“Heavy rainfall triggered the collapse of Chorabari Glacier lake in 2013 unleashing a torrent of water with debris causing deadly floods killing hundreds of people. There are nearly two hundred such lakes amongst all are Himalayan States I am not aware of what action has been taken or what actions have been planned to provide some kind of advance warning in case this phenomenon were to occur again” said Wing. Commander Amit Chaudhary, Safety Commission President, International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, he was giving a talk titled ‘Is Climate Changing?’ at India International Center recently. He explained that the fast melting glaciers lead to formation of these kind of lakes and heavy rains often causes the lake boundary to give way and water flows down.
Chaudhary who is also the Chairman of Steering Committee of Indian Mountaineerting Foundation said that the risk in mountaineering has increased due to glaciers receding because of global warming “A study titled ‘Effects of Climate Change: Alpine Climbing Danger’ was published in an international scientific journal which established a relationship between climate change and increased risk in mountaineering. The report said that there were plenty of routes which did not change significantly over time while there are other routes that have changed and these witness more rock fall. I myself have witnessed change in mountaineering routes and receding of glaciers over a period of time.”
He explained how climate change is impacting the lives of the people of the Himalayas “Komic in Spiti which stands at 4500 meters is one of the highest inhabited areas in Himalayas. As reported by local residents the lone glacier water source has been shrinking for last 15 years the cold arid zone of Himachal Pradesh has witnessed an increase of about 1° Celsius mean temperature as reported by the IMD. Rainfall in Lahaul-Spiti has been very erratic showing an average decline of around 50% in annual rainfall. Impact of Climate Change can also be seen in a village near Komic called Lancha over there snowfall has decreased considerably even in that area, consequently people have lesser amount of water for irrigation and they have increased heating after monsoons with alternating low and high temperatures which affecting agriculture.”