Temperatures Rising: Climate Change, Water, and the Himalayas | Wilson Center

Temperatures Rising: Climate Change, Water, and the Himalayas

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Webcast Recap

The Himalayas in the Tibetan Plateau and Karakoram North Pakistan, whose glaciers supply water to some 40 percent of the world's population, are a climate change hotspot. The Tibetan Plateau has experienced a 1 degree Celsius temperature rise in the past decade alone. The 40,000+ glaciers in China's Himalayas are in rapid retreat, posing grave environmental and human health threats and the prospect of catastrophic water shortages. China's foremost glacier scientist, Yao Tandong, predicts that China's glaciers will disappear by 2050, while the UN Intergovernmental Panel estimates they may be gone by 2035. In Northern Pakistan, temperature increases are leading glaciers to expand, which also poses environmental and water challenges. The three speakers will address the impact of climate change on the vulnerable ecosystems and communities in the Himalayas both in China and Pakistan and discuss current efforts to mitigate threats to the melting glaciers.