25 October, 2020

Ladakh's Melting Glaciers Ring A Warning Bell, Why Indo-Gangetic Plain Is In Danger Zone

A game of ice hockey featuring a legendary Russian who has an asteroid named after him brings into focus the whimsies of the climate that is eating away at Ladakh's landscape

Left, the melting glacier in Ladakh; right top, three of the players at the ice rink; below, the hockey match in progress
Ladakh's Melting Glaciers Ring A Warning Bell, Why Indo-Gangetic Plain Is In Danger Zone

Happening on it abruptly, it seems to be a rich lick of cream appetisingly rolling on a dark crust. Till one takes in the shockingly blue firmament and the torn edges of surrounding mountains—a glacier lying in the sharpest of contrasts to its rocky underpinning. A glacier, moreover, in calamitous withdrawal. A plaque called ‘A letter to the future’, erected in August 2019, takes disheartening stock: “It is the first islandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow suit. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

On a windy January morning, Leh played host to a game of ice hockey featuring a motley group of stick-wielders—a legend of the game from Russia, CEO of a staffing company, volunteers from all over the world and members of both the Indian men’s and women’s national teams. Called ‘The Last Game,’ the match was more than a friendly exercise. It was a call to join...



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