Climate Change will have devastating impact on Himalayas and Karakoram Ranges
According to new study named “The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment” climate change will have devastating impact on the three great mountain ranges in the world.
According to the report glacier volumes in this region could decline between 45% and 90% through the 21st century.
Himalayas and Karakoram ranges host the tallest peaks in the world including Everest(Nepal, 1st) and K2(Pakistan, 2nd). About quarter of the world population, almost 2 billion people rely on rivers flowing from Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalayan ranges.
"The consequences are pretty extreme. We are concerned, and we are worried," said Philippus Wester, chief scientist with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development. "Urgent climate action is needed."
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan will all be devastated if this melt continues. Rapid melt will lead to frequent and more intense flooding and as most of population in this region lives beside rivers deltas this will be catastrophic for some communities. As melting intensifies it will eventually lead to massive ice loss by end of the century, thus drying up most of the rivers in the region. Most of these countries are heavily reliant on agriculture with almost 70% population being farmers. If the rivers dried out this will lead to massive droughts and starvation.
River deltas flowing from Hindu Kush Himalaya are amongst the most fertile in the world. Indus delta in Pakistan and Ganges Delta in India and are a major source of food production world wide. Loss to agriculture from this region will have an impact on food availability world wide.
According to Wester "This is a wake-up call, Can we come together as humanity and rise to the occasion? I think we can. Yes, a lot of people want to be in denial. Yes, this is a story we don't want to hear because of our day-to-day issues, but the technology is there, and we have ways of reducing greenhouse gas. I'm an optimist, but time is running out, and we need to address this now, not next year or later. We need to have this conversation now. Otherwise, we are in trouble."
You can read the full report here : https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2F978-3-319-92288-1.pdf
Image : Khunjerab pass, Karakoram | Azeem Khan