Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-2203-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-10-2203-2016
Research article
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23 Sep 2016
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 23 Sep 2016

Quantifying ice loss in the eastern Himalayas since 1974 using declassified spy satellite imagery

Joshua M. Maurer, Summer B. Rupper, and Joerg M. Schaefer

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Cited articles

Abrams, M.: The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER): data products for the high spatial resolution imager on NASA's Terra platform, Int. J. Remote Sens., 21, 847–859, 2000.
Atwood, D., Meyer, F., and Arendt, A.: Using L-band SAR coherence to delineate glacier extent, Can. J. Remote Sens., 36, S186–S195, 2010.
Bajracharya, S. R., Maharjan, S. B., and Shrestha, F.: The status and decadal change of glaciers in Bhutan from the 1980s to 2010 based on satellite data, Ann. Glaciol., 55, 159–166, 2014.
Basnett, S., Kulkarni, A. V., and Bolch, T.: The influence of debris cover and glacial lakes on the recession of glaciers in Sikkim Himalaya, India, J. Glaciol., 59, 1035–1046, 2013.
Bay, H., Tuytelaars, T., and Van Gool, L.: Anonymous Surf: Speeded up robust features, Springer, 404–417, 2006.
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Short summary
Here we utilize declassified spy satellite imagery to quantify ice volume loss of glaciers in the eastern Himalayas over approximately the last three decades. Clean-ice and debris-covered glaciers show similar magnitudes of ice loss, while calving glaciers are contributing a disproportionately large amount to total ice loss. Results highlight important physical processes affecting the ice mass budget and associated water resources in the Himalayas.