The state and fate of himalayan glaciers

T. Bolch*, A. Kulkarni, A. Kääb, C. Huggel, F. Paul, J. G. Cogley, H. Frey, J. S. Kargel, K. Fujita, M. Scheel, S. Bajracharya, M. Stoffel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1591 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Himalayan glaciers are a focus of public and scientific debate. Prevailing uncertainties are of major concern because some projections of their future have serious implications for water resources. Most Himalayan glaciers are losing mass at rates similar to glaciers elsewhere, except for emerging indications of stability or mass gain in the Karakoram. A poor understanding of the processes affecting them, combined with the diversity of climatic conditions and the extremes of topographical relief within the region, makes projections speculative. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that dramatic changes in total runoff will occur soon, although continuing shrinkage outside the Karakoram will increase the seasonality of runoff, affect irrigation and hydropower, and alter hazards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-314
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume336
Issue number6079
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2012

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