If a new scientific study is to be believed, Everest region may lose more than 70% of its glaciers by the year 2100. The culprit, as always, turns out to be global climate change. This ecological shift is expected to broaden further and if fruitful and timely recovery isn’t made, majority of glaciers in the Everest region may disappear by the end of the century.
Glaciers in the region are losing mass due to increase in temperatures. These glaciers are highly sensitive to future warming and an ice loss of about 70 to 99% by 2100. The research paper, published on Wednesday, is a product of researches from Nepal, France, and the Netherlands. The study also states that the glaciers in the region may be highly sensitive to temperature change and increase in precipitation won’t be enough to counterbalance the increasing melt.
Outside Polar Regions, glaciers in the high mountain belt of Himalayas hold the largest volume of ice. As per scientists, future increase in global warming will lead to melting of glaciers which may lead to formation of lakes. But an avalanche or earthquake will surely have a cataclysmic effect leading to widespread chaos in the Kosi basin. The flow of the river may increase by up to 100 times. It can lead to flash floods and hence can displace chunks of human populace along with causing damage to life and property. Kosi River has caused widespread damage in Bihar in the past.
The research study was carried out in the Dudh Kosi basin in the Nepal Himalayas which is home to some of the world’s highest peaks. This includes Mount Everest which stands tall at a height of 8,848 meters. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to escalate, melting glaciers will pose a serious threat to settlements close to the Kosi River. The areas downstream from Nepal to Kathmandu will be hugely affected.
(Featured Image Credit: eco-business.com)