Gilgit: A group of local researchers and mountaineers while challenging the theory of ‘Karakoram Anomaly’, have launched their own research drive in a bid to disprove the theory, saying that the ground situation suggests that the glaciers in the Karakoram range also retreat over the year.
A 11-member research and mountaineer team from Upper Hunza region, which is renowned for mountaineering, have launched their ten-year long ‘Eco-tourism- com-Research Project’ from this winter and summited as many six mountains in the Karakoram range of Northern Areas of Pakistan in a bid to disprove the Karakoram Anomaly. The project has been launched on the auspicious of Pakistan Integrated Mountain Conservatory Program (PIMCP), which aims at conducting deep indigenous research on the glaciers, and related issues.
“We are surprise and equally disturbed by reading the myth of Karakoram Anomaly as we practically observe that glaciers in the Karakoram range rapidly retreating”, said the team leader and mountaineer from Shimshal valley of upper Hunza Muhammad Abdul Joshi. “I have fifteen years of mountaineering experience in the Karakoram range and have been closely observing that these glaciers are retreating rather increasing”, said Joshi.
He said that it is the reason that they have formally launched ten-year research program through local researchers and mountaineers, who would physically visit to each glacier in the Karakoram range twice in a year.
“Our trip will be both in summer and winter seasons to closely monitor the exact size of the glaciers”, Joshi maintained.
“The theory of increasing of glaciers at Karakoram range is unrealistic as we see sizeable amount of retreat of glaciers every year”, argues Joshi.
As their first activity, the research team completed their 20-day expedition by summiting six mountains at the evaluation of above 6000 meters in the Karakoram range during this summer to start collecting an indigenous data.
“We think that the researchers mostly rally on the satellite images and outdated technology rather practically visiting to the spot to exactly know the trend”, maintains another researcher Hussain. He said that they will visit and collect data twice in a year and release annually and reach to any accurate conclusion after ten years. The final report will be release after ten years. Their trip will be in the twice in a year in the peak seasons—summer and winter to observe the melting trend in summer and snow accumulation in the winter so that they can exactly know the trend. He said that it is for the first time that any expedition team summited these peaks in the winter season.
The research team maintains that besides collecting accurate data of glaciers, they have also launched a drive for sensitizing communities and authorities about the alarming trend of glaciers melting and other climate change induced events in the mountainous areas.
“Mountains and glaciers are our resources and source of fresh waters. Ignorance from their sensitivity and importance would have far reaching implications on the entire country”, D W Baig, who supervising and coordinating the team. He said that there is urgent need of sensitizing communities as well as the authorities towards the importance of glaciers to save the future generation. He said that their core objective to collaborate between researchers and mountaineers to collect data and exact information about the glaciers.