Volume No. 3 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 495-505 Oct-Dec 2008

 

TEMPERATURE VARIABILITY IN HIMALAYAS AND THREAT TO THE GLACIERS IN THE REGION : A STUDY AIDED BY REMOTE SENSING AND GIS

 

Zahoor-Ul-Islam*, Liaqat Ali Khan Rao1, Ab. Hamid Zargar2 Sarfaraz Ahmad, an

1. Department of Geology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, (INDIA)
2. Division of Environmental Sciences, SKUAST, Srinagar, J&K (INDIA)

 

Received on : July 13, 2008

 

ABSTRACT

 

The present study focuses on the analysis of surface air temperature variations and glacier area changes in the Western Himalayas, using meteorological data, Satellite Imagery and published glacial inventory data. The monthly average surface air temperature data from 1901-2003 has been analyzed to evaluate the climatic trends. The satellite imagery of parts of the Jehlum basin, Kashmir region, has been studied in the GIS environment and the results were compared with the old glacier inventory data prepared and published by Geological Society of India, to analyze temporal and spatial variations in the glacier areas.

The results show a marked rise in the surface air temperature during last few decades, resulting in melting of glaciers in the region at a higher rate. The glaciers in the region have shrunk in area by about 19% since 1962-2001. Beside these, the glaciers show the fragmentation which is resulting in increase in the number of small glaciers. This further indicates the changing climatic scenario in Western Himalayas.

 

Keywords : Temperature variability, Glaciers, Western Himalayas, Satellite imageries, GIS

 

 

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