Ice Melting Current Affairs - 2020

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Sikkim Glaciers are being lost at faster rate than other parts of Himalayan parts

The Scientists of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun conducted a study and have found that glaciers in Sikkim region are melting at faster rates as compared to other Himalayan regions.

Key Findings

The study has assessed around 23 glaciers and their spread since 1991 to 2015. The larger glaciers are thinning in size and smaller glaciers are retreating. During these years, major shift in behavior was noted since 2000. Since 2000, the western and central Himalayan glaciers have sowed reduced melting. Whereas in case of Sikkim Glaciers, the melting rate has increased. Summer temperature increase is the main reason for glacier changes.

Study-First of its Kind

This study is the first in India to study about multiple parameters of glaciers namely length, Debris cover, area, glacial lakes, snow line altitude.

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Technology

The Institute operates under Department of Science and Technology. It was established in 1968. The institute provides advisory and consultancy services to various organizations. It also gives advises on geotechnical feasibility of hydel projects, their foundation and site selection.

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Antarctica recorded the hottest temperature of 20.75 degrees Celsius

The World Meteorological Organization announced that for the first time in record Antarctica has recorded its hottest temperature ever, 20.75 Degree Celsius. So far, the highest was 18.3 Degrees Celsius that was recorded in January 1982.

Highlights

The higher temperatures were influenced by shifts in El Nino and Ocean Currents. According to United Nations scientists, the Antarctic region stores more than 70% of world’s fresh water. If it melts, the sea level will increase by 50 to 60 metres.

Significance of Ice Sheet in Antarctica

The ice sheet in Antarctica covers 14 million square kilometres. To the east of Antarctica there lies land masses under the ice sheets. However, on the west Antarctica the ice beds can extend to more than 2500 metres under the sea.

The Arctic and Antarctic Ice sheets are important as they reflect 80% to 90% of solar radiation. On the other hand, the other dark surfaced landforms reflect less solar radiation and retain great amount of heat.

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