Snow And Ice Are Disappearing Fast In Hinu Kush Himalaya: ICIMOD

Snow And Ice Are Disappearing Fast In Hinu Kush Himalaya: ICIMOD

June 21, 2023, 7:42 a.m.

Snow and ice in the Hindu Kush Himalaya are fast disappearing, with grave implications for people and nature reports the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

A peer-reviewed study conducted by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) revealed that glaciers disappeared 65% faster in the 2010s than in the previous decade

On current emissions pathways 80% of glaciers’ current volume will be gone by 2100 and availability of water is expected to peak in mid-century and then decline.

Similarly, vulnerable mountain communities are already experiencing major adverse impacts: loss and damage to lives, property, heritage, infrastructure and floods and landslides are projected to increase. It says that impacts on fragile mountain habitats are particularly acute

The snow and ice held in the mountains of the Hindu Kush Himalaya provide freshwater for 2 billion people in Asia. With glaciers disappearing at an unprecedented rate due to climate change, scientists warn of devastating consequences for people and nature from the region's changing cryosphere.

Unprecedented and largely irreversible changes to the Hindu Kush Himalayan cryosphere, driven by global temperature rises, threaten two billion people and are accelerating species extinction.

ICIMOD’s new report – Water, Ice, Society, Ecosystems in the Hindu Kush Himalaya – is the most accurate assessment of changes to the Asia high mountain cryosphere to date. It is also the first time their impacts on water, biodiversity and society have been properly mapped.

The report urges policymakers to prepare for the cascading impacts of climate change in this critical mountain biome, which provides freshwater services to a quarter of the world’s population.

It calls for urgent international support and regional cooperation for inevitable, near-term loss and damage, and to help communities adapt.

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