If the current melting rate continues, 70% of glaciers will retreat by the end of this century; melting cannot cease unless carbon emissions are decreased.
Srinagar, October 13 (KNO): While experts claim that the Union Territory has lost nearly “30% of glaciers in the past 60 years” and warn that 70% of them will recede by the end of this century if the current pace continues, the melting of glaciers has accelerated in Jammu & Kashmir as carbon emissions continue to rise.
According to reports, the melting of glaciers will cause a water shortage soon. The only way to save glaciers, according to the scientists, is to become carbon neutral.
In Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh, there are 18000 glaciers, but they are all melting. All of the Himalayas, including J&K, are experiencing glacier melting. The melting of glaciers has accelerated over the last several years. According to Professor Shakil Romshoo, an earth scientist and vice chancellor of the Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), “the record melting of glaciers was observed last year, and this year it was a bit low compared to the previous year.”
He said that reduced snowfall in winters, particularly during the warm months of February and March, is the cause of the record melting of glaciers. “The melting of snowfall has increased as the temperature remains typically high in February and March and the heat wave starts in April,” he added.
As glaciers melt at varying rates, it would be impossible to pinpoint the precise number of glaciers destroyed, but according to a study, we have lost 25 to 30 percent of our glaciers over the last 60 years. The melting of glaciers has considerably accelerated, and if it keeps up its current rate, we will lose 70% of the glaciers by the end of this century.
He said, “We are losing 18 to 20 metres of a glacier every year.”
According to a study, Kashmir’s largest glacier, Kolahoi glacier, has melted by almost 25% since the 1960s, according to another expert, Dr. Irfan Rashid, who serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Kashmir. “It melted by almost 25% between 1962 and 2022. He said that the Kolahoi glacier, which is the largest in Kashmir and also the glacier that melts the quickest, has been retreating 35 metres a year.
According to studies, the other glaciers in J&K and Ladakh are also melting, and Dr. Irfan Rashid informed KNO that because there would be a 4–7 degree rise by the end of the century, the melting cannot be prevented.
“Nobody can halt the melting of the glaciers until we become carbon neutral. According to the report, carbon emissions are rising and will continue to do so in the future, but only being carbon neutral will be able to stop glaciers from melting.