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Glacier recession and expansion in Hindu Kush-Himalayas and Central Asia

Year: 2010 Author: Riccardo Pravettoni
Averaged over their entire areas, within the period 1960– 2003 glaciers in Patagonia and Alaska have thinned by ap- proximately 35 m and 25 m, respectively, whereas high mountain glaciers in Asia have thinned by over 10 m. Data for Patagonia and Alaska are computed from glacier surface elevations for dozens of glaciers. In many other high moun- tain environments such as the Himalayas and the high Andes, where data are limited due to both diffcult access to the high altitude regions and for political reasons, the exact amount of regional mass loss remains subject to some uncertainty (Fig. 2). This makes it diffcult to compare rates of change with other regions. Recent satellite observations, however, have con frmed that glaciers in many mountain regions are thinning (e.g. Berthier et al., 2007; Paul et al., 2007; Bolch et al., 2008a, b), conclusively showing that the majority of mountain glaciers are losing mass in response to climate changes.
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