Climate Change Impact on Glacier Retreat and Local Community in the Langtang Valley, Central Nepal

Santa Man Rai, Bishal Nath Upreti, Subodh Dhakal, Tara Nidhi Bhattarai, Basanta Raj Adhikari, Samjwal Ratna Bajracharya, Masaru Yoshida

Abstract


Global warming leading to climate change is a rapidly growing global threat to humanity and environment of the world. The present research in the Langtang Valley, Central Nepal attempts to find out the impact of climate change on glacier retreat and local community based on the studies of available long-term hydrological-meteorological data, satellite image analysis of glaciers from 1979 to 2009, and observation of local people and their experience on climate change issues. The high altitude areas of the Langtang Valley show a consistent trend of increase in temperature, a clear evidence of the global warming that has resulted in the fast melting of glaciers with both horizontal and vertical retreats. The Lirung Glacier and the Kimjung Glacier have retreated for over 900 metre and 400 metre, respectively, with an average retreat of about 40 metre/year and total vertical retreat in the snout position is 100 metre for both. The study also reveals that this glacier retreat is due to an increase in temperature and a change in patterns of precipitation and snowfall. The study also shades light on some socio-economic impacts of such changes on the livelihood of marginal communities residing downstream the affected areas.

 


Keywords


Climate Change, Green House Gases Emissions, Langtang Glaciers, Glacier Retreat, Environment

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References


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