Durban, South Africa: A comprehensive research on snow cover in the Hindukush Himalayan region released here claims that there are 54,252 glaciers in the Himalayas covering 60,054 sq km. Till now there was only an estimate of the snow covered area and it was said to be 110,000 sq km.
“The study used a standardised methodology based on analysis of satellite images to prepare first ever comprehensive inventory of glaciers in the 10 major river basins in the Himalayas. It took about three years to come up with the results,” said Samjwal Bajracharya, glacier expert at International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, a regional inter-governmental agency that conducts research on glaciers in eight countries of Hindukush Himalayan region, including Nepal.
The study conducted used decadal (2001-2010) data on snow products recorded by moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, which presents an account of snow mapping and monitoring initiatives at different levels from regional to global. “There hadn’t been any mapping of the glaciers in the past. The previously stated figures were all estimates. Now we can say the actual snow covered area in the region,” claimed Bajracharya who has been involved in glacier study for more than a decade.