SASE to organise International Symposium on Cryosphere and Climate change


Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is organizing an International Symposium on Cryosphere and Climate Change (C3) at Manali from April 2 to 4, 2012.

Official release issued by Director SASE, Mr Ashwagosha Ganju here today said that experts of international repute will present their papers in the symposium followed by the International Training Workshop on Planning and Designing of Avalanche Control Structures during 6-7 April 2012 at SASE head quarters in Manali.

Researchers, academicians, engineers, professionals, policy makers, planners, managers and non-governmental organisations would present their original work, case studies, modeling and experimental work as technical papers on the theme.

The high mountain areas such as the Alps, Rockies, Himalayas and the Polar regions where snow covered and large number of glaciers exist, form Earth’s cryosphere. The cryospheric regions are considered as the ‘hotspots’ of biodiversity because of the vulnerability of their ecosystems to even the slightest possible changes in the temperature and precipitation. The Himalayan belt constitutes the Indian cryosphere and  is the largest source of fresh water outside Polar Regions because of the significant expanse of seasonal snow cover and presence of large number of glaciers.

The cryosphere in India comprises mostly the Himalayan belt where winter seasonal snow cover evolves and a large no. of glaciers exist. There are some evidences that climate change has led to an overall rise in air temperature, uneven distribution of precipitation causing draughts and extreme heavy precipitation events, decrease in snow cover, reduction in fresh water reservoirs such as glaciers and perennial natural water  sources. It has also given rise to unusual floods, cloud bursts, landslides  and avalanches.

In the context of climate change adaptation, the Himalayan Region has relevance not only for the people residing within the region, but also for the millions residing downstream as well as the global community. The glacier-fed rivers that flow from the Himalayas provide water to at least 20 percent of the world’s population. These rivers flow through some of the most densely populated and intensely irrigated areas in the world.

A considerable proportion of Indian population depends on the natural water storage facilities primarily glaciers for drinking water, power generation
and agriculture. If this storage function is significantly altered through, because of the climate change in cryospheric region, this will threaten the lives as well as the livelihood of the inhabitants of the region, Mr Ganju said.

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