Glaciers in the Satluj river basin in western Himalaya are likely to lose 33% of their area by 2050 and 81% by the end of the century, under Representative Concentration Pathway - RCP 8.5 scenario, based on the output from CNRM-CM5 and GFDL-CM3 climate models respectively.

The history of glacier length fluctuations serves as a reliable indicator of the past climate. In this paper, a numerical flowline model has been used to study the relationship between length variations of Chhota Shigri glacier and local climate since 1876. The simulated front positions of Chhota Shigri glacier are in agreement with those observed. After a successful simulation of the past retreat, the model was also used to predict future evolution of the glacier for the next 100 years under different climatic scenarios.

The Himalayan glaciers feed major Asian river systems sustaining the lives of more than 800 million people. Though the rates of retreat of individual glaciers are uncertain, on the whole the Himalayan glaciers have been losing mass at an increasing rate over the past few decades. With the changing climate, glaciers will continue to shrink and the rates of retreat may increase even further. This may lead to the formation of moraine dammed glacial lakes, which can cause outburst floods upon failure of the dam, catastrophic to human life and infrastructure downstream.

In the Himalaya, large areas are covered by glaciers and seasonal snow. They are an important source of water for the Himalayan rivers. In this article, observed changes in glacial extent and mass balance have been discussed.

Original Source

All major rivers in Bhutan depend on snowmelt for discharge. Therefore, changes in snow cover due to climate change can influence distribution and availability of water. However, information about distribution of seasonal snow cover in Bhutan is not available. The MODIS snow product was used to study snow cover status and trends in Bhutan.

This paper presents a method for deriving the snowline altitude using a combined analysis of terrain elevation and multispectral Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) data from the RESOURCESAT-1 satellite, launched by India on 17 October 2003. AWiFS is a unique instrument capable of acquiring imagery of the world repeatedly every 5 days with very high radiometric resolution.

Himalayas has one of the largest concentrations of glaciers and permanent snow fields. These are sensitive to climate change. Snow and glacier runoffs are important sources of water for the Himalayan rivers. Due to steep slopes, all these streams are potential sites for hydropower generation.

This presentation by Anil V Kulkarni, Coordinator, Snow and Glacier Project, Space Application Centre (SAC) Ahmedabad delivered at CSE's South Asian Media Briefing Workshop on Aug 27, 2009 highlights the impact of climate change on Himalayan glaciers.

The Himalayas possess one of the largest resources of snow and ice, which act as a huge freshwater reservoir. Monitoring the glaciers is important to assess the overall reservoir health. In this investigation, glacial retreat was estimated for 466 glaciers in Chenab, Parbati and Baspa basins from 1962.