The reports, launched on Sunday at the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa, form the most comprehensive ever assessment of the extent of Himalayan ice melting. They follow a discredited announcement by scientists in 2007 that the region's glaciers would be gone by 2035.
A three-year Sweden-funded research project led by ICIMOD showed 10 glaciers surveyed in the region all are shrinking, with a marked acceleration in loss of ice between 2002 and 2005. Another study found a significant reduction in snow cover across the region in the last decade.
"These reports provide a new baseline and location-specific information for understanding climate change in one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world," Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said.
"They substantially deepen our understanding of this region... while also pointing to the knowledge gaps yet to be filled and actions that must be taken to deal with the challenge of climate change."...