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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rapid Melt of Kashmir Glaciers

SRINAGAR, Oct 13: Glaciers in occupied Kashmir are melting fast because of rising temperatures, threatening the water supply of millions of people in the Himalayan region, a new study by Indian scientists says.

The study by Kashmir University’s geology and geophysics department blamed the effect on climate change, and said it endangered the livelihoods of two-thirds of the region’s nearly 10 million people engaged in agriculture, horticulture, livestock rearing and forestry.

The Kolahoi glacier, the biggest in the Indian portion of divided Kashmir, has shrunk to about 11.5 square kilometres from about 13 square kilometres in the past 40 years, the study found.

Shakil Romshoo, an associate professor in the department who led to three-year study, described the rate of melting as “alarming.” He said on Tuesday that Kolahoi had shrunk by 18 per cent, and over the same period, other glaciers in the region had shrunk by 16 per cent.—AP

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