Friday, August 07, 2009

Sikkim's largest glacier melting

Gangtok , Aug6: Alarmed over reported shrinkage of the 26 km Zemu glacier in the eastern Himalayas, which is the main source of water for Teesta river, due to global warming, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has sought an"authentic report"on the issue.

At a meeting with Forest department officials, Chamling sought an&aposauthentic report&aposabout the glacier receding , an official release said today.

In an interim report presented to the state government earlier this year, it was revealed that the glacier has shrunk by three to six meters.

The report said that in some cases the recession of pristine glaciers was caused by under-construction power projects which raised the temperature affecting the ecology and environment of the state.

A status report on all glaciers was prepared by a study team comprising eminent experts at the initiative of the Science and Technology department last year.

Sikkim has the largest number of 84 glaciers, with Zemu being the biggest.

Forest and Wildlife Secretary S T Lachungpa said he would soon form a committee on climate change to study the impact of global warming on glaciers in the Himalayan state before compiling a report.

It would take a couple of months to study the physical status of the Zemu glacier, he said.