[Illustrations, footnotes and references available in PDF version]
In some ways, a paper on the Himalayan Glaciers is a befi tting way to launch this working paper series, as it is an issue on which there is considerable academic and popular limelight, with a number of varying points of view. Study of the phenomenon of glaciation and glacier dynamics in the Himalayas has, in recent years, attained signifi cant attention, on account of the general belief that global warming and climate change is leading to fast degeneration of glaciers in the Himalayas. It is argued that this would, in the long run, not only have an adverse effect on the environment, climate and the water resources but also on other concerned and connected activities. This paper provides a summary of the literature, as well as some fresh analysis of the issue. An interesting point made in this paper is that while glaciers are the best barometers known to assess past climate, the same may not be true for glacier fluctuations being an accurate guide of future climatic changes.