“Scientist’s Himalayan Mission Provides Unwelcome Proof: Glaciers Are Dying”

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Dr. Shresth Tayal is working with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) out of India to prove that glaciers in the Himalayan river areas are melting as a result of the environmental changes experienced in the world today. To scientifically prove their claims, TERI is working to measure three specific glaciers over the course of one to two years. Sensors are being installed in the chosen glaciers to measure their volume and the conditions in the atmosphere affecting their status quo. The diligent movements by Dr. Tayal and TERI stem partly from frustrations with critics, who claim there is not enough data to prove the glacier’s change in size has been the result of climate change. Historically the glaciers have been located in inaccessible areas and therefore difficult to use in data collection. Another disputed claim from V. K. Raina, of the Geological Survey of India, suggests the glaciers are melting, but there is no reason to believe the decrease in volume is not normal. One of the repercussions of melted glaciers is a shortage of fresh water, which the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted may happen as soon as 2035. The IPCC claims a shortage of fresh water will cause ‘famine, water wars,’ and refugees fleeing their homelands.

Sources:

Page, Jeremy. “Scientist’s Himalayan Mission Provides Unwelcome Proof: Glaciers Are

Dying.” The Times Online. Dec. 5 2009. Web. Dec. 9 2009.

<http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/copenhagen/article6945249.ece>.

Student Researchers: Abbey Wilson & Jillian Harbin

Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University

Evaluator: Tim Cope, Department of Geosciences, DePauw University