By Kenneth Hewitt

The Karakoram includes the best focus of glaciers and lots of the greatest ice plenty outdoor excessive latitudes. They contain significant shops and assets of unpolluted water in an differently severe, continental, dry zone. As many as two hundred million humans dwelling downstream, within the valleys of the Indus and Yarkand Rivers, rely on soften waters from snow and ice. they're in danger from climate-change affects on glaciers and water offer, and from risks reminiscent of glacial lake outburst floods.

Useful study tasks return to the 19th century, yet assurance has commonly been restricted geographically and has now not been non-stop through the years. it's virtually eighty years in view that a monograph was once dedicated to the Karakoram glaciers. The publication offers a finished assessment, together with records for the ice conceal, glacier mass stability and dynamics, glacierized landscapes, rock glaciers, water assets and environmental risks. released glaciological and similar study is surveyed in addition to day trip stories and archival fabrics in numerous languages. The increasing power of satellite tv for pc insurance is exploited, yet stipulations and strategies suggested from box investigations are the main target. formerly unpublished observations by means of the writer are awarded, in accordance with a few forty five years of labor within the sector.

Broad knowing of the glacial atmosphere is used to deal with rising matters concerning the excessive Asian cryosphere and the destiny of its glaciers. those are mentioned with regards to the urgent problems with water offer, environmental probability and sustainability. Questions of what's not identified support establish a lot wanted tracking and examine.

The publication is of curiosity to researchers, execs, and people learning glaciers, mountain environments, water assets and environmental risks. the themes mentioned might be of shock for someone serious about neighborhood improvement and worldwide switch in South and internal Asia.

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Additional info for Glaciers of the Karakoram Himalaya: Glacial Environments, Processes, Hazards and Resources

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The balance of clearversus-cloudy weather in summer is critical since, as will be shown, direct solar radiation is the overwhelming cause of melting in glacier basins. 6 Karakoram Climatic Environments 19 The three different weather systems vary in strength from year to year. How they do so is one way in which global climate change may be felt in the region (see Chap. 12). Nevertheless, the influence of the different air masses is greatly modified by their interactions with rugged terrain and extreme elevations.

Above 3,800 m a total of 2,811 glaciers have been counted with an area of 5,725 km2, about 11 % of the catchment (Yang and An 1991). Those in the Karakoram Range cover about 4,200 km2. Given the aridity of so much of the Yarkand Basin and its lesser mountains, the glaciers are of overwhelming importance for freshwater yields. The larger part of the Karakoram lies in the trans-Himalayan upper Indus Basin. In total, the basin is almost 200,000 km2 in area. It includes extensive high desert tracts on the margins of the Tibetan Plateau and a series of rivers draining the north slopes of the Greater Himalaya.

Dissertation, University of London, London Hewitt K (1988) Catastrophic landslide deposits in the Karakoram Himalaya. Science 242:64–67 Hewitt K (1989) European science in High Asia: geomorphology in the Karakoram Himalaya to 1939. In: Tinkler KJ (ed) History of geomorphology; Hutton to Hack. Unwin Hyman, Boston, pp 165–203 Hewitt (1993) In: Shroder JF Jr (ed) Himalaya to the sea: geology, geomorphology and the quaternary. Routledge, London Hewitt K (1998a) Catastrophic landslides and their effects on the Upper Indus streams, Karakoram Himalaya, northern Pakistan.

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