The Himalayas

Source: Natural High

The Himalayas is the soul of India; Himalayas comprise India’s national mountain system. The Himalayans is the highest peak in Mount Everest at 29,029 feet and the third largest depositor of ice and snow in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic’s. With their high altitude, length, direction they intercept the summer, monsoon’s coming from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. The situation currently is not unknown; the increase of urbanization and pollution has taken a toll on the environment. As a result of this the glaciers are melting at a higher rate around the world. Recently, on 7th February 2021 a glacier broke in the Himalayas which caused a dozen of death and 100 went missing and along with this the glacier smashed multiple dams and two hydroelectric plants in the northern India. The cause of this glacier break is not known but the rise in temperature can be a major reason for this and if this continues then many more incidents are to come in the future. Apart from this Himalayas have been protecting India from outsiders from the early time thus serving as a defense barrier. In October 1962, the Chinese attacked on India and it reduced the defense significance of the Himalayas to a large extend.

Source: India Strategic

In spite of the improvement in the warfare techniques the defense significance in the Himalayas cannot be overlooked. The Himalayan region contains many valuable minerals. Copper, lead, zinc, nickel, gold, silver, limestone, etc are all said to be found in the Himalayan regions. The Himalayas are considered to be the abodes of the Gods as it has Kailas, Amarnath, Badrinath, Kedarnath, etc for the pilgrims to visit.

Industrial revolution has caused the emission of greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide resulting in the increase in temperature even in the poles which causes melting of the glaciers. The burning of the fossil fuels also produces greenhouse gases and it increases the heat as it traps the heat in the environment. The glaciers are capable of absorbing 20% of the heat from the sun reflecting the remaining 80% back. According to NASA, it shows that the Greenland ice-sheet is shrinking fast and the glaciers in the Garhwal Himalaya in India decreasing in a rapid rate; it is believed that by 2035 the glaciers will be gone. The oil and gas extraction process releases Methane which the main constitution of natural gas plus it more badly for the environment than carbon dioxide.

Source: The World

Trees also known as “natural fans” are very important for the balance of the ecosystem and overall cooling of the  planet so cutting down trees create more space for the human’s but it disturbs the balance of the environment. It has a lot of negative effect like increasing in the release of carbon dioxide while less of it is absorbed by trees as they are reducing in number and owing to deforestation, raising the sea level. In the month of summer ice breaking ships head towards the north into the Arctic Ocean breaking through the ice at the sea leaving trails of open water. It has a less ability to return the sun rays back, thus the water takes in more heat and as a consequence the water gets more heated and it melts more ice. Global warming causes damage to the humans and animals along with the environment, some of the examples are shortage of electricity, flooding, biodiversity loss, animals losing their homes, coral reef despairing, reducing agricultural production, etc.

The Ministry of Earth Science is setting up to measure the deepness of the glacier in the region and evaluate their volume and gauge the water availability in them as the Himalayan glaciers is a major source of water to the rivers originating from there and also a help to the Indo-Gangetic plains which is home to millions of people.

Source: BBC NEWS

The project is scheduled in the summer between June-July and the director of The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) Ravichandran will execute the project. The countries high altitude research center Himansh is also studying the Himalayan Climate. Ravichandran said that the purpose of this study is to understand the volume of the glaciers as this will help to comprehend the water availability in the glacier and also whether the glaciers are increasing or shrinking. The area of the glacier is already known with the help of the satellite. Radar technology which uses microwave signals will be used for the project as it can penetrate through the ice and reach the rocks; something that the satellite image cannot do. The signal after the reflection will be helpful for better understanding of the depth of glaciers. Helicopters will carry these radars and after that a subsequent study will be carried out in the rest of the Himalayas.

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Trisha Guharoy

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  • Wonderful subject matter.

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