The Central government will set up a glaciology institute in Dehradun to find out whether Himalayan glaciers were receding due to climate change or it is a natural phenomenon.

The Centre has decided to set up a Himalayan Glaciology Institute in Dehradun as presently there is no robust scientific conclusion that the glaciers were melting due to climate change, Environment Minister Jairarm Ramesh said today.

"We don't have conclusive evidence that the glaciers are melting due to climate change though it can be one of the reasons, but receding can be a natural phenomenon also,"Ramesh said.

Adequate scientific capacity will be brought in the field to study and expand the area, the Union Minister said, adding there is also a need to set up weather stations in various Himalayan states such as Uttarakhand, Assam and Arunanchal Pradesh.

He said "there is a need to study the glaciers as they are around 1,200 in numbers with some of them receding and others, including Gangotri, are advancing. The rate of receding is also different".

Ramesh, who plans to visit China on August 24, said "besides discussing the issue of climate change, I will also discuss with the neighbouring country, how we can work on the ways to check glacial melting".

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