Press release archive: 2014

Research expedition heads towards the Himalayas

23.9.2014 8:21

Researchers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute participate in an international expedition together with researchers from the University of Helsinki and The Energy and Resources Institute of India (TERI) in October 2014.

Photo: Heikki Lihavainen

Photo: Heikki Lihavainen

The expedition investigates the effect of air pollution on melting of the Pindari Glacier, situated in the Indian Himalayas. The expedition is funded by the Academy of Finland and National Geographic Society's Global Exploration Fund. The autumn's expedition is first of three, and a reference for the research conducted during expeditions in spring 2015 and 2016.

The journey will first take the researchers via Delhi to Mukteshwar (2100 m. a.s.l.), where an air quality monitoring station founded by FMI and TERI is situated. The on-going measurements in Mukteshwar are checked, as these will be a reference for the measurements conducted at the Pindari Glacier. The expedition will continue by vehicles about 130 km north to Bageshwar (2000 m a.s.l.). The journey will be continued by foot together with porters along a tourist path for about four days up to the zero point of the Pindari Glacier (3900 m a.s.l.). Up at the glacier (4500 m a.s.l), the FMI researchers will install a weather station to collect weather observations 24/7. In addition, the concentrations of particulate pollution will be measured both from the air and the glacier snow, as well as their effect on the reflectivity of the snow. The researchers from the Helsinki University and TERI will measure the properties of the surface snow and ice, as well as the dynamics of the glacier, such as the amount of melt water.

An important objective of the pilot-expedition is for the team to familiarize with the conditions at the Pindari Glacier, and to determine the applicability of different measurement instruments and equipment during the expedition. In addition, logistical challenges related to the expedition will be surveyed. These include accessing the glacier from the zero point and finding suitable solutions for producing electricity for the measurement instruments. The expedition will return to Finland during late October.

More information:

Head of Group Antti-Pekka Hyvärinen, tel. +358 29 539 5444, antti-pekka.hyvarinen@fmi.fi

Head of Unit Heikki Lihavainen, tel- +358 50 362 3773, heikki.lihavainen@fmi.fi