Pakistan’s glaciers are melting at faster rate, says Ministry

A view of the growing Khurdopin glacier, in the Shimshal Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, in the north of Pakistan, on October 18, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 27 May 2018

Pakistan’s glaciers are melting at faster rate, says Ministry

  • More and more glacial lakes are forming in remote mountain valleys in Gilgi-Baltistan because of warming temperatures.

ISLAMABAD: Surging temperatures in Pakistan’s northern areas are causing formation of bigger glacial lakes in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and Chitral district, which are aggravating socio-economic and environmental woes of the mountainous communities, the Climate Change Ministry said on Sunday.

“The country’s northern region is home to over 5,000 glaciers and many of them are melting at a much faster rate because of soaring average temperatures in the mountainous valleys,” Mohammad Saleem, spokesperson for the Climate Change Ministry and environmental educationist, told Arab News.
He added that all-out efforts are under way to mitigate the woes.
“More and more glacial lakes are forming in remote mountain valleys in Gilgi-Baltistan and Chitral district because of warming temperatures. These pose serious risks to the lives and livelihoods of the climate-vulnerable communities,” Saleem said.
“In 2010 there were about 2,400 glacier lakes in Pakistan’s north. Presently, there are over 3,000 glacial lakes, 52 of them in the north on the verge of outburst any time,” he explained.
According to the Ministry of Climate Change, the government, along with its partners, is working on different projects to enhance the food security of the mountain communities in the country’s northern regions and to reduce flood-related hazards caused by deforestation, landslides, land erosion and inefficient water use.
“At least 65,000 women would get training in home gardening, 240 water-efficient farming technologies would be set up and 35,000 hectares of land will be reforested to alleviate the devastating impacts of glacial lake outburst floods,” Saleem highlighted.


NASA investigating first crime committed in space: report

Updated 52 min 12 sec ago

NASA investigating first crime committed in space: report

  • Astronaut Anne McClain is accused of improperly accessing her partner’s private financial records while aboard the International Space Station
  • McClain’s lawyer said the astronaut accessed the account only to monitor the couple’s combined finances

WASHINGTON: US space agency NASA is investigating what may be the first crime committed in outer space, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Astronaut Anne McClain is accused of identity theft and improperly accessing her estranged wife’s private financial records while on a sixth-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), the Times said.
The astronaut’s spouse Summer Worden filed a complaint earlier this year with the Federal Trade Commission after learning McClain had accessed her bank account without permission, while Worden’s family filed another with NASA’s Office of Inspector General, according to the newspaper.
McClain’s lawyer said the astronaut had done nothing wrong and accessed the bank records while aboard the ISS in order to monitor the couple’s combined finances — something she had done over the course of their relationship, the Times reported.
NASA investigators have contacted both women, according to the newspaper.
McClain, who returned to Earth in June, gained fame for being one of two women picked for a historic all-female spacewalk, but NASA scrapped the planned walk in March due to a lack of well-fitting spacesuits, sparking accusations of sexism.
Worden said the FTC has not responded to the identity theft report, but that an investigator specializing in criminal cases with NASA’s Office of Inspector General has been looking into the accusation, according to the Times.