Sunday, January 1

Advanced Earth Observing Satellite (ADEOS)

Figure depicts the Shishapangma (also known as Gosainthan) and Langtang Mountains in the Himalayas observed by AVNIR. The white sections are mountainous areas covered with snow. The steep mountains seem to cast their own shadows on the tops and the ridges, upper left. This is because the observation time was before noon local time as the sun shone from the lower right.

Nepal is in the lower portion of the figure, and Tibet, China, is in the upper portion, with the complicated border lying in an east-west direction. Shishapangma is on the right of the figure, 8,012 m above sea level on the Tibetan side. You can see other seven-thousand-meter peaks, including Langtang Ri (7,239 m above sea level), Gang Benchhen (7,211 m above sea level), and Langtang Lirung (7,245 m above e sea level). Some glaciers can be seen in the center of the figure near the bottom of Langtang Valley on the Nepal side. Many glaciers line up in the northwestern area around Shishapangma on the Tibetan side. Some glaciers on the Tibetan side have glacial lakes downstream that look copper green or pale emerald green.

The growth and melting of glaciers are considered indices of global warming, and some reports say that glaciers are easily affected by global warming in places at relatively low latitudes and high altitudes, as in the Himalayas and Tibet. As glaciers retreat and contract, glacial lakes collapse, flooding downstream areas and causing a rise in sea level. For this reason, we have to continue careful observation. Valley bottoms less than 1,500 m above sea level (lower left) appear veiled. This could indicate air pollution in the Katmandu basin. The mountainous area and Tibetan Plateau (higher than 3,000 m above sea level) look clear because the thin atmosphere has little influence on visibility.
Greenish brown: Forests
Yellow ocher, brown or gray: Exposed rocks or deserts
Brownish gray or bluish gray : Glaciers
White: snow or ice
Greenish blue or pale emerald green: Glacial lakes

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