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Himalayan glaciers and ice caps that supply water to more than a billion people in Asia are losing mass up to 10 times less quickly than once feared, reports a study published Thursday.
Based on an improved analysis of satellite data from 2003 to 2010, the findings offer a reprieve for a region already feeling the impacts of global warming.
"The bad news is that they are still losing a lot of water. There is still definitely a serious problem for the Himalayas."
But they do not mean that the threat of disruptive change has disappeared, the researchers warned.
"The good news is that the glaciers are not losing mass as fast as we thought," said Tad Pfeffer, a professor at the University of Colorado's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and a co-author of the study.