The Himalayas, A Special Report

Oct 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Adaptation, Bhutan, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Disaster and Emergency, Ecosystem Functions, Government Policies, Information and Communication, International Agencies, Lessons, Publication, Research, Resilience, Vulnerability, Water

himalaya-banner-590With one-fifth of the world’s population relying on seasonal Himalayan melting, the disappearance of the Third Pole is sending warning signs.

Floods, droughts, wildfires, windstorms, water contamination and illnesses plague the 1.3 billion people who live in the watersheds directly supplied by glacial melt from the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. The waterways of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan are endangered, and scientists are gaining a bettter understanding of just how fast climate change is taking its toll on the region.

As the Himalayan glaciers disappear, ten major Asian river systems–the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, Yangtse, Yellow, and Tarim–are threatened. Twenty percent of the world’s population faces a future of catastrophe, according to a report released by University College, Chinadialogue, and King’s College of London in May 2010. Extreme glacial melt, seismic activity and extreme weather events are already affecting the region’s rivers, lakes, wetlands and coasts. The devastation is a warning sign of what’s to come.

In these feature articles, news briefs, photographs, and graphics Circle of Blue documents one of the critical front lines in the global battle against climate change and water scarcity.

Special Features

Himalayan Outburst Lakes May Be Increasing GLOFsMore research needed to understand risk of glacial floods.

70 Percent of Himalayan Glaciers Gone by Next Century, Studies SayPhotographic and scientific evidence shows that the melting third pole is still devastating the region

Climate Change To Heighten International Tensions Over Freshwater ResourcesGrowing supply and demand gaps.

New Report: Turbid Water Stirs Up Future of Insecurity for AsiaAsia faces unprecedented water challenges, experts say, but solutions are within reach.

Himalayan Yeti Absent from the Headwaters of Asia’s rivers?Habitat loss, water diversion projects, and modern life threaten unknown primate.

China, Tibet, and the Strategic Power of WaterPollution and global warming threaten Asia’s most important freshwater source.




Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>

Himalayan Nations at Climate Change Conference-CoP21

Over 150 heads of state and government gathered in Paris at the UN climate change conference on Monday, 30 November, the largest group of leaders ever to attend a UN event in a single day. In speech after speech, they provided political leadership and support to reach an ambitious and effective climate change agreement by…

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