Featured Research Earth Science Department

Effects of Climate Change on Cryosphere-river Linkages: Insights from Seasonal and Inter-annual Variation of Glacial Melt Discharge in the Headwaters of the Ganges River

PI: Prof. Indra Sekhar Sen
Co-PI: Prof. Rajiv Sinha

Effects of Climate Change on Cryosphere-river

Global warming and climate change issues are adversely affecting the health of the Himalayan glaciers, which feed the large rivers in the Indian subcontinent such as the Ganges. Questions and concerns have been raised about the melting of the Himalayan glaciers, and how this will impact downstream water supplies, hydropower generation, irrigation, as well as future supply of potable water. However, the impacts of climate change on the hydrological budget of the Ganges River are currently not well known. This project is attempting to develop a hydro-geochemical model for snow/ice melt waters to the headwaters of the Ganges River. The model will use time-series observations of water discharge, physical, and chemical parameters of water samples, particularly their stable isotope signatures near glaciated Ganges headwaters. The findings of this project will provide important insights into the effects of climate change and retreating Himalayan glaciers on the hydrological budget of the Ganges River.Figure right: Sediment filtration unit in use, the filtered water is stored in acid pre-cleaned vials for nutrient, radiogenic Sr isotope, stable O and H isotopes, and trace metal analysis



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