MOUNTAIN ISSUES

China’s Glaciers Shrink by a Fifth Since the 1950s

Dec 15th, 2014 | By
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China’s glaciers have retreated by 18 per cent over the past half century, a comprehensive survey has found, as some experts warn of “chain effects” that could have an impact on water supplies in the country’s western regions. An average of 244 sq km of glacial ice had disappeared every year since the late 1950s,

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Deep Concern Over Invisible Threat to Antarctic Glaciers

Dec 14th, 2014 | By
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The Antarctic ice shelf is under threat from a silent, invisible agency – and the rate of melting of glaciers has trebled in the last two decades. The ocean waters of the deep circumpolar current that swirl around the continent have been getting measurably warmer and nearer the ocean surface over the last 40 years,

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Tackling Global Warming: Climate Change Driving Migration to Urban Areas, Says Speakers

Dec 14th, 2014 | By
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The Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE) countries have poor healthcare and educational conditions and high population growth, poverty and urbanisation rates. Rural-urban migration is becoming one of the most obvious factors induced by climate change, which is profoundly changing the society as whole in Pakistan. These views were expressed by speakers at a

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Vulnerable to Climate Change: South Asia at Risk of Food, Water Insecurity

Dec 12th, 2014 | By
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Environment and food security experts have said that better water management is essential to ensure food security in South Asia. They were speaking at a panel on “Water and Food Security in South Asia in the Era of Climate Change” as part of the three-day “Pathways to Sustainable Development” conference, organised by the Sustainable Development

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Government Admits Hydropower Projects Aggravated 2013 Uttarakhand Floods

Dec 11th, 2014 | By
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The Centre on Monday admitted for the first time that hydropower projects had “direct and indirect impact in the aggravation of floods” that hit Uttarakhand in 2013, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless. It also said that the projects caused “irreversible damage” to the environment and enhanced landslides and other disasters. Filing its affidavit in

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India Says Carbon Emissions Will Grow as it Drives to Beat Poverty

Dec 7th, 2014 | By
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The world must accept that India’s per capita carbon emissions will need to rise rapidly if it is to eliminate poverty, the environment minister said on Friday, as delegates meet in Lima for key UN climate change talks. India, the world’s third largest carbon emitter, is under growing pressure to set out a strategy to

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Warmer Seas Could Cause Faster Melting of Antarctic ice Leading to Rising Sea Levels

Dec 5th, 2014 | By
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Warming water under Antarctica’s ice shelves risks ice melting that could lead to a “worrying” rise in global sea levels, research has shown. Loss of the Antarctic ice shelves, which extend from the southern polar land mass over the underwater continental shelf, are likely to result in the glaciers behind them flowing more rapidly into

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Glacial Retreat at the source of the Ganges

Dec 2nd, 2014 | By
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When it came, the collapse of the head of the Gomurkh glacier was sudden, loud and very frightening. I say that it was frightening not because I am a particularly timid soul, but because not two minutes before, I had been standing in the very spot that was now the new location of a mass

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Common View on Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation

Nov 28th, 2014 | By

The leaders of Saarc member nations have called for cross-border information sharing and regional cooperation mechanism to fight climate change and to minimise the risks of natural disasters like floods and landslides in the region. Addressing the inaugural session of the 18th Saarc Summit at the City Hall in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the leaders highlighted

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Vehicles on Rohtang Should be Fuelled by CNG: Green Panel

Nov 28th, 2014 | By

IANS: The ice mass on high Himalayan mountain pass Rohtang, overlooking this tourist resort in Himachal Pradesh, is reducing rapidly due to air pollution and in the next 20 to 25 years it may vanish altogether, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said. This would create serious repercussions on ecology and the environment of the

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Kashmiris Urge India-Pakistan Cooperation to Head off Disasters

Nov 26th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Since India’s Jammu and Kashmir state was hit in September by its worst-ever floods, which also affected people on Pakistan’s side of the disputed border, the two rival nations are under growing pressure to put aside their differences to protect Kashmiris from rising disaster threats. During the recent floods, a top

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Disaster Risk in South Asia

Nov 25th, 2014 | By
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South Asia has 1.7 billion people, of which more than 70 per cent live in poverty. Despite having tremendous natural resource base such as water, minerals, forest, productive fertile land and industrious people, this region remains underdeveloped primarily due to political instability, poor leadership, inability to utilize natural resources at optimum level and frequent disasters.

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Study of Melting Glaciers Worries Meteorologists

Nov 24th, 2014 | By
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Meteorologists worried at the depletion of glaciers in Pakistan studied six glaciers in the Karakorum Range recently, and the results have made them worry even more. “All of them were found melting at a faster rate. The changing climate is taking a heavy toll on our glaciers,” Chief Meteorologist of Pakistan Met Department (PMD) Dr

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The Karakoram Glacier’s Secret to “Eternal Youth”

Nov 23rd, 2014 | By
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You might call it the ultimate cold case. In a time when glaciers are quite literally melting before our very eyes, one glacier in the Himalayas has been doing quite the opposite. “It’s been a source of controversy that these glaciers haven’t been changing while other glaciers in the world have,” Sarah Kapnick, a postdoctoral

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PC Recommends Bringing Down SAARC Centres From 11 to 5

Nov 23rd, 2014 | By

The process of the 18th Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation started today with the 49th Programming Committee meeting of the regional bloc in Kathmandu. The PC discussion recommended reduction of the number of SAARC regional centres from the existing 11 to five. Joint-secretaries from the Ministry of Foreign/External Affairs of all eight

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Worldwide Retreat of Glaciers Confirmed in Unprecedented Detail

Nov 20th, 2014 | By
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The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. A new book from the international GLIMS (Global Land Ice Measurements from Space) initiative, an international collaboration including the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado

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Looking Beyond IPCC Reports in the Himalayas

Nov 19th, 2014 | By
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Moving beyond the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports can help integrate scientific and traditional knowledge for effective adaptation action in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, an international gathering of climate experts in Kathmandu heard. Participants from 22 countries stressed at the 9-12 November conference in Kathmandu the need for increased knowledge

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Involve Communities in Climate Resilient Development: Report

Nov 19th, 2014 | By

The participation and contribution of knowledge and practices of indigenous local communities is crucial to effectively implement long-term adaptation plans and programmes to climate change, according to the findings of a new report on ‘Indigenous Practices in Climate Change Adaptation’. The report said the country’s aim to become climate-resilient society by building resilience in major

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South Asian Experts’ Top Ten Recommendations for a Stronger Post-2015 Disasters Agreement

Nov 18th, 2014 | By
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The pre-zero and zero drafts of the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) have now been released and the process to forge this global agreement in March 2015 is fast gaining momentum. It is therefore, increasingly important to ensure that the views of policy-makers and practitioners from countries at great risk of disaster losses

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Climate Conference Calls for Unified Voice of Mountain People

Nov 14th, 2014 | By

(Xinhua) — The international conference on “mountain people adapting to change: solutions beyond boundaries” concluded in Kathmandu on Wednesday, developing a list of actions urgently needed to help the residents of the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) deal with severe impacts of climate change. The four-day conference, jointly organized by the Nepali government and the International

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Intl Meet Calls for Setting up EWS Stations Across Himalayas

Nov 13th, 2014 | By

Press Trust of India: An international conference on climate change, attended by experts from countries including India, today underlined the need to install more stations across Himalayas so as to receive benefits from the early warning system in case of climate-change induced disasters. “Mountains have not received due recognition in global and national development agenda,” Executive

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The “Have-a-Mind-of-Their-Own” Glaciers of Asia’s Karakoram

Nov 12th, 2014 | By

Using new remote sensing methods to generate an updated glacier inventory for the Karakoram region of Asia – which is part of the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya mountain range located between the borders of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China – Rankl et al. (2014) developed what they describe as “a new comprehensive dataset on the state of

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High up in the Himalayas, Villagers Live Under the Shadow of An Unpredictable Lake

Nov 10th, 2014 | By
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As glacial lakes around the world grow bigger and deeper, high altitude communities are increasingly at risk from catastrophic flooding Chorabjor stared at me with gimlet eyes. Why had I come?, he asked through a translator. To learn about Lake Shako Cho, I replied. He signaled me to move closer. I sat down at his

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ASEAN Leaders Urged to Act on Climate Change

Nov 10th, 2014 | By

A coalition of NGOs has warned leaders attending the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar that a year after Typhoon Haiyan struck the region, causing massive destruction and many deaths, things will only get worse unless serious action is taken on climate change. Citing the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ASEAN

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Millions of Asians Exposed to Big Climate Disasters – Oxfam

Nov 7th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of people in Asia, the world’s most disaster-prone region, face the threat of major climate-linked disasters and food crises because government policies fail to protect them, Oxfam warned on Thursday. A year after Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in the Philippines, the aid and development charity warned that governments needed to

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Flooding Could Worsen Pakistan’s Water Shortage, Experts Warn

Nov 4th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In an ironic twist to Pakistan’s struggles with extreme weather, experts warn that the increasingly frequent and intense flooding in the country could lead to catastrophic water shortages. The problem, climate and water experts say, is a worsening lack of groundwater. Groundwater resources, used to supply Pakistan’s growing population with water

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Govt Forms Five-member Mechanism on Extreme Weather Forecasting

Nov 2nd, 2014 | By

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment has decided to constitute ‘Extreme Weather Forecasting and information Dissemination Mechanism’ headed by Rishi Ram Sharma, Director General at the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology to prevent human casualties caused by severe weather induced by tropical cyclones. The mechanism will have five members. On October 14, a blizzard

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Phewa Lake to Get Lost in 39 Years!

Oct 31st, 2014 | By

Phewa Lake will get completely covered in next 39 years if not looked after, experts said. At a programme organised by Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City (PSMC) and Kaski District Development Committee (DDC), stakeholders have expressed their serious concern over conservation of the one of the most popular tourist destinations of the nation. Speaking at the function,

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Glacial Retreat Will Continue but Can be Checked: Scientist

Oct 31st, 2014 | By
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The glaciers in the Himalayas will continue to retreat for another 40-50 years and if this phenomenon is not checked, temperature will rise by at least four degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This caution has been issued by Anil Kulkarni, a scientist with the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Science, at a conference

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Looking Into Chure Ecosystem

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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Nepal’s economy which is dominated by agriculture is heavily dependent upon the monsoon. Thus, we need to understand the processes of the monsoon and its importance before heading towards big chapters on climate change. But as we always want to catch a big mouse even though that mouse is not valuable still we love to

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12 Ways Communities Will Have to Adapt to Handle Climate Change

Oct 30th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: Climate change is making both droughts and flood more frequent and severe. Whether your area is suffering from too much water or too little, here are things you can do to adapt. Drought In the face of relentless droughts such as the historic one underway in California, we all want to help conserve.

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Nilofar Intensifies Into ‘Very Severe’ Cyclone

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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Cyclone Nilofar in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a ‘very severe’ tropical cyclone, said the Pakistan Meteorological Department. Section 144, which prohibits bathing in the sea, has been imposed in the coastal areas including Karachi and Badin. Speaking to the media, Chief Meteorologist Tauseef Alam said the cyclone is currently 1,100 kilometers away from

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Melting Glaciers, Changing Climate

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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At dawn, Mohd Soheb begins an arduous trek to the high camp at Chhota Shigri glacier in the Pir Panjal range in Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh. From the PWD guesthouse at Chota Dara, he walks down to the Chandra river where he travels across in a small iron crate using an ingenious system of pulleys

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Clean India Call Remains Unheard, Himalayas Turning to be Dumping Yard

Oct 29th, 2014 | By

The higher reaches of the Himalayas are virtually turning into an open air garbage dump. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for cleanliness seems yet to reach these lofty heights. “It’s surprising to see garbage littered here and there in this fragile ecosystem,” Aditya Gosh, a tourist from Kolkata, remarked. “It seems the tourists here

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Gangotri Glacier is ‘Rapidly Disintegrating’

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: The Gangotri glacier is rapidly disintegrating, states the latest observation of a team from the Almora-based G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. The team of the institute, which has been monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, particularly the Gangotri, since 1999, visited the glacier between June and October, this year. Kireet Kumar, Scientist

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Climate-induced Disasters

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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The Himalayan Times: Three weeks ago, I visited Madi area of Chitwan. Forty-year-old Ganga Devi Sunwar was among the many people I met—and who have been affected by extreme weather events. Every year Ganga feels that she has seen the worst flood of her life, only to be proven wrong in frequent intervals with more floods

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Researchers Resolve the Karakoram Glacier Anomaly, a Cold Case of Climate Science

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Researchers from Princeton University and other institutions may have hit upon an answer to a climate-change puzzle that has eluded scientists for years, and that could help understand the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people. In a phenomenon known as the “Karakoram anomaly,” glaciers in the Karakoram mountains, a range within

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As Glaciers Melt, A Lake in Nepal Fills Up

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Glaciers on Nepal’s Imja Tse (Island Peak) in the Himalayas have melted at an average rate of almost 10 meters per year over the past several decades, during which time residents of Imja Tse Valley below have literally watched the residual waters create an entirely new lake. The Imja Tsho (Imja Lake) first began collecting

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Governments Commit to Significant Funding Increase and Accelerated Action to Achieve Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: The Convention on Biological Diversity closed the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties today with Governments committing to step up actions to achieve, by the end of the decade, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed four years ago, and contribute to the sustainable development agenda. A key outcome was the agreement by

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Coastal Cities Need to be Climate-proof, Says Study

Oct 15th, 2014 | By

The Hindu: mate resilient in terms of extreme events with respect to preparation and infrastructure. Recent studies indicate that there is a long way to go in achieving this. Both the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 and the Environment Ministry had said there would be a high likelihood of increase in the

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Asia’s Mountainous Regions Very in Climate Sensitivity

Oct 14th, 2014 | By
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The high mountains of Asia, including the Karakoram, Himalayas, and Tibetan Plateau, combine to form a region of perplexing hydroclimate changes. Glaciers in the Karakoram region have exhibited mass stability or even expansion, contrasting with glacial mass loss across the nearby Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. This suggests that different regional snowfall or temperature signals might

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Uttarakhand Floods Result of Climate Change: Report

Oct 13th, 2014 | By

The 2013 Uttarakhand floods were most probably a consequence of “human-induced” climate change, a new report by the American Meteorological Society has suggested. The extraordinary rainfall in Uttarakhand in June last year has found a place in a list of 16 extreme weather events that the report says were most likely a direct result of

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Himalayan Glaciers In Karakoram Adding Bulk, Not Losing Ice, Says Study

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Reuters: Once again there is damning news against the Inter­governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this time from a study of glaciers in the Karakoram region of the Himalayas. It finds that the glaciers here are stable and snowfall is actually increasing adding to their bulk. Even earlier, these glaciers have been a source of

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Can’t Take the Heat

Oct 12th, 2014 | By
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As ocean temperatures rise over the next century, fish will migrate to cooler latitudes, according to projections by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As a result, many regions of the tropics could become “hotspots” for local fish extinctions, which could in turn threaten ecosystems and human livelihoods. The results, based on

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Himalayan Blunders at People’s Peril

Oct 12th, 2014 | By

I left Srinagar a week before the floods. Passing by the Zero Kadal, Srinagar’s oldest bridge across the Jhelum I had remarked that the river was reduced to a nallah and if this was its appearance in the monsoon season, the health of the river was grim. Then within days the waters swelled and the

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Cities Need Sustained Urbanization: Experts

Oct 10th, 2014 | By

As the Union government unfolds its long-term plans for planned development of urban centres, experts warn that poorly managed urbanization can be detrimental to sustainable development of cities like Pune. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and The Forum of Environmental Journalists in India (FEJI) held a brainstorming session on climate change in New Delhi

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Tackling the Water-energy-food Nexus Without Reinventing the Wheel

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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The water, energy and food (WEF) nexus has become a key concept for understanding the complexities of and interdependencies among the water, energy and agricultural sectors. It has become so key that this year’s World Water Week, organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in September, was centred around this theme. Given the known

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MoAD to Compensate Disaster Affected Farmers

Oct 8th, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) has sought an additional budget of Rs 4.5 billion from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to compensate flood and landslide affected farmers across the country. Floods and landslides destroyed agricultural output worth Rs 4.35 billion and livestock valued at Rs 148 million, according to MoAD. Floods and

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Researchers Travel to Greenland to Study Glacial Shifts

Oct 7th, 2014 | By
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Traveling to the icy regions of Greenland, UT researchers, led by Lauren Andrews, a geological sciences graduate student, looked at the country’s glaciers to see how they impact glacial shifts in icy regions of the Atlantic Ocean, including Greenland. Andrews and her team published their findings in an October edition of Nature. Andrews said the

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Why Greenland is Likely to Melt More Quickly

Oct 1st, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Climate scientists have thought a little more deeply about the state of the Greenland ice sheet and their conclusions are ominous. They think that the northern hemisphere’s largest assembly of ice and compacted snow is more vulnerable to climate change than anybody had previously thought. Marion Bougamont of the Scott Polar Research

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What Climate Change Means for Indigenous People

Sep 28th, 2014 | By
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When I was born in an Indigenous Limbu village of Eastern Nepal, no one had heard of climate change. Our communities struggled to make their living from land amidst armed conflict, feudal hierarchies, strangling debt and disasters that were slowly increasing. It was impossible, then, for anyone in the village to imagine that I might

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Climate Change: Experts Call for Proactive Approach to Manage Disasters

Sep 26th, 2014 | By
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The Express Tribune: They were speaking at a conference on “Climate Change and Disaster Management” organised by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms on Thursday. The speakers stressed the need for a comprehensive disaster management policy. Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal admitted to the government’s inability to face such catastrophes alone

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Ice Melt Dilutes Arctic Sea’s CO2 Clean-up Role

Sep 26th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The Arctic ice cap has just passed its summer minimum – and it’s the sixth lowest measure of sea ice recorded since 1978, according to scientists at the US space agency NASA. For three decades, the shrinking Arctic ice – and the growing area of clear blue water exposed each summer – has

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Climate Change Worsens Gender Inequality in the Himalayas

Sep 25th, 2014 | By
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In the Himalayas, when a flash flood rips through a village or when a glacial lake flood outburst wipes one out entirely, surviving families relocate to new settlements, where women are often burdened with more labor and kept away from school, or sent off to an early marriage. Climate impacts have made gender and ethnic

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Disaster Risk Management

Sep 24th, 2014 | By
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The Himalayan Times: Every monsoon season, floods and landslides wreak havoc across the country and our effort is limited to responding after a disaster hits. The recent Jure landslide (rock avalanche) compelled us to think proactively about disaster risk management. This clearly shows we are very poor in disaster preparedness measures. The Kanchanpur flood in the

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Was Kashmir Flooding a Man-made Disaster?

Sep 24th, 2014 | By
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India-administered Kashmir, located in the Himalayas in the country’s north, has been totally devastated by floods – the worst in more than 60 years. Even as the region grapples with the aftermath of the swirling waters, which have left more than 250 dead and millions homeless, the question is why this flood? Is this enormous

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A Himalayan Disaster Awaits India

Sep 22nd, 2014 | By

Many of the 200-odd glacial lakes in Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan are unstable and, in the event of an earthquake in the Himalayas, could burst and cause catastrophe in northern and eastern India. Celebrated mountain climber Maya Sherpa and Nepali environmentalist Kunda Dixit, while sounding this alarm, said that the lakes have been formed by

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Over 2 Million Displaced in India Due to Natural Disasters in 2013

Sep 21st, 2014 | By
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About 2.14 million people were displaced in India last year due to natural disasters, according to a United Nations-backed report which said the country was third after the Philippines and China to record the highest levels of displacement in 2013. The report ‘Global Estimates 2014: people displaced by disasters’ said 22 million people worldwide were

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Pakistan’s Economy Battered by Floods and Political Unrest

Sep 18th, 2014 | By
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Talks to end a month-long sit-in by anti-government protesters in Pakistan remain deadlocked after authorities arrested dozens of demonstrators. The South Asian country has been facing political turmoil over the past weeks ever since opposition politicians Imran Khan and Tahir-ul Qadri led mass demonstrations against the democratically elected government of PM Nawaz Sharif, whom they

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Himalayan Glaciers Losing Ice by Thinning

Sep 18th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: The response of the Himalayan glaciers to climate change is very puzzling in many ways. Despite being subjected to similar climate changes, some of these glaciers appear to be stagnant as their fronts (or mouths) appear to be stationary. However, appearances can be deceptive and these glaciers are in one stage of development where

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