The Himalayas are the mountains with the highest peak in the world – Everest, 8,848m high. Not only that, it is also the third largest ice and snow reserve in the world, after Antarctica and the Arctic.
However, the Himalayas and the world are facing a huge problem collected by spy satellites over the past 40 years: The Himalayan glacier has lost billions of tons of ice.
The warming of the Earth makes The total of 1/4 of Himalayan bandages disappeared completely from 1970 to present. The melting of the ice not only makes the Earth heat up, it also threatens the water supply for nearly 1 billion people downstream across Asia, lead author Joshua Maurer at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Columbia University (USA) said.
Researchers say the massive Himalayan ice loss is closely related to rising temperatures due to climate change and global warming.
The temperature in the area has increased by one degree Celsius compared to the temperature from 1975 to 2000, according to temperature data collected from ground stations.
The Sikkum region, in Nepal, was displayed in 1975 by the spy satellite KH-9 HEXAGON. Source: JOSH MAURER / LDEO
Researchers have calculated the melting ice may occur due to warmer temperatures to confirm that a degree is actually enough to create natural tragedy for ice sheets around the world.
Co-author Joerg Schaefer, a professor at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the rise of 1 degree Celsius is a big problem. In the middle of the recent ice age, the average annual temperature was only 3 degrees Celsius, he said.
Warning Asia faces double disaster
According to the authors' collective, if there is no US spy defense – hexagonal military satellite KH-9 Hexagon – collect and decipher the Himalayas from above from 1973 to present. it is difficult for them to conclude the loss of Himalayan ice related to global warming.
KH-9 HEXAGON spy satellite image.
The declassified image from those spy satellites was converted into 3D models to show the height and size of the glacier in the 1970s, Maurer said.
This 3D model is then compared to NASA's recent sophisticated satellite image that shows how high the ice changes over time. That allows scientists to study the changes of the 650 largest glaciers, accounting for 55% of the region's ice volume over the past 40 years.
The glaciers in the Himalayas are studied much less than Greenland because this is one of the most dangerous geographic areas. The Himalayas stretches over 2,400km, passing through the countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Bhutan and Nepal.
The authors say, Asia is facing a double disaster from temperature waves and ice melting from the Himalayas.
Particularly for the melting ice, ice and snow disaster in the Himalayas is a source of water for the majestic rivers of Asia including India, Yangtze and Ganga-Brahmaputra.
Huge melting ice causes a flow of ice 1.6 times larger than a stable glacier, causing many glaciers to face catastrophic flooding. In May 2012, such a flood killed more than 60 people in villages near Pokhara, Nepal; It also destroyed houses and infrastructure here.
About 800 million people depend in part on seasonal flows from the glacier in the Himalayas. Photo: Reuters
This dense research is significant but makes people really afraid. Because those who rely on glacier water for hydroelectricity and irrigation, melting ice will destabilize water resources, affecting the lives of downstream people.
About 800 million people depend in part on seasonal flows from the Himalayan glacier for irrigation, hydropower and drinking water.
According to a major report recently synthesized by more than 200 researchers over a five-year period, if fossil fuel emissions are not substantially reduced by 2100, the Himalayas could lose 66% of the ice.
The past 40 years of Himalayan glaciers are making scientists really worried.
The study is published today in the journal Science Advances.
Article using source: National Geographic