>Date: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 18:00:35 -0400
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>Resent-Date: Wed, 02 Jun 99 18:00:53 EDT
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>Resent-Subject: GL: (NASA) Polar winds->winter storms; Melting Himalayas
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>Subject: [SEAC+ANNOUNCE] GL: (NASA) Polar winds->winter storms; Melting
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>1. NASA says Polar winds might cause winter storms
>2. Himalayan glaciers melting at alarming rate
>Wednesday June 2, 1999
>NASA SAYS POLAR WINDS MIGHT CAUSE WINTER STORMS
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rising winter temperatures across the
>Northern Hemisphere are expected to generate more numerous winter
>storms across western North America and western Europe, NASA
>officials said Wednesday.
> Warmer winters will bring more wet weather to Europe and
>western North America, with western Europe the worst hit by storms
>coming off the Atlantic, said NASA atmospheric scientist Drew
>Shindell in the current edition of Nature, a scientific journal.
> "It's a big concern to know why this happens," said Shindell.
> Shindell, based at Columbia University and the Goddard
>Institute for Space Studies, said the higher production of
>greenhouse gases in the industrialized nations of the Northern
>Hemisphere caused average winter temperatures across the region to
>rise by nine degrees Fahrenheit in the last 30 years.
> That's ten times more than the average 0.9-degree rise in
>worldwide winter temperatures during the same period, NASA
> The NASA scientist theorizes that the surge in Northern
>Hemisphere temperatures during the last three decades has been
>exacerbated by a "polar vortex" of upper-atmosphere winds over the
> In Shindell's climate model, higher temperatures in the
>lower, more-populous latitudes clash with the very cold
>temperatures above the North Pole and generate high-altitude winds
>that later pull heat and moisture from the Atlantic and Pacific
> As they move across the earth, those warm winds carry more
>rain and fuel temperature increases when they pass over land, NASA
> "In our model, we're seeing a very large signal of global
>warming and its not a naturally occurring thing," said Shindell.
>"It's most likely linked to greenhouse gases."
>MELTING HIMALAYAN GLACIERS POSE FLOODING DANGERS
>Wednesday June 2, 1999
> LONDON (Reuters) - Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting at
>an alarming rate and could cause a catastrophe if meltwater lakes
>overflow into surrounding valleys, Indian researchers warned
> "All the glaciers in the middle Himalayas are retreating,"
>Syed Hasnain, of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, told New
> The Gangorti glacier at the head of the Ganges River is
>receding at a rate of 30 meters (98 feet) per year, according to
>Hasnain's four-year study which will be presented to the
>International Commission on Snow and Ice (ICSI).
> If current trends, blamed on global warming, continue he
>predicts all the glaciers in the central and eastern Himalayas
>could disappear by 2035 with disastrous consequences.
> As the ice melts the water accumulates between the glacier
>and debris and rock, called a moraine, that was left over by the
> "The moraine is unstable. Occasionally these lakes burst,
>releasing enormous amounts of water," said Hasnain. "This is
>recognized as a serious problem in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Tibet
> Scientists have pinpointed the Imja glacier lake in Nepal's
>Sagarmatha national park as a potential trouble spot. The lake in
>the popular trekking area holds 30 million cubic meters of water.
>Experts think it will burst within five years.
> Hasnain said glaciers in the Himalayas are retreating faster
>than anywhere else on the planet. Along with potential flooding
>problems, the flow of rivers could become less reliable and
>eventually dry up, leading to water shortages.
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