High-resolution chemical records from an 80.4m ice core from the central Himalaya demonstrate climatic and environmental changes since 1844. the chronological net accumulation series shows a sharp decrease from the mid-1950s, which is coincident with the widely observed glacier retreat. A negative correlation is found between the ice-core δ18O record and the monsoon precipitation for Indian region 7. the temporal variation of the terrestrial ions (Ca2+ and Mg2+) is controlled by both the monsoon precipitation for Indian regions 3,7 and 8, located directly south and west of the Himalaya, and the dust-storm duration and frequency in the northern arid regions, such as the Taklimakan desert, China. the NH4
+ profile is fairly flat until the 1940s, then substantially increases until the end of the 1980s, with a slight decrease during the 1990s which may reflect new agricultural practices. the SO4
2– and NO3
– profiles show an apparent increasing trend, especially during the period 1940s–80s. Moreover, SO4
2– concentrations for the East Rongbuk Glacier core are roughly double that of the nearby Dasuopu core at Xixabangma, Himalaya, due to local human activity including that of climbing teams who use gasoline for cooking, energy and transport.