Magazine article Geographical

GLACIAL GROWTH: Cracking the Mystery of the 'Karakoram Anomaly'

Magazine article Geographical

GLACIAL GROWTH: Cracking the Mystery of the 'Karakoram Anomaly'

Article excerpt

Among the Himalaya region, which along with most of the rest of the planet is steadily warming, there lies an aberration which is allowing glaciers in the area to remain stable, even grow in size, rather than melt and shrink. First observed in 2005, the so-called 'Karakoram anomaly' has seen temperatures cooling during both the winter and summer months along the Karakoram mountain range (pictured right) which crosses through India, Pakistan, and China and includes K2, the world's second-highest mountain. This is resulting in the steady accumulation of snow, and, consequently, the growth of some glaciers.

The cause of the anomaly appears to be a vortex of trapped, cold air that circulates through the Karakoram mountains, preventing them from overheating. Combined with the South Asian monsoon, this large-scale circulation system counteracts the summer warming of the rest of the Himalayas, causing the Karakoram range to cool while other areas get hotter.

'This vortex provides an important temperature control,' explains Dr Nathan Forsythe, research associate at Newcastle University, and lead author of a new study trying to understand the mechanics behind the Karakoram anomaly. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.