New study maps Himalayan glacier behaviour

23 August 2012

Glaciers are one of the largest reservoirs of freshwater on our planet, and their melting or growing is one of the best indicators of climate change. However, knowledge of glacier change has been hampered by lack of data, especially for understanding regional behaviour.

Measurements from satellites have recently provided the first overview mapping of thickness changes of Himalayan glaciers.

In a study published in Nature today, scientists assembled new datasets from Earth-observing satellites and found that glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya region (HKKH) lost 12 gigatonnes per year over the period 2003-08, much faster than previously reported.

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