Climate and remotely sensed markers of glacier changes in the Himalaya

Lydia Sam, Rajesh Kumar*, Anshuman Bhardwaj

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


The study of past and future climatic variations in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region is a well-documented topic of scientific research. Recent studies have highlighted the significantly higher rates of warming in the HKH region compared to the global average. The HKH region has the largest reserves of glacial ice outside the poles. These glaciers are predominantly known to be sensitive indicators of changing regional and global climate. The large geographical extent, high elevation and perennial inclemency in weather conditions project remote sensing as the only viable option to study glacial characteristics periodically on a regional scale. The present chapter starts with a review of significant studies to assess the extent of climate change in the HKH. Climate-sensitive glacial markers which can be studied using remote sensing are identified. The chapter focuses on the key markers such as changes in glacier extents, glacier facies and supraglacial debris, and mass balance and thickness. The chapter examines these markers separately with respect to changing climate through recent remote sensing-based studies. It provides an overview of recent studies which deal with regional scale glaciological monitoring and assessment. The conclusive section of the chapter suggests the future role of remote sensing applications in studying these markers of climate change. The chapter uses recent studies to highlight key aspects that should be kept in perspective while undertaking remotely sensed glacial assessments. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Change in the Himalayan Region
Subtitle of host publicationTwelve Case Studies
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030033620
ISBN (Print)9783030033613
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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