Global warming is diminishing the Chhota Shigri glacier in the Pir Panjal ranges of Himachal at 0.67 metres a year, report French and Indian researchers.

The study, jointly supported by the department of science and technology, India’s space agency ISRO and the Indo-French Centre for Promotion of Advanced Research, concluded that the glacier mass was thinning more rapidly this century.

The researchers, including those from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and glaciologists from France, said that the glacier was losing ice due to rising atmospheric temperatures.

The decrease is measured in terms of the ice flux, or the volume of ice passing a point per year. Pottakkal George Jose from the JNU School of Environmental Studies and a member of the research team said “Our data suggests that the ice fluxes have diminished by 24 per cent to 37 per cent below 4,750 metres above sea level between 2003 and 2010,”

Team leader A L Ramanathan said the thinning of Chhota Sigri glacier, located about 100 km from the hill resort of Manali, had picked up speed this century.