Roundup: Droughts and Floods in the Future

15% Shrinkage for Tibet Glaciers

“Glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau – the source of rivers such as the Brahmaputra – have shrunk by as much as 15 per cent, retreating by 8,000 square kilometres since 1980, according to a new Chinese government-backed study.

The decades-long study conducted by the official Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) discovered that the perennial frozen earth on the Tibetan plateau had also shrunk by 16 per cent over the past 30 years.”

Upstream photo of glacier-fed Brahmaputra River, Courtesy of Boquiang Liao, Flickr
Upstream photo of glacier-fed Brahmaputra River, Courtesy of Boquiang Liao , Flickr.

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Nepali Communities in Fear of Glacial Melt Floods

“Pemba Sherpa looks fearfully at the huge Imjha glacier lake which lies at an altitude of nearly 6,000 metres above sea level in the Everest region of eastern Nepal…His house in Chukung village is only a few kilometres from the rapidly growing lake.”

"Flooded
Courtesy of Flickr User Suzanne Hitchen.

 

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Climate change: Melting glaciers bring energy uncertainty

“Running 2,000 kilometres from east to west and comprising more than 60,000 square kilometres of ice, the Hindu Kush–Karakoram–Himalayan glaciers are a source of water for the quarter of the global population that lives in south Asia. Glaciers are natural stores and regulators of water supply to rivers, which, in turn, provide water for domestic and industrial consumption, energy generation and irrigation.”

Pakistan's Tarbela Dam, along the Indus River, is fed by glacial water from the Himalayas. Image by © Christine Osborne/CORBIS
Pakistan’s Tarbela Dam, along the Indus River, is fed by glacial water from the Himalayas. Image by © Christine Osborne/CORBIS, USAID

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