The Himalayas, or Himalaya, form a mountain range in Asia that separates the Indian subcontinent’s plains from the Tibetan plateau. The range has many of the highest peaks on Earth, including Mount Everest, the highest peak. The Himalayas include more than fifty mountains at an altitude of 7,200 m (23,600 ft), including ten of the fourteen 8,000-meter peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia
The large ranges of Central Asia, including the Himalayas, contain the world’s third largest deposit of ice and snow after Antarctica and the Arctic. The Himalayan range comprises about 15,000 glaciers that store about 12,000 km3 (2,900 cu mi) of fresh water. Its glaciers include the Gangotri and Yamunotri (Uttarakhand) and Khumbu glaciers (Mount Everest region), Langtang glaciers. (Langtang region) and Zemu (Sikkim).
Due to the latitude of the mountains near the Tropic of Cancer, the permanent snow line is typically one of the highest in the world at around 5,500 m (18,000 ft). In contrast, the equatorial mountains in New Guinea, the Rwenzoris and Colombia have a snow line some 900 m (2.950 ft) lower. Despite their closeness to the tropics, the greater Himalayan regions are snowbound throughout the year and form the sources of several big perennial rivers.
Scientists have been monitoring a notable increase in the rate of glacier retreat throughout the region as a result of climate change in recent years. For example, glacial lakes have been rapidly forming on the surface of debris-covered glaciers in the Bhutan Himalayas over the past few decades. While this impact will not be recognized for many years, it could possibly lead to catastrophe for the hundreds of millions of individuals who depend on the glaciers to feed the rivers during the dry seasons.