics, told IANS on Tuesday.
 
This could substantially bring down India's edible oil imports, he observed.
 
The report would be handed over to the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), housed in the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
 
Though there is stiff opposition from a section of farmers and other sectors, Pental said, positive results could help these technologies succeed.
 
"The government has to take a call. If it allows one or two transgenics and people see the positive results like Bt Cotton, then only these technologies will succeed," he said.
 
Pental said biosafety studies (most conducted at National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad) did not show any "untoward effects" in terms of allergenic reactions, toxicity and environmental impacts.
 
He said the genes used in the process have been deregulated (allowing GM seeds to be commercially sold) in many countries and the safety of these genes is "beyond doubt".
 
"The three genes we used have been deregulated in rape seed, a sister crop of mustard that is extensively grown in Europe, Canada, the US, China and Australia. These genes have been deregulated in Canada since 1996. Today, 50 percent of their area is under these transgenics containing these three genes that we used," Pental said.
 
"End products which humans consume will not have any proteins - either the plants' own proteins or the transgenic proteins," he added.
 
Currently, Bt cotton is the only GM crop allowed for commercial production in India.
 

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Army veteran declines to be present in a function to be attended by Defence Minister, CM
Disgusted with government policies and practices with respect to armed forces, Suresh D Karnik, hero of 1971 war, declines an invitation to attend a function to be attended by Manohar Parrikar and Devendra Fadnavis
 
Veteran Wing Commander Suresh Damodar Karnik has politely declined an invitation extended by Shiv Shahir Babasaheb Purandare for a function to be held on 28th May in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
 
In an email reply to Dr Purandare, Wing Commander Karnik, a recipient of the Vir Chakra for his role in the 1971 War, said, "We are unable to accept the invite as we find that in the present dispensation our respected political leaders seem to pursue a Policy towards the Armed Forces which imbibes 'NATO' as our India Policy viz 'NO ACTION TALK ONLY'."
 
"Alongside the Babus who formulate, guide, decide on behalf of our national leaders seem to be pursuing a policy of inching towards making Defence Forces into a Defiant Force. Being a diehard Nationalist Indian I strongly oppose the above stated Policies," he said.
 
Wing Commander Karnik was a combat fighter pilot during his service in the Indian Air Force (IAF) and participated in several wars and battles. He actively participated in the acts like 'beyond the call of duty' missions in life threatening environments in the combat zones against enemies. 
 
During the operations against Pakistan in December 1971, (the then) Squadron Leader Suresh Damodar Karnik served as a flight commander of a bomber squadron, the No. 16 Squadron, know as Black Cobras of the IAF. He flew six very important and difficult missions, by day as well as by night, in the Western and Eastern Sectors. These missions involved day and night bombing raids over enemy airfields and interdiction of enemy boats by day. The interdiction missions were flown against a large volume of flak, resulting in damage to his aircraft by enemy fire. Despite this, he pressed home his attacks and destroyed a number of enemy boats. He also carried out a day bombing raid over Chittagong airfield in the face of heavy antiaircraft fire. During this mission, he bombed and destroyed a large oil dump. 
 
For this act, Wing Commander Suresh Karnik was awarded the Vir Chakra, the third in precedence in the wartime gallantry awards, which comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.
 
Recalling the advice given by Chanakya to Mauryan King Chandragupta ages ago, the veteran Wing Commander, said, "The Armed Forces are the successors of the Mauryan soldier even today."
 
Chanakya had said, "While the Magadha citizenry endeavours to make the state prosper and flourish, the Mauryan soldier guarantees that the state continues to exist! He is the silent 'sine qua non' of our very being, the absolute prerequisite of all imperial welfare and prosperity!"
 
"To this man, O Rajadhiraja (Chandragupta), you owe a debt for that very guarantee, which is the vital key-stone of our nationhood arch. Please, therefore, see to it, suo motu, that you are constantly alive and sensitive to the soldier's legitimate dues in every form and respect, be those his needs or his wants, including his place in the social order. Do thereafter ('tadanantara') ensure that he receives these in time or preferably ahead of time, in full measure, for he is not likely to ask for them himself." 
 
"This is so because before getting so completely wrapped up in his onerous, harsh and exalted charge, the soldier has assumed with good reason that the State, in return for his extraordinary burden and services, has freed him from all responsibility towards his own present and future welfare as also that of his family back home in the hinterland. He is thus very clear in his mind when deployed at a distant border outpost, fighting lumpen groups within Magadha or when campaigning in faraway lands that he need only look out in front for the enemy of the state and concentrate only on his military onus and aim ('shatrunjaya'), completely free of all temporal worries. This assumption is a holy sacrament and an unwritten covenant that exists between him and the State," Chanakya had said. 
 
Even today, there has been considerable debate in the country on the role of the Armed Forces in defending the borders, countering insurgency and controlling internal disturbances and their importance in maintaining the unity and integrity of the nation. This makes the advice given by Chanakya to King Chandragupta even more relevant for today, feels the Veteran Wing Commander.
 
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COMMENTS

webkitendfullscreen

4 years ago

Very well said and well done. Congratulations. We are proud of you.
The Babus still continue to follow a policy to deride the services and take our country to ruination.
Such situations occurred in UK, USA and FRANCE where leaders grasped the situation early and created right balance between beurocracy and services. Earlier this is done in India better it would be for us.
The highest authority in India, the PM announces OROP repeatedly including that from highest post at SIACHIN about a year ago, seems to be have been held up by beaurocracy does speaks of so called "good governance"!

DP Bose

4 years ago

OROP announced by the Government will definitely be a reality. One person resigning here and there matters none. Yes, implementation may take time. The Government and the RM in particular had said that the OROP will be there by June 2015. So, let June 2015 come and only after that people can make a hue and cry about it. From all that transpires, the Government is slow but firm in implementation of Schemes announced by it. So, let us wait a little more and see what actually happens on ground in June 2015.

REPLY

Viswanathan Madhavan Nair

In Reply to DP Bose 4 years ago

One Vir Chakra medal winner declining the honor definitely matters to any patriotic person/Nation. The RM has said many promises on this issue which are easily broken. Moreover two PMs,RMs, Army Chief and many Central Ministers have given many promises on this issue and till date nothing happened. Soldiers are not beggars, to wait eternally.

DP Bose

In Reply to Viswanathan Madhavan Nair 4 years ago

Mr Nair,
You are right, Soldiers are NOT Beggars. At least that is what we are taught in the Services. What we are NOT taught and I feel should be taught is how to snatch away your Rights forcefully from guys who try to deny and deprive you of everything. This attitude and pride has deprived scores of self-respecting people from our Services. It does NOT quite matter to the Politicians and Bureaucrats because they know Service people cannot do away with their pride. So, they shamelessly make commitments that are never to be honoured. But this time, it is my feeling that with the Supreme Court ruling on the subject looming large, it will only be delayed and NOT Denied! Rest, we have to hope for the best.

DP Bose

In Reply to Viswanathan Madhavan Nair 4 years ago

Mr Nair,
You are right, Soldiers are NOT Beggars. At least that is what we are taught in the Services. What we are NOT taught and I feel should be taught is how to snatch away your Rights forcefully from guys who try to deny and deprive you of everything. This attitude and pride has deprived scores of self-respecting people from our Services. It does NOT quite matter to the Politicians and Bureaucrats because they know Service people cannot do away with their pride. So, they shamelessly make commitments that are never to be honoured. But this time, it is my feeling that with the Supreme Court ruling on the subject looming large, it will only be delayed and NOT Denied! Rest, we have to hope for the best.

Benu Kumar Bose

4 years ago

We must not blame civilians only. Being an ex Chief of Army staff, what the hell VK Singh is doing for the OROP issue?He should have resigned to show his guts and love for his fellow veterans.

REPLY

IWO R JAYARAMAN

In Reply to Benu Kumar Bose 4 years ago

u r very correct.never bothered for the esm community.now he has (VKS)has become selfish man
jwo r jayaraman

tikku

4 years ago

Wish the write up is read by MODIJI and Parikkarji. India did not have to fight battles to win freedom and also has not suffered as many other countries did. The Armed forces therefore has been systematically degraded in order of precedence and today, is considered dispensable but for the coward political leaders. Our Generals too have lost the pride and wait for the juicy appointments such as of, Governors/Ambassadors even though rarely obliged, forgetting that the top posts they occupy to day is the very proud culmination of their career and which we soldiers and most of our countrymen feel. We consider the posts of Governor and Ambassadors are much inferior compared to these.

shivkumar

4 years ago

It is obvious that our leaders irrespective of the party labels believe that talking is a substitute for action. It is a sad commentary. Three cheers to the Veteran War Hero.

REPLY

Krishnan

In Reply to shivkumar 4 years ago

I agree. What prevents the GOI from announcing the implementation of the promised ONE Rank One Pension scheme with immediate effect.

R B UPADHYAY

4 years ago

He has done the most correct act.

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