NOV 2009  
Environmental Research
New vistas in TERI’s glacier research

TERI’s (The Energy and Resources Institute) Glacier Research Programme took another leap forward with the installation of an Automatic Weather Station at an altitude of 3925m in its Kolahoi Glacier Monitoring Observatory at Jammu and Kashmir. This station is equipped with all the sensors necessary to quantify the amount of atmospheric energy being transferred to the glacier system and leading to its negative mass balance. Recently, TERI’s team visited the glacier and catalogued various parameters reflecting the changes in its mass balance since last year.

The team has also installed a water level recorder at the Lidarvat Discharge Station, taken the glacier profile by using DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System), and has made snow density measurements in the accumulation pits dug at a height of 4600m. The team has also succeeded in conducting preliminary estimation of black carbon concentration at the glaciated zones of Western Himalaya.

TERI’s Kolahoi Glacier Monitoring Observatory has the distinction of being an exclusive observatory in Western Himalaya for being equipped with minimum basic infrastructure required for high precision scientific glacier research.

TERI has also joined hands with IMF (Indian Mountaineering Foundation) and signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to study, preserve, and safeguard the Himalayan glaciers under the NAPCC (National Mission of Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem).

Stressing on the need to study the Himalayan belt, Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General of TERI, said, ‘We wish to study more on glaciers as we are very dependent on them and our work till now has been negligible. We need to understand the drivers and implications of the changes happening in the Himalayan belt.’