Here's how black carbon deposits causing glaciers, snow melt in Himalayan ranges
- The World Bank said that countries in South Asia must work together to manage hydropower resources, an important source for the region’s clean energy needs and a generator of energy trade and security.
Black carbon deposits due to human activities are increasing glaciers and snow melt in the Himalayan ranges and are changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, the World Bank has said in a study.
The study published on Thursday said that recent evidence suggests that in addition to changing temperatures and precipitation patterns, black carbon (BC) deposits are further increasing glacier and snow melt in these mountain ranges.
How does black carbon generate?
The World Bank said that the black carbon is generated by human activity both inside and outside South Asia. It is part of a larger basket of aerosols that impact climate change directly and indirectly, according to Hartwig Schafer, vice president of the World Bank’s South Asia region.
“Recent devastating flash floods attributed to a collapsing glacier in the Himalayas were a sobering reminder of the sometimes disastrous effects of climate change and the dangers we have to protect against,” said Schafer.
He added that as glaciers shrink, the lives and livelihoods of many people downstream are affected by changes in the water supply. "We can slow glacier melt by collectively acting to curb the black carbon deposits that are speeding the thinning of the ice. Regional cooperation to protect these resources will pay important dividends for the health and well-being of the people in the region,” he added.
How to control it?
The World Bank said that countries in South Asia must work together to manage hydropower resources, an important source for the region’s clean energy needs and a generator of energy trade and security. Unstable water flow from glacier melt and more variable precipitation underscore the need to stabilise availability over the longer term to make hydropower more viable.
It also said that regional cooperation will be necessary to create joint adaptation strategies, adding that a first step could be sharing information about the evolving state of glaciers and risks associated with it.
“Water resource management policies must evolve because the trends we are observing point to a different and more challenging future,” said Muthukumara Mani, lead economist in the World Bank’s South Asia region and a lead author of the report.
“Success will require an active and agile cooperation between researchers and policymakers so both groups can continue to learn about the problems at hand,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)