Global warming is melting the Himalayan glaciers faster and faster, threatening one of the world's most important fresh water supplies—unless it isn't. The glaciers in at least one part of the Karakoram range are actually putting on mass, and scientists are not sure why, reports the BBC. A new study by French scientists of the 2,168-square-mile Karakoram region from 1999 to 2008 used satellites to measure land surface elevation. And while there is much variation in that range, overall there has been a slight gain.
"Right now we believe that it could be due to a very specific regional climate over Karakoram because there have been meteorological measurements showing increased winter precipitation," said the lead researcher. "But that's just a guess at this stage." But scientists emphasize that, whatever the reason, the trend in the Karakoram range is at odds with most of the greater Himalayas, where the rate of ice loss has doubled since the 1980s on 10 of the most regularly measured glaciers. (Read more Himalayas stories.)