Tectonic plate collisions between India and Tibet formed the Himalayas between 40 and 50 million years ago. The “abode of snow” is among the youngest mountain ranges worldwide, especially compared to older ranges such as the Appalachians. The Himalayas continue to grow by more than 1 cm per year, as continental plates continue their collision course. Weathering and erosion offset this growth, but the continued plate convergence creates frequent earthquakes and tremors.
In addition to the beauty of the towering peaks, the Himalayan mountain ranges provide a critical water supply for billions of people throughout Asia. Rivers that stem from the Himalayas include the Yangtze, Ganga-Brahmaputra, Ganges, Indus, Yarlung, Yellow, Mekong, and Nujiang. Besides Antarctica and the Arctic, the largest deposits of ice and snow exist in the Himalayas, giving the region the nickname the “third pole.” The largest glacier within the Himalayas is the Siachen Glacier, which measures nearly 50 miles in length. India also contains one of the largest and most extensive alluvial plains in the world, known as the Indo-Gangetic-Brahmaputra Plain. The unique and varied geography of the region contributes to the remarkable biodiversity and high levels of endemism.
Uttarakhand state sits along the western Himalayan Mountains and has seen several flash floods and landslides in the past. More than 6,000 people were killed, left missing, or presumed dead in 2013 when heavy monsoon rains triggered massive flooding.
Recently a glacier collapsed resulting in the death of 30 and missing more than 200 people. The rescue operation is still on its way to look for survival that is trapped due to the avalanche caused by the glacier collapsed and as well the dam was operating during the disaster.
The first thing anyone will notice, while looking at the footage of the collapsed glacier, is that mountains are barred and very few trees were seen. Scientists are warning that climate change will trigger more avalanche likes this. The trees are the lifeblood of these mountain ranges as they are not only holding the land together but are providing habitat to animals that are local to these regions.
Climate change is not sparing anyone whether the extreme cold in the mid-west region of The USA or the remote areas of places like Uttarakhand.