New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) The Himalayan glaciers are retreating but not at a rapid pace and no abnormal trend in their melting was documented in recent years, the government said today.
Union Earth Sciences Minister Harsh Vardhan in a written reply in Lok Sabha said the glaciers in the eastern and central Himalayas are retreating "continuously", while some in the western part of the mountain range are reportedly advancing.
"The rate of melting/recession varies from glacier to glacier and depends on the topography and climatic variability of the region.
"Studies have revealed that the Himalayan glaciers are retreating in general, but not at a rapid pace. There is no abnormal trend in melting documented in recent years," Vardhan said.
He said the Ministry of Earth Sciences monitors six glaciers -- Sutri Dhaka, Batal, Bara Shigri, SamudraTapu, Gepang Gath and Kunjum of Chandra basin -- for mass, energy and hydrological balance.
"The National Centre of Antarctica and Ocean Research (NCAOR) has established a high altitude research station in the Himalayas called Himansh at a remote region in Lahaul-Spiti to study and quantify the Himalayan glaciers' response towards climate change.
"A number of glaciers have been taken up for longterm measurement on glacier-climate interaction in different parts of the Himalayan region by some of these agencies," Vardhan said.