Monday, November 24, 2008


Hindu Press International
A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide, courtesy of Hinduism Today magazine’s editorial staff

« Daily InspirationChola Inscriptions In Temple Tell Tale of India’s History »Thinning Himalayan Glaciers May Deprive Half A Billion Indians of Water

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, November 21, 2008: The absence of radiation from three ice cores drilled in a Himalayan glacier bodes ill for half billion people living downstream in India. This could hit future water supplies. These missing markers of radiation are remnants from atomic bomb tests a half-century ago, as in the Naimona’nyi glacier in Tibet. All the contaminated ice is now gone.

Seasonal runoff from glaciers like Naimona’nyi feeds the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra rivers. In some places, for some months each year, those rivers are severely depleted now, researchers said. The absence of new ice accumulating on the glaciers will only worsen that problem.

Lonnie Thompson, professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University (OSU), feared that other high altitude glaciers may be facing similar problems. “When you think about the millions of people over there who depend on the water locked in that ice, if they don’t have it available in the future, that will be a serious problem,” he said.

“The current models that predict river flow in the region haven’t considered that some of these glaciers are actually thinning,” said Natalie Kehrwald, doctoral student at OSU and co-author of the paper.

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