A recent video by NASA summarizes how the rapid melting of Asia’s high mountain glaciers, also know as Earth’s “Third Pole,” is affecting water availability. The video explains how NASA’s High Mountain Asia Team (HiMAT) aims to help in adaptation efforts by providing data and tools.
The video accompanies a feature article that highlights the project, which is described as “the most comprehensive survey ever made of snow, ice and water in these mountains and how they are changing.” Now in its third year, the team studies “three decades of data on this region in three broad areas: weather and climate; ice and snow; and downstream hazards and impacts.”
Due to the difficulties and dangers of visiting these high glaciated regions, “for most of human history, a detailed scientific study of these mountains was impossible,” according to the article. But “the satellite era has given us the first opportunity to observe and measure snow and ice cover safely in places where no human has ever set foot.”
The goals of the program include creating “an authoritative estimate of the water budget of this region and a set of products local policy makers can use in planning for a changing water supply,” called the Glacier and Snow Melt (GMELT) Toolbox.
NASA’s video explains the mission of HiMAT and provides contextual information on the receding of glaciers of the Third Pole.
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