Global Warming: Ice cliffs make these Himalayan glaciers melt faster

Updated On : 23 Apr,2018 | 11:45 AM
Researchers have confirmed their suspicion that north-facing ice cliffs on debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas accelerate ice melt.

Glaciers in the high mountain regions of the Himalayas offer a different picture to those in the Alps: many of them are completely covered in debris, and steep ice walls—vertical cliffs up to 30 meters high—overlook many areas. From a distance, this makes their surface look like the bumpy skin of a toad.

Researchers had previously assumed that the insulating debris protects the ice from direct solar radiation, thereby slowing down the melting of the underlying ice. However, satellite measurements show that debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas might lose mass as quickly as those that are debris-free.

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