A heavily glaciated region of the Himalayas is bucking the trend of global ice loss and showing small signs of increasing in mass, according to a new study.
Data examining six regions in the Karakoram mountains in the western Himalayas, which contains 7,700 square miles (nearly 20,000 square kilometers) of glaciers, revealed more than half of them are either stable or have been advancing in recent years.
French scientists observed the size and shape of ice covering 2,168 square miles (5,615 square kilometers) in central Karakoram using satellite data from the Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (STRM) and the Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT5).
Between 1999 and 2008 the glaciers gained, on average, the water equivalent of around 11 centimeters a year, according to the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Lead author, Julie Gardelle from University of Grenoble in France says explanations for this increase are still not clear, but might lie in the localized climate.