Everywhere we look global warming effects are starting to become more prominent, especially with extreme temperatures in winter and summer. Glaciers are melting due to rising temperatures globally and coastal areas are becoming more prone to cyclones. While low-lying areas are getting submerged under water due to rising sea levels.
European countries are going through unbearable heat waves and droughts are seen in some middle eastern and African countries. America and Canada have frequent wild fires engulfing major areas. South and south-eastern Asian countries are seeing record-breaking temperatures during summer which has become longer with frequent cyclones.
While everywhere some kind of effects of Global warming is being felt drastically but in Himalayas a surprising phenomenon is happening that is shocking scientists. While temperatures are rising globally, the Himalayas seems to get cooler.
Scientists expressed what this phenomena is that’s leading to colder temperatures in the Himalayas. They say when high temperatures comes in contact with higher-altitude ice masses winds called ‘katabatic’ winds are triggered leading to colder air blowing in lower-altitude areas.
This phenomena was in a study published in the Nature Geoscience journal and was found by a team of scientists using data from the climate station located on Mount Everest called the Pyramid International Laboratory/Observatory.
Francesca Pellicciotti, the lead author of this study and professor of glaciology in the Austria’s the Institute of Science and Technology says that when air flows over the mountain and cooler air below which comes in contact with ice masses creates a temperature gap.
She adds, “This leads to an increase in turbulent heat exchange at the glacier’s surface and stronger cooling of the surface air mass.” This leads to triggering of ‘katabatic’ winds in the surrounding areas in the Himalayas as warm winds get colder and denser and hence sinks making area cooler.
This phenomena can slow down the effects of climate change in some areas but sustainability of this phenomena is not guaranteed in future. But the Himalayas does provide freshwater to 2 billion people across 16 countries, which makes this phenomenon significant, especially during climate crisis.
But this phenomenon doesn’t necessarily stop the melting of glaciers due to rising temperatures. According to a report, the Himalayan glaciers are melting 65% faster than in the present decade compared to last decade. Which is likely to stop anytime soon.
Fanny Brun, who is a research scientist at France’s the Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement in Grenoble says, “The main impact of rising temperature on glaciers is an increase of ice losses, due to melt increase.”
While Thomas Shaw past of the study team at ISTA with Pellicciotti, says, “The cooling is local, but perhaps still not sufficient to overcome the larger impact of climatic warming and fully preserve the glaciers.”