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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: Apr 17, 2012

SIACHEN GLACIER CAN BE A PEACE PARK

Dr Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, Advisor Climate Affairs, Government of Pakistan, has said that according to scientific studies, eastern glaciers are melting more rapidly than glaciers in western regions in the north.
Dr Zaman was delivering his presidential address at a seminar on ‘Climate Change and Siachen Glacier: A global challenge,” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
Dr Zaman said that average temperature in northern areas increased by 0.76 degree centigrade with increase in frequency of heat waves that adversely affected the environment in the region. He said that Siachen Glacier is under stress from factors such as global warming, black carbon and human military interventions. He also referred to trans-boundary pollution that results in heavy deposits of carbon on glaciated ice triggering the temperature to rise due to more absorption of solar radiation.
Arshad H Abbasi, Advisor, SDPI, said that rise in temperature at Siachen Glacier is the direct result of large-scale military interventions. He said forces used chemicals to melt and cut through the age-old glacial ice to construct bunkers, camps, helipads and airfields. He rejected the notion that global warming is melting Siachen Glacier and cited a NASA report that states that more than 65% of glaciers in the Karakoram are growing. “Therefore, if adjoining glaciers are gaining further mass, then it is a case of direct human interference that is melting Siachen,” he added. He said recent tragedy in Gayari sector is caused by “glacier surge.”
He elaborated that rising temperature melted the base of the glacier reducing the frictional resistance and transferred large volumes of ice on Pakistan’s Army camp.
Shakeel Ahmad Ramay of Climate Change Study Center, SDPI, observed that prevalence of black carbon content is one of the major reasons behind Siachen Glacier’s rapid melting. He said that presence of two militaries and their different activities involved heavy omissions of black carbon which has strong correlation with the depleting glaciers including occurrences of incidents such as Gayari.