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Hurricane Sandy Vs the swelling Glaciers of Karakorum: Is Global Warming a myth or reality?

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As the vicious Hurricane Sandy continues to pound the Eastern Seaboard of the United States and Canada, scientists and common people are driven to re-emphasize the affects of Global Warming all over the world. Scientific discussions and studies have led to the mutually agreed fact that the storms and Hurricanes are a natural phenomenon and have little to do with any changes imparted by the warming of the climate on a larger scale. 

However, a very few of these scientists disagree over the fact that the fierceness of these storms have a direct correlation with the increased atmospheric temperatures all over the world.

It now appears that the forewarnings for the destructive capabilities of the Hurricane Sandy were colossally underestimated. With a death toll of 50 people, the States of New York and New Jersey have already been declared in the state of emergency and some 7 million people are facing power shortage due to the precautionary shutdown of two Nuclear Reactors in the region.


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The scientific reasoning for the intensity of the perpetual storms in the region still points towards the destabilized atmospheric changes, particularly triggered by the emissions of Greenhouse Gases all over the world. There are, at the same time, a handful of experts who point towards the growing Glaciers in the Karakorum’s in Pakistan, which have confused the peace activists and Environmentalists all over the world.

The mind-boggling growth of the glacial system in the rugged Karakorum in Pakistan has attracted numerous scientists over the years, who have confirmed that the system is growing in bulk even when the neighboring glaciers in the Himalayas are following the shrinking patterns like the rest of the glacial systems in the world.

“There’s no question that Karakoram glaciers are holding their own, but exactly why that is, we don’t know,” Kenneth Hewitt, a geographer at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.


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A team of French scientists from the National Center for Scientific Research and the University of Grenoble led by glaciologist Julie Gardelle, used satellite images to study the mountains, which are almost entirely inaccessible. The team reported that the Glaciers in Karakorum have increased in size by 0.11 and 0.22 meters of ice each year. Their study comprised of Satellite data from the year 1999 to 2008.

One of the many logical reasons given to the increasing size of this Glacial System, is the layer of thick Moraines that cover the glaciers, providing a natural insulator from the outside temperatures.


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“We don’t really know the reason,” Ms Gardelle said. “Right now we believe that it could be due to a very specific regional climate over Karakoram because there have been meteorological measurements showing increased winter precipitation; but that’s just a guess at this stage”.

The glaciers in Karakorum, the most notable Baltoro, Biafo and Siachen, are some of the longest glaciers in the world after the Polar Caps. They are not only the biggest Fresh Water sources in the Sub-Continent but have also a dire impact on the Ecology and Economy of the Countries dependent on the fresh water sources. 

According to estimates, some 1.3 Billion people are dependent on the fresh waters from this Glacial System.


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