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Melting Glaciers for Water

Pakistan has such a desperate drought that it is considering melting glaciers in order to get water. The government has asked the national weather office to look into the possibility of melting the glaciers in the northern mountains of the country.

"We have not yet completed our study, but we have now gathered that, yes, practically maybe, it can be done by spraying some black carbon on the snow, the glaciers," says Qamar-Uz-Zaman Chaudhry, director general of themeteorological office. "They will absorb more radiation and the snow melt can be increased 10 or 15 percent."

The glaciers in the Himalayan, Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountain ranges have been a major source of water for the country each spring and summer for thousands of years. However, there are drawbacks to speeding up their melting rate. The plan could destabilize the glaciers, block rivers and lead to flooding.

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