What is the evidence for glacial shrinkage across the Himalayas?: systematic review

Miller, J. ORCID:; Rees, G. ORCID:; Warnaars, T. ORCID:; Young, G.; Collins, D.; Shrestha, A.. 2013 What is the evidence for glacial shrinkage across the Himalayas?: systematic review. Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, 97pp. (CEE Review 10-008)

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There has been concern in the scientific community surrounding the claim that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking at an alarming rate as a result of climate change, leading to significant impacts on the water resources of populations in the downstream basins. Despite much research, there remains no clear understanding of how glacier shrinkage varies across the region, or how it might impact downstream stakeholders. Clearly this hinders well-informed, evidence-based decision and policy making. A rigorous systematic review, to discern what is the evidence about glacier shrinkage across the Himalayas, is a major step to support policy-making in the region. This systematic review assesses the primary evidence regarding physical changes in glaciers in order to ascertain what evidence is available, whether glaciers are shrinking in mass, reducing future melt-water availability, and whether the rate of shrinkage is changing. Four main measurement types have been employed to assess such changes: terminus position, area, volume, and mass balance. Some measurements are more appropriate and indicative than others in assessing changes in glacier mass. As well as assessing the available evidence, the review provides an appraisal of current understanding and corresponding knowledge.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Boorman (to September 2014)
Directors, SCs
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Official URL link provides full text of the Systematic Review. For associated documents (Protocol, Annex A and Annex B) follow the Related URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Glaciology
Related URLs:
Date made live: 19 Mar 2013 11:57 +0 (UTC)

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