08/10/2013, 00.00
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Himalayan glaciers melting "will have no impact on the rivers of Asia"

Recent studies show that global warming will result in a significant narrowing of the Baltoro and Langtang glaciers. The two basins, from which the Indus and the Ganges arise, may shrink by 50%, but a Dutch scientist argues that this would not affect the flow of the two rivers until 2100.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Baltoro and the Langtang, the two glaciers that feed the Indus and Ganges rivers, could halve over the next century. This is stated by many scientists who think that global warming over the next 100 years have a significant impact on the proportions of the two major waterways in South Asia.

Walter Immerzal, a Dutch scholar at the University of Utrecht, carried out a double computerized simulation of the melting of the two Himalayan glaciers, in a case of moderate and strong global warming. Although in both studies the two glaciers showed a tendency to lose a great part of their volume from 2100 on, Immerzal claimed that this did not prove it would affect the flow of the Indus and Ganges rivers.

"In both cases glaciers will retreat, but net glacier melt run-off is on a rising limb at least until 2050," said the scientist. "In combination with a positive change in precipitation, water availability this century is not likely to decline. We conclude that river basins that depend on monsoon rains and glacier melt will continue to sustain the increasing water demands"


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