Govt to set up Centre for Himalayan Glacierlogy

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Shillong, Jun 26 (UNI) The Centre has initiated plans for setting up the National Centre for Himalayan Glacierlogy under the Council for Climate Change to study the receding Gangotri glacier.

''The Centre for Glacierlogy will be set up before December 2009 and it will have three regional centres at Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir,'' Union Secretary, Department of Science and Technology T Ramaswami told reporters here.

The headquarters of the centre will be located in Uttarkhand.

In fact, environmentalists have warned that the Ganges is in danger of drying up in a few hundred years because its source, the Gangotri glacier, is receding following global warming.

''The Centre has in place a national action plan which envisages eight missions to study global warming and its effect on the environment,'' Mr Ramaswami added.

The Union Secretary said the Centre would extensively initiate research on glacierlogy and fund research for different universities.

''As of now the research on glaciers is inadequate and hopefully with the funding, we will have wealth of information on glaciers and the effect of global warming,'' he said.

He, however, made it clear that only conducting research and collecting data was of little consequence if action was not initiated to address global warming and environmental degradation.

According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI), the Gangotri glacier has been receding at the rate of 10-30 metres per year for the last 50 years.

Between 1935 and 1956, the glacier was receding at a nominal rate but started increasing rapidly after this.

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