New study on glacier changes in Khumbu Himal

A new study was published today about glacier changes in the Khumbu Himal (Everest) region of Nepal. Its a nice approach that uses a combination of simplified modelling and all the available data for the region that has been being built up and collected by groups like ICIMOD, IRD, NCAR and EvK2cnr efforts. Its great to see all of this being drawn together.

The paper is open source and you can download the pdf from The Cryopshere yourself here: Shea, J. M., Immerzeel, W. W., Wagnon, P., Vincent, C., and Bajracharya, S.: Modelling glacier change in the Everest region, Nepal Himalaya, The Cryosphere, 9, 1105-1128, doi:10.5194/tc-9-1105-2015, 2015.

The EGU did a nice blog summary, and for a more personal touch read lead author Joe Sheas ICIMOD blog post summarizing the article, in which he provides really nice laymans terms descriptions of what they did in this study. Its recommended reading if you’d like to understand what processes their numerical model captures, how it was calibrated against available data, and how the driving data was selected. The authors take care to highlight that this is a first attempt, therefore there are simplifications in the analysis that increase the uncertainty of the findings, but still conclude that the glaciers in this region of the Himalaya will continue to shrink even in the most conservative climate change scenarios.

Below is a nice GIF from Joe Shea showing the sad story predicted by their model over the next 85 years with atmospheric conditions given by RCP (representative concentration pathway) 4.5 from the IPCC.


About lindsey

Environmental scientist. I am glaciologist specialising in glacier-climate interactions to better understand the climate system. The point of this is to understand how glaciated envionments might change in the future - how the glaciers will respond and what the impact on associated water resources and hazard potential will be.
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