How does Climate affect Glaciers

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Glaciers in the Himalayas
The Himalayan mountains are home to the second largest body of ice in the world, these glaciers are extremely important to the lives of many people, animals and ecosystems.The Himalayan range includes about 15,000 glaciers, which store about 12,000 km3 (3000 cubic miles) of freshwater. The Himalayan mountains are located in the northeastern part of India and pass through several countries including Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan. The glaciers in the Himalayan mountains are at the headwaters of many essential and large rivers throughout the himalayan and asian countries. Over the last 30 years some glaciers in the Himalayas have retreated one kilometre. The negative effects of CO2 and global warming on the glaciers have caused the glaciers to melt, or retreat having a lot of drastic effects. Over time, as a result of glacier shrinkage, normal glacier melt will not be able to contribute to the Himalayan region's water supply each year. Water availability will not be affected at low elevations because they are mostly dependent on monsoon rains, however at higher elevations glacier retreats will result in streamflow alterations in some basins.

GLOF or Glacial Lake Outburst flood is when lakes, formed by the melting of glaciers overflow causing floods. This a very serious issue in the Himalayas as these lakes are near large rivers which are densely populated with villages and farms. Tsho Rolpa glacial lake is located in Dolakha district of Nepal and is one of the biggest glacial lakes in the Himalayas, has been categorised by scientists as the most potentially dangerous glacial lake in the country. Tsho Rolpa was made by the melting of several glaciers in the valleys above it. If the ...

... middle of paper ... Victoria University says “a 70-metre chunk of ice broke off the terminal face of Tasman glacier”, therefore releasing an estimated seven million cubic metres of ice into Tasman Lake.

The retreat of the Tasman Glacier will have a large effect on tourism which is a very important industry to New Zealands people and economy. At the moments there are services available to go skiing on the Tasman Glacier however in the future because of the retreat of the glacier these tourism opportunities will not be able to keep going because of dangers and the eventual disappearance of the glacier. Steepening ice slopes, an increase in the rockfall hazard and increased debris cover are all challenges faced by tourism operators in the glacial sector. Climate change will affect the survival of small towns in the area because most of the jobs are involved with tourists and tourism.
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