Glacial advances in the Yankti Kuti Valley synchronizes with climate variability

New Delhi, June 21, 2022: Multiple events of glacial advances have been witnessed from the Yankti Kuti valley situated in the extreme eastern part of Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand, since 52 thousand years (MIS 3) that synchronises with climate variability, according to a new study.

Many researchers have provided information on the nature of glaciation in the Central Himalayas by employing various modern dating methods. However, the chronological data for glacial landforms in the Central Himalayas is still limited due to the lack of dating material in the study areas because of the inaccessibility of these areas. Thus a correlation between two major climatic systems: the Indian summer Monsoon and the mid-latitude westerlies and glacier advance remained speculative.

Scientists of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology has reported first time the oldest glacial advance during 52 Kilo years from the Central Himalaya, as the evidence of glacial advance during the Last Glacial Maxima and subsequently younger time periods have already been reported from many parts of the Central Himalaya.

They found that moisture-deficient valleys of semi-arid Himalayan regions respond sensitively to enhance precipitation. The study suggests a regional synchronicity of glacier response to climate variability since MIS 3. The study carried out was in accordance with the synoptic-scale, climatic perturbation triggered by the North Atlantic millennial-scale climate oscillations.

The research published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews provides a robust chronology and climatic evidence indicating significant ice volume depicted by the height of glacial material (moraine) during MIS 3.

The study can help enhance the existing knowledge of the relationship between Himalayan climate and glacier dynamics and can help assessing the role of Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) versus westerlies in driving the valley glaciers in the Central Himalayan region.

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