'Further glacier loss will be chaotic for India'

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United Nations, Mar 16: Further shrinking of Himalyan Glaciers can have dramatic consequence In India disrupting everything from farming and power generation to winter sports, the UN Environment Programme has warned. The UNEP in its report yesterday stated that world's glaciers were shrinking at record rates and many could disappear within decades. Data from 30 glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicated that average rate of melting and thinning reached record levels in 2006.

Further ice loss could have dramatic consequences, particularly in India, whose rivers were fed by Himalayan glaciers, and the US west coast, which gets water from glaciers in the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada. The most severe loss had till now been recorded at Norway's Breidalblikkbrea glacier, which shrank 3.1m. On average, glaciers shrank by 1.5m. ''The figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight,'' said Wilfried Haeberli, director of the World Glacier Monitoring Service, which conducted the study. Professor Haeberli said between 1980 and 1999 glaciers lost an average of 0.3m of ice a year. But since 2000 the average loss has increased to about 0.5m. UNEP's director Achim Steiner urged governments to agree stricter targets for emissions reductions.


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