Assessment of Lahaul-Spiti (western Himalaya, India) Glaciers- An Overview of Mass Balance and Climate
Received Date: Mar 31, 2014 / Accepted Date: May 01, 2014 / Published Date: May 05, 2014
Available published literatures on glacier mass balance and climate studies i.e., temperature change, precipitation variation etc. are reviewed for whole Lahaul-Spiti region as well as for western Himalaya. Chhota Shigri and Hamta glaciers both lie in the Lahaul-Spiti region and have the longest in-situ datasets till the date ~10 years, surface mass balance data, geodetic, remotely sensed mass balance data are available. We have compiled and compared all the datasets (different methods) and tried to link up the glacier mass balance with the climate of the past few decades. In the past decade both the glaciers have experienced negative mass balance. However, all the values of mass balance for same years are not corresponding with different methods, but it is clear that the two glaciers are losing mass and behaving like other glaciers with time. Data from Indian Meteorological Department shows a significant increase of average temperature for the entire country and huge variability in precipitation of Himachal Pradesh. Temperature and precipitation are the two main governing factors of the glacier health. It has been observed and predicted that glaciers of the Lahual-Spiti region are losing mass due to change in weather pattern, especially increasing air temperature which is the key parameter of glacier change. However, long-term mass balance and climate data are essential for the better understanding and to predict the future status of glaciers in Lahaul-Spiti region.
Keywords: Lahaul-Spiti; Western Himalaya; Glacier mass balance; Climate; Chhota Shigri glacier
Citation: Mandal A, Ramanathan AL, Angchuk T (2014) Assessment of Lahaul- Spiti (western Himalaya, India) Glaciers- An Overview of Mass Balance and Climate. J Earth Sci Climat Change S11: 003. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.S11-003
Copyright: © 2014 Mandal A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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