Humans altered Himalayan glacier long before people arrived: Study
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: Human activity may have contaminated one of the highest peaks in the central Himalayas hundreds of years before a person ever set foot there. According to a study published in the journal PNAS, indicates that the byproducts of burning coal in Europe in the late 18th century made their way to the Dasuopu glacier, about 10,300 kilometres from London, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
Paolo Gabrielli from The Ohio State University in the US said, the Industrial Revolution was a revolution in the use of energy adding that the use of coal combustion also started to cause emissions that we think were transported by winds up to the Himalayas.
The research team was part of a larger international team that travelled to Dasuopu in 1997 to drill ice cores from the glacier.
Researchers say, Dasuopu, at 7,200 metres above sea level, is the highest-altitude site in the world where scientists have obtained a climate record from an ice core. It is located on Shishapangma, one of the world's 14 tallest mountains, which are all located in the Himalayas.
The team analysed one core taken from Dasuopu in 1997 for 23 trace metals. The ice cores operate as a sort of timeline, and show new ice forming in layers on the glacier over time.
It is possible for researchers to tell almost the precise year a layer of the glacier formed because of environmental clues like snowfall or other known natural or human-made disasters.
The researchers determined the ice the researchers evaluated formed between 1499 and 1992.