The Himalayas' ice is melting faster and faster - study

Just days after Greenland's fast-vanishing ice made headlines, a study has found similar alarming levels of melting is taking place in the Himalayas.

More than a quarter of the mountain ranges' ice has been lost since 1975, and the rate it's disappearing is speeding up.

Scientists in the US analysed Cold War spy satellite and modern 'stereo' satellite imagery, and found the big melt is so widespread, it can't be blamed on weather events and localised air pollution.

"It looks devastating and there is no doubt in my mind, not a single grain of doubt, that [the impact of the climate crisis] is what we are seeing," researcher Joerg Schaef of Columbia University told the Guardian.

Between 1975 and 2000, glacier heights fell an average 22cm a year. Since 2000, they've dropped an average 43cm a year.

"Results suggest that the observed acceleration of ice loss can be explained by an average temperature ranging from 0.4C to 1.4C warmer during 2000-2016, relative to the 1975-2000 average," the study, published in Science Advances, reads.

Earlier this year Philippus Wester of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development published research suggesting a third of Himalayan ice is doomed to melt, regardless of what future efforts the world makes to reduce emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases.

"Its the climate crisis you haven't heard of," he told the Guardian at the time, saying it raises fears of water becoming scarce for the 1.6 billion people who rely on water that flows from rivers that begin in the Himalayas.



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