Pensilungpa Glacier


  • The Pensilungpa Glacier located in Ladakh’s Zanskar Valley is retreating due to increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation during winters, a recent study has found.

Key Findings on Pensilungpa Glacier 

  • Based on field observations for glacier mass balance collected via stake networking… over the glacier surface since 2016-2019, they assessed the impact of climate change through the lens of past and present response of the Pensilungpa Glacier, Zanskar Himalaya, Ladakh.
  • The study also said that field observations for four years (2015–2019) showed that the glacier is now retreating at an average rate of 6.7 plus/minus 3 metre per annum. 
  • The team attributes the observed recessional trends of the Pensilungpa Glacier to an increase in the temperature and decrease in precipitation during winters.
  • The significant influence of debris cover on the mass balance and retreat of the glacier’s endpoint, especially in summer.
  • The study also suggests that due to continuous rise in the air temperature in line with the global trend, the melting would increase, and it is possible that the precipitation of summer periods at higher altitudes will change from snow to rain, and that may influence the summer and winter pattern.

Back to Basics

About Pensilungpa Glacier

  • The Pensilungpa Glacier is located in Zanskar Range, Ladakh.
  • The Zanskar Range is a mountain range in the union territory of Ladakh that separates Zanskar from Ladakh.
  • Geologically, the Zanskar Range is part of the Tethys Himalaya. Pensilungpa Glacier
  • Its eastern part is known as Rupshu.
  • Marbal Pass and many other passes which connect Ladakh with Kashmir are in this area.
  • 13000 feet high Zojila Pass is in the extreme northwest of Zanskar range.
  • This range, is a branch of the Great Himalayan range of mountains.
  • Many rivers start in different branches of this range flow northward, and join the great Indus River.
  • These rivers include Hanle River, Khurna River, Zanskar River, Suru River (Indus), and Shingo River.
  • It also separates Kinnaur from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.
  • The highest peaks of Himachal are in Zanskar range.


Source : The Hindu

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