Climate Change

The #10YearChallenge Kashmir should worry about: Receding Glaciers, Drying Lakes

Disclaimer: This story is best viewed on a desktop.

The Shafat Glacier is a massive 14 kilometres long, and is situated in the north eastern Himalayan Range, around 294 kilometres from Srinagar.

The monster Himalayan Glacier sits at the base of the peaks Nun and Kun which rise from the glacier, with ice falls and ice fields at the bottom.

Shafat glacier contributes to the Indus, though Suru river, which is one of the tributaries and plays a significant role, in giving life to a large area. But the mountain on which it sits, is changing, and the glacier visibly receding.

The time range for the image comparison, has been increased from 10 years, as per a popular internet trend, to a period of 32 years, for the sake of clarity.

Have a look at how the mountain’s ice cover has been changing since 1984-2016

Drag the slider.

Watching the ice recede to the very peaks, almost vanishing from the gorges, is scary, considering that this is a source of drinking water, and has receded by many kilometres.

With the glacial ice in the Himalayas melting, the lakes and rivers would dry up too. And it has already started happening.

Wular Lake

The lake, once the largest freshwater water body in Asia, is drying up, almost vanishing from the scene. The lake provides livelihood to a large population, invites migratory birds, and makes agriculture and horticulture in the region possible by recharging ground water.

However, in the last few decades, the lake has visibly reduced.

This is not just the case with one lake, or one glacier. The trend is similar across the line.

Rimo Glacier

You can watch the glacier receding from 1984, to 2016, in the time-lapse below.


Qazi Zaid is a journalist based in Kashmir and edits Free Press Kashmir. 


Like this story? Producing quality journalism costs. Make a Donation & help keep our work going.

Click to comment
To Top