A retired Indian engineer is waging his own one-man battle to stop global warming melting away the Himalayan glaciers: He claims he has discovered a way to create new glaciers. Chewang Norphel, 76, has "built" 12 new glaciers already and is racing to create five more before he dies. By then he hopes he will have trained enough new "icemen" to continue his work and save the world's "third icecap" from being transformed into rivers. His race against time is shared by Manmohan Singh, India's prime minister who called on the region's Himalayan nations, including China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan, to form a united front to tackle glacial melting. The great Himalayan glaciers, including Kashmir's Siachen glacier, feed the region's most important rivers, which irrigate farm land in Tibet, Nepal, Bangladesh and throughout the Indian sub-continent. The apparent acceleration in glacial melting has been blamed for the increase in floods which have destroyed homes and crops. Chewang Norphel, the "Iceman of Ladakh", however believes he has an answer. By diverting meltwater through a network of pipes into artificial lakes in the shaded side of mountain valleys, he says he has created new glaciers. A dam or embankment is built to keep in the water, which freezes at night and remains frozen in the absence of direct sunlight. The water remains frozen until March, when the start of summer melts the new glacier and releases the water into the rivers below. So far, Mr Norphel's glaciers have been able to each store up to one million cubic feet of ice, which in turn can irrigate 200 hectares of farm land. For farmers, that can make the difference between crop failure and a bumper crop of more than 1,000 tons of wheat. The "iceman" says he has seen the effects of global warming on farmland as snows have become thinner on the ground and ice rivers have melted away never to return. His own work has now been recognised by the Indian government, which has given him £16,000 to build five new glaciers. But time is his enemy, he told The Hindustan Times. "I'm planning to train villagers with instruction CDs that I have made, so that I can pass on the knowledge before I die," he said.