Climate

Securing the Third Pole: Glaciers, Snowpacks, and Water Vulnerability in High Asia

Known as the “Third Pole,” the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya, Pamir and Tien Shan mountain ranges of High Asia are home to the snow and ice headwaters of Asia’s most important rivers. These rivers provide drinking water, hydropower, irrigation, and other essential services to billions of people living downstream and changes in the mountains’ glaciers and snow reservoirs have cascading impacts on the region’s economic and human security. Protecting these essential water sources in a complex geopolitical setting requires transboundary science, public policy, and local efforts.

Climate Change: Is Urgency for Action Growing?

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW, we speak with Environmental Change and Security Program Public Policy Fellow Ruth Greenspan Bell about the recent release of the IPCC’s special report on global warming. We ask her if the increasingly alarming data from scientists is helping motivate global action to address the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

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Bridging Research and Policy on Climate Change and Conflict

Globally, we have seen an increase in climate impacts and security risks. At the same time, we have seen substantial progress in research on how climatic changes may alter or enhance the propensity for new violence or interact with existing conflicts. 
 

Will the Task Force on Arctic Marine Cooperation Deliver?

Over the past decade, the Arctic Council (AC) has evolved into the pre-eminent international forum for addressing Arctic issues. Among other things, it now boasts a permanent Secretariat and an Indigenous Peoples Secretariat. It has also helped establish a number of other entities, including the Arctic Economic Council, the Arctic Coast Guard Forum and the Arctic Offshore Regulators’ Forum.

America Must Act on the North and South Poles

The two poles of our planet — the Arctic and Antarctica — demand greater attention right now. For decades, the United States has played a leadership role in both regions, a responsibility that it must continue to fulfill as a warming climate and other drivers of change are creating new challenges and opportunities. Regrettably, the Trump administration has not devoted the resources or high-level attention necessary to maintaining American leadership position on these critical matters.

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