Environmental Earth Sciences

, 75:1233 | Cite as

Unsteady state of glaciers (Chhota Shigri and Hamtah) and climate in Lahaul and Spiti region, western Himalayas: a review of recent mass loss

  • Arindan Mandal
  • AL. Ramanathan
  • Thupstan Angchuk
  • Mohd Soheb
  • Virendra Bahadur Singh
Thematic Issue
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Water in Central Asia

Abstract

Available published literatures on glacier mass loss and climate studies like temperature and precipitation are reviewed for Lahaul and Spiti region in northern India, which is a part of the western Himalayas. Chhota Shigri and Hamtah Glaciers are both located in the Lahaul and Spiti region and have the longest record of in situ glaciological mass balance (MB) measurements. We have compiled and compared all the dataset (different methods) related to glacier change with climate in the past few decades. Both the glaciers have experienced a significant mass loss during the study period. Different methods show diverse results for the glaciers studied for the same year; however, all results depicts overall unsteady state of both the glaciers. Data of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) shows a significant increase in average temperature for the entire country and huge variability in precipitation particularly in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Temperature and precipitation are found to be the two main governing factors controlling the glacier health in this region. Thus, it can be said that the glaciers of Lahaul and Spiti region are losing mass due to changing weather conditions, especially the increasing air temperature. However, long-term MB and climate data will give a better insight into understand and predict the future scenario of glacier health in this region.

Keywords

Glacier mass balance Climate change Chhota Shigri Glacier Lahaul and Spiti region Western Himalayas 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We express our gratitude to all the researchers who have worked and given valuable inputs to the Glaciology scientific community. We are thankful to Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, for providing all the facilities. We thank all the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedbacks, and the scientific and the guest editor for providing guidance toward the finalization of the paper. Many thanks to Sumeet Tsering for language correction. Ultimately, we thank all our project collaborators and funding agencies (DST-GoI, SAC, CIFIPRA, IRD, INDICE, GLACINDIA and CHARIS) for their kind and timely support.

Supplementary material

12665_2016_6023_MOESM1_ESM.doc (30 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 30 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arindan Mandal
    • 1
  • AL. Ramanathan
    • 1
  • Thupstan Angchuk
    • 1
  • Mohd Soheb
    • 1
  • Virendra Bahadur Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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