Monday, October 12, 2009

Oxygen content in Ladakh up 50%: Scientists

Anyone visiting Ladakh in India for the first time can be left gasping for breath due to low oxygen levels in the high altitude region. But a successful plantation drive has brought about environmental changes - driving up oxygen content by 50 percent and, most unusually, making it rain, say Indian scientists.
Ladakh is located between the Kunlun mountain range in the north and the Himalayas in the south at a height of nearly 12,000 feet and has a rarefied atmosphere. But scientists of the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), which is behind the plantation drive, have found a marked increase in oxygen content.
The mountain ranges in this region were formed over a period of 45 million years by the folding of the Indian plate into the more stationary Eurasian Plate. The drift continues, causing frequent earthquakes in the Himalayan region. The peaks in the Ladakh range are at a medium altitude close to the Zoji-la (5,000–5,500 m or 16,000–18,050 ft), and increase towards south-east, reaching a climax in the twin summits of Nun-Kun (7000 m or 23,000 ft).
Ladakh is a high altitude desert as the Himalayas create a rain shadow, denying entry to monsoon clouds. The main source of water is the winter snowfall on the mountains.
Most of the Ladakh region is a cold desert with nearly no vegetation. The oxygen content is much lower than that in the plains.
Fore more information follow the link below.
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