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The Himalayan and Tibet Glaciers, that are among the largest bodies of ice and fresh water resource outside of the polar ice caps, face a significant threat of accelerated meltdown in coming decades due to climate variability and change. The rate of retreat of these glaciers and changes in their terminus (frontal dynamics) is highly variable across the Himalayan range. These large freshwater sources are critical to human activities for food production, human consumption and a whole host of other applications, especially over the Indo-Gangetic (IG) plains. They are also situated in a geo-politically sensitive area surrounded by China, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan where more than a billion people depend on them. The major rivers of the Asian continent such as the Ganga (also known as Ganges), Brahmaputra, Indus, Yamuna, Sutluj etc., originate and pass through these regions and they have greater importance due to their multi-use downstream: hydro power, agriculture, aquaculture, flood control, and as a freshwater resource. Recent studies over the Himalayan Glaciers using ground-based and space-based observations, and computer models indicate a long-term trend of climate variability and change that may accelerate melting of the Himalayan Glaciers.



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Himalayas, Tibet, glaciers, melting, climate change


Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring


In E. Carayannis (Ed.), Planet Earth 2011 - Global Warming Challenges and Opportunities for Policy and Practice. doi: 10.5772/23235

Peer Reviewed


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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