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The Statesman

Published Date: Apr 17, 2012


Calling for complete demilitarisation of Siachen glacier, speakers at a seminar argued that Siachen glacier is fast melting due to heavy military presence and activities, beside global warming and black carbon as other contributing factors.
They called for preservation of glacier by turning into a peace park for good bilateral relations and to focus on more vital issues of addressing chronic poverty and under development in south Asia.
The experts were discussing at a seminar on ‘Climate Change and Siachen Glacier: A Global Challenge’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.
Chairing the session, Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry, Advisor Climate Affairs, Government of Pakistan deliberated on climate change impacts on glaciers and said, scientific studies reveal that eastern glaciers are melting more rapidly than glaciers in western regions in the north.
He said, average temperature in northern areas has increased by 0.76 C with increase in frequency of heat waves that had adversely affected the environment in the region.
He said, Siachen glacier is under stress from factors such as global warming, black carbon and human military interventions.
He also talked of trans-boundary pollution that results in to heavy deposits of carbon on glaciated ice, triggering the temperature to rise, due to more absorption of solar radiation.
Arshad H. Abbasi, Advisor Water & Energy at SDPI, and an expert on glaciers said rise in temperature at Siachen glacier is the direct result of large scale military interventions.
He said forces have used chemicals to melt and cut through the age-old glacial ice to construct bunkers, camps, helipads and airfields.