EIH Initiative 2016

EIH Initiative 2016

EIH Calendar 2016 is dedicated to Gangotri group of Himalayas: Gangotri glacier & Himalayan peaks of the region.

Gangotri glacier is ‘rapidly disintegrating’

The Gangotri glacier is rapidly disintegrating, states the latest observation of a team from the Almora-based G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. The team of the institute,
which has been monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, particularly the Gangotri, since 1999, visited the glacier between June and October, this year. Kireet Kumar, Scientist in the Glacial Study Centre of
the institute, said, “Our team has been observing disintegration in the snout of the Gangotri glacier for around three year now. This time the team observed that the disintegration on the right side of the
snout is taking place at a rapid rate.” Dr. Kumar said rapid melting of the Raktvarn, Chaturangi, and Thelu — tributary glaciers of the Gangotri, which are placed at a higher altitude than the Gangotri and
are towards its right — as the reason behind the heavy disintegration. Gangotri: Shrinking and retreating, a 2008 research report published in Current Science titled ‘Estimation of retreat rate of Gangotri glacier using rapid static and kinematic GPS survey,’ stated: ‘The Gangotri glacier is retreating like other glaciers in the Himalayas and its volume and size are shrinking as well.’

The glacier has retreated more than 1,500 metres (m) in the last 70 years. Post 1971, the rate of retreat of the glacier has declined. Dr Kumar said the latest data projects that post 2000 the average rate of retreat of the glacier per year has been about 12 to 13 m. Dr. Kumar said global warming was not the only factor, but, it was an important factor that was resulting in glacial retreat. The Gangotri, one of the largest Himalayan glaciers, is in Uttarkashi district. Originating at about 7,100 m above sea level, the glacier is 30.2 kilometre (km) long and has a width that varies between 0.5 and 2.5 km. The
Bhagirathi river, which is one of the main tributaries of the Ganga, originates from the glacier.

— The Hindu
October 27, 2014

River Bhagirathi’s water flow is primarily dependent on the Glacial melt. Only 3% of its water comprises of rain water (ablation period of 2004/05). It’s therefore critical to preserve and continuously
monitor the glaciers from rapid retreat & melt.

— 2009 Research Report, “Estimation of contribution of Southwest monsoon rain to Bhagirathi River”

“I am happy to know that EIH supports Conservation of Himalayas and its ecology and at the time showcases the beauty of this region to bring about a consensus amongst all stakeholders viz. people of
the region & the world, scientists who are involved in various researches to find most innovative and cutting edge methods of conservation, authorities who are responsible for policy formulation &
organisations who propagate this message. EIH Calendar 2016 beautifully describes this theme and I hope this calendar will be supported by people & organizations across the globe.”

— Er. Kireet Kumar, Scientist G, GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Almora, India