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Hyderabad, May 21 How do the retreating glaciers of the mighty Himalayas impact the Indian monsoon pattern?

To find answers to this, the European Union (EU) has launched a project titled ‘High Noon’. The focus of the research imitative would be to study the impact of the Himalayan glaciers retreat on monsoons and distribution of water resources in north India.

The EU has allocated €3 million (approximately Rs 19.5 crore) to the research project, bringing together leading research institutions in Europe — Netherlands, UK and Switzerland — and India — TERI, IIT-Delhi & Kharagpur. Japan would also participate in the project.

In a statement, Mr H.E. Danièle Smadja, European Commission’s Ambassador to India said, “The project in the field of climate change, research and glaciology takes the well-established EU-India partnership to new heights.”

Aspects

The main aspects of the High Noon project would include:

Developing scenarios for snowmelt and monsoon patterns, based on improved regional climate simulations

Developing realistic regional socio-economic scenarios and assessing the changing water resources using regional models

It aims to identify and quantify issues related to changing water resources availability in northern India at present and in the future.

Monsoon basis

The hydrological system of North India is based on two phenomena, the monsoon precipitation in summer and the growth and melting of the snow and ice cover in the Himalayas.

The increasing greenhouse gases are expected to change these phenomena and, in particular, will have a profound impact on snow cover, glaciers and their related hydrology and water resources availability, the release added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 22, 2009)
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