MOUNTAIN ISSUES

Satellite Mapping Shows Ice Caps’ Faster Melt Rate

Sep 1st, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: German researchers have established the height of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps with greater precision than ever before. And the new maps they have produced show that the ice is melting at an unprecedented rate. The maps, produced with a satellite-mounted instrument, have elevation accuracies to within a few metres. Since Greenland’s

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“Mountain People Unaware of Climate Change”

Aug 29th, 2014 | By
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Republica: Mountain communities are unaware of and unconvinced about climate change that is posing threats to their lives and livelihood, said the first three Nepali women to successfully climb K2, the world´s second highest and most difficult mountain.Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, Maya Sherpa and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, who set the record of being the first Nepali women

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Do Not Delay

Aug 28th, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: Almost every year disasters take place due to floods and landslides during the monsoon killing hundreds, displacing thousands and destroying properties worth millions of rupees in Nepal. However, we find that the response of the government in providing relief to the affected is often too little and very late. The government clearly stands

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Heat Wave Offers Glimpse Into Climate Change

Aug 25th, 2014 | By
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An unprecedented marine heat wave that swept the Southeast Indian Ocean in 2011 has given FIU scientists a glimpse into the future of climate change. The heat wave caused the loss of more than 90 percent of the dominant seagrass in some regions of Shark Bay, Australia. Since seagrass meadows provide habitat for many ecologically

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‘Incredible’ Rate of Polar Ice Loss Alarms Scientists

Aug 25th, 2014 | By
An artist’s impression of CryoSat-2,  the European satellite which has revealed dramatic ice loss.

The Guardian: The planet’s two largest ice sheets – in Greenland and Antarctica – are now being depleted at an astonishing rate of 120 cubic miles each year. That is the discovery made by scientists using data from CryoSat-2, the European probe that has been measuring the thickness of Earth’s ice sheets and glaciers since it was launched by

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No Time to Lose

Aug 25th, 2014 | By
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Republica: In recent weeks, Nepal has confronted alarming floods and landslides. These extreme events have taken hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of others in Tarai and hills. The country continues to face heavy and erratic rainfall, signifying more risks ahead. The distorted monsoon pattern has left many people in a lurch. Given its topography, Nepal already

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World’s Largest Ice Sheets Melting At Fastest Rate Ever Recorded

Aug 22nd, 2014 | By
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The Huffington Post: Greenland and Antarctica are home to the two largest ice sheets in the world, and a new report released Wednesday says that they are contributing to sea level rise twice as much as they were just five years ago. Using the European Space Agency’s CryoSat 2 satellite, the Alfred Wegener Institute from

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Tibet Facing Double Environmental Disasters

Aug 21st, 2014 | By
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Tibet is facing a double-whammy of disasters. China’s western so-called autonomous region is getting warmer and wetter, just as rampant population growth is creating pollution problems. The combination threatens to destroy fragile ecosystems and disrupt life for billions of people across Asia, according to a new environmental assessment by Chinese and Tibetan researchers. “It’s an environmental menace,”

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Future Crop Production Threatened by Extreme Heat

Aug 21st, 2014 | By
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Climate change impacts on crop production are complex and diverse. Their assessment is challenging as the impacts result from a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors (and their interactions), diverse crop responses to stress, as well as farmers’ management adaptations made in response to changing socio-economic and climatic conditions. Further, farmers’ adaptations produce their own

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Human Factor Speeds up Glacial Melting

Aug 18th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The impact of human activity is melting the glaciers in the world’s mountain regions, and is doing so at an accelerating rate. Ben Marzeion, a climate scientist at the University of Innsbruck’s Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, Austria, reports with colleagues in the journal Science that they used computer models to simulate changes in the world’s

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Tibet’s Glaciers at Their Warmest in 2,000 years: Report

Aug 15th, 2014 | By
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The Tibetan plateau, whose glaciers supply water to hundreds of millions of people in Asia, were warmer over the past 50 years than at any stage in the past two millennia, a Chinese newspaper said, citing an academic report. Temperatures and humidity are likely to continue to rise throughout this century, causing glaciers to retreat and

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Experts Call for Early Disaster Warning System

Aug 12th, 2014 | By

Experts say Sindhupalchowk landslide should serve as a wake-up call to the government and it should introduce an early warning system with effective implementation of national disaster management plan.Despite allocating millions of rupees annually to disaster risk management, the situation in Sindhupalchowk reveals total lack of preparedness on part of the government, they claimed.Stating that

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Nepal ‘Still Struggling’ to Harness Science for Development

Aug 11th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Nepal’s science sector remains chronically underfunded— getting less than 0.4 per cent of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) — and initially promising science policies have  failed to improve things, critics say. The country’s second national policy on science and technology (S&T) from 2005 aimed to underline the need for scientific research for Nepal’s development and to allocate

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State Climate Action Plans Lack Innovation, Study Finds

Aug 11th, 2014 | By

The Hindu: An analysis of State action plans to combat climate change reveal a lack of innovative approaches and a high variation in budgets apart from the fact that many did not move ahead from the business as usual scenario. However, the exercise in sheer numbers by 27 States is one of the largest sub-national action

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Flood Risk for Hundreds of Thousands in India After Nepal Landslide

Aug 5th, 2014 | By
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AFP: The Indian government says more than 400,000 people in the east of the country are at risk of flooding after a landslide that killed at least nine people in neighbouring Nepal. The landslide, triggered by heavy rains, has left scores of people missing and has created a mud damn blocking the Sunkoshi River which runs

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Why Effective Climate Policy Needs Women – and Vice Versa

Aug 5th, 2014 | By
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Integrating a gender approach in the new climate agreement will be vital to provide the legal base for promoting gender responsive climate action both at international and national level. That will be necessary for the improvement of effectiveness of climate policies and its implementation, as both women and men can make considerable contributions to adaptation

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‘Himalayan Region Too Seismic for Big Dams’

Aug 3rd, 2014 | By
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Geologists warn that a plan by the government of Uttarakhand, a state in the Indian Himalayas, to generate thousands of megawatts of hydropower ignores the region’s fragile ecology and vulnerability to earthquakes.The devastating floods that hit Uttarakhand in 2013 were widely blamed on ambitious development projects, but the state is still going ahead with a plan to generate more

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Path to Prosperity

Jul 30th, 2014 | By
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Republica: Building up on the successful visit of Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Nepal should seek to enhance the country’s role as a land-bridge between India and China by proposing Trans-Himalayan Economic Corridors during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. China’s emergence as the “Factory of the World” based on its focus on exporting labor-intensive

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New Zealand’s ‘Dramatic’ Ice Loss Could Lead to Severe Decline of Glaciers

Jul 29th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: New Zealand’s vast Southern Alps mountain range has lost a third of its permanent snow and ice over the past four decades, diminishing some of the country’s most spectacular glaciers, new research has found. A study of aerial surveys conducted by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) discovered that the Southern Alps’ ice

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The Debate of Climate Change

Jul 29th, 2014 | By
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Shafaat Rasool’s article “Climate Change and Kashmir’s Water Security” was an excellent read. Mr. Shafat highlighted how climate change is altering our water resources, especially glaciers. However, there is another aspect that needs to be addressed. A couple of research studies on glaciers cannot become baseline for predicting the ground situation. In recent times, it

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Desecration of Environment has Made Uttarakhand Prone to Floods, Landslides

Jul 27th, 2014 | By
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It is clear that tampering with the state’s fragile ecology has led to the devastation. The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2013 shows how the new state’s eagerness to catch up with Himachal Pradesh, its better-off neighbour, in terms of development, has exposed it to nature’s fury. Uttarakhand is the only state in the

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Efforts on to Monitor Himalayan Glaciers

Jul 24th, 2014 | By

IANS: Efforts are underway for the regular monitoring of the dynamics and climate studies of Himalayan glaciers, minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday. “Efforts are underway for regular monitoring of glacier dynamics, snow and glacier melting, geometrical changes and climate studies of the Himalayan glaciers,” Jitendra Singh said in reply

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Efforts on to Monitor Himalayan Glaciers

Jul 23rd, 2014 | By
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IANS: Efforts are underway for the regular monitoring of the dynamics and climate studies of Himalayan glaciers, minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday. “Efforts are underway for regular monitoring of glacier dynamics, snow and glacier melting, geometrical changes and climate studies of the Himalayan glaciers,” Jitendra Singh said in reply

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Melting Glaciers Giving Rise to New Lakes in Himachal Pradesh

Jul 23rd, 2014 | By

Times News Network: Melting of glaciers is resulting in the formation of smaller lakes in the high hills of Himachal Pradesh and is posing threat to the population living downstream. A recent visit to in Chokhang area of Lahaul-Spiti by MLA Ravi Thakur along with forest officials had revealed that around 6-7 smaller lakes have come

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Meet India’s Widows of Climate Change

Jul 22nd, 2014 | By
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There is no good time to ask someone to relive a catastrophic flood. But a rainy day is the worst. It is early morning and Deoli-Benigram, a charming village sprawled over an eastern Himalayan peak, is drenched. It has been raining since the previous evening — a persistent drizzle that shows no sign of stopping.

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Will Unprepared Countries be Able to Survive the Forthcoming Tragedies?

Jul 20th, 2014 | By
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Extreme weather and other natural calamities do not have to claim tens of thousands of lives and millions in damages. The extent of damage does not only depend on the magnitude or frequency of disasters but also on a population’s vulnerability. The - 2014 Global Climate Risk Index by Germanwatch showed that poor and developing countries are

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Ladakh Mulls Sustainable Development Models

Jul 11th, 2014 | By
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Sci Dev Net:  It was inevitable that a conference on ‘Sustainable Resource Development’ should veer around sustainable practices in the host city of Leh, situated on the cold and dry Ladakh plateau 15,000 feet above sea level in the high Himalayas. Organised by the Geological Society of London in collaboration with the Institute of Energy Research & Training

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Will the Real Montologist Please Stand up?

Jul 11th, 2014 | By
Vinay-in Lumgaundi 2011

‘Since its dictionary existence hasn’t caught on, expecting ‘montology’ as a possible new academic discipline to work its way through could only be preposterous. Isn’t it risking one’s own career path in already established disciplines in favor of a yet-to-be-created discipline? Will it not subsume some of the current dominant areas of ‘expertise’ concerning mountains?There

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Arctic Warming Upsets Birds’ Breeding Calendar

Jul 8th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Arctic migrants are nesting up to seven days earlier as the world warms. The sandpiper makes a beeline for the Alaskan shores, to join the phalarope on the beach and the songbirds in the woods − and all because the winter snows are melting earlier. Conservation scientists Joe Liebezeit and Steve Zack –

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Dark Snow: From the Arctic to the Himalayas, the Phenomenon That is Accelerating Glacier Melting

Jul 5th, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: When American geologist Ulyana Horodyskyj set up a mini weather station at 5,800m on Mount Himlung, on the Nepal-Tibet border, she looked east towards Everest and was shocked. The world’s highest glacier, Khumbu, was turning visibly darker as particles of fine dust, blown by fierce winds, settled on the bright, fresh snow. “One-week-old snow

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Lessons From the Success Story of Great Himalayan National Park

Jul 1st, 2014 | By
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On 23 June, UNESCO decided to put the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) Conservation Area in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on the World Heritage List, acknowledging it as one of the world’s most important and significant natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity, containing threatened species of outstanding universal value. Set up in 1984,

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Climate Change Altering Rhododendron Bloom Time: Report

Jul 1st, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: The blooming of rhododendrons heralds the onset of spring in the Himalayas, but thanks to climate change they are now flowering early in the winter itself, research shows. A study by a group of scientists of the G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora, has generated evidences of changes in flowering phenology

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Need to Rewrite the Mountain Perspective!

Jul 1st, 2014 | By
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Tagged as fragile, remote and marginal, these three aspects have featured prominently in discussions and deliberations concerning development in the mountains in our part of the world. Retired but active academician N S Jodha, a former senior staff with the Kathmandu-based Integrated Center for International Mountain Development, has been credited for using these three features

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Adapt or Survive? How Migration Creates Climate Resilience

Jun 27th, 2014 | By
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International Refugee Day last weekend marked the end of a week of tragedy. A Roma teenager beaten to within an inch of his life, and a woman stabbed to death in Essex for being a Muslim. The UN Refugee agency announced that Refugee numbers are now the highest they’ve been since World War II. The

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Coastal Warning for Vital Atlantic Habitats

Jun 26th, 2014 | By
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Rising temperatures, increasingly acidic seas and human destruction will drastically change the nature of the coastal seas of the north-east Atlantic over the next century, scientists predict. According to new research in the journal Ecology and Evolution, it will completely alter the forests of kelp and the maerl beds of coralline algae that serve as shelter and

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Icebergs Strip Away Rich Antarctic Habitat

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By
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A once-rich habitat in the Antarctic has become an impoverished zone as icebergs, increasingly breaking free from the surrounding sea ice because of global warming, scour the shallow-water rocks and boulders on which a diversity of creatures cling to life. A report in the journal Current Biology says that researchers who carried out a survey dive in

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Climate Change Will Increase Flow in Asia’s Big Rivers

Jun 22nd, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Climate change will cause water levels in Asia’s five major river systems, that are fed by Himalayan glaciers, to increase at least until 2050, a new study predicts. Led by Arthur Lutz, post-doctoral researcher at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, the study predicts an increase in water availability for the upstream basins of the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Salween

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Disaster-Struck Indian Himalaya Region Braces for Monsoon Season

Jun 20th, 2014 | By
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In June last year, monsoon floodwaters in the Indian Himalayan region swept entire houses off their foundations, washing them downstream. NGOs said a lack of disaster preparedness caused more damage than the disaster itself. Now, one year later, NGOs are hurrying to prepare communities for what may come as the new monsoon season approaches. The

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Drones Zero In On Himalayan Glaciers

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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Drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are finding a role in the study of glaciers in the rugged and remote Himalayas. Using UAVs to study the Lirung glacier in Nepal’s Langtang region, scientists from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Research, Kathmandu, have shown that glacial melt water

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Flow Chart Unclear for Glacial Rivers

Jun 19th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: A new study examining river basins in the Asia region suggests that amounts of water supplied to the area by glaciers and rainfall in the Himalayas will increase in the coming decades. At first reading, that looks like good news, as an estimated 1.3 billion people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, China and

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Flooding in Nepal: Will the Economy Survive the Deluge?

Jun 17th, 2014 | By
A farmer covers himself from the rain during Asar Pandra festival in Bhaktapur

The Guardian: In Banke district along the West Rapti river basin in Nepal, farmers have noticed that floods are coming more often, and with greater intensity. Flooding has always been part of the annual cycle of life, but the past 40 years have seen 12 abnormally large floods that have eroded land and wiped out crops and buildings.

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Underworld Threat to Melting Icecap

Jun 16th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Researchers in the US have identified a new reason for the acceleration in the melting of Greenland’s icecap − the ice underneath, as it melts and then refreezes, appears to speed up glacial flow. The melt-and-freeze-again cycle is not itself new, as a similar process has been diagnosed under the ice cap of Antarctica.

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Safer Climate Disasters

Jun 15th, 2014 | By

Too often, participants in the climate-change debate make an erroneous distinction between protecting ourselves from the longer-term impact of global warming and better preparing ourselves against today’s extreme weather events. Recent reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have sought to break down this artificial divide. While seeking to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, we

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Vermont Climate Change Report Warns of Catastrophic Flood Risk

Jun 11th, 2014 | By

(Reuters) – A warming world could pose a risk of more frequent catastrophic flooding but also be a long-term boon for Vermont farmers and a shorter-lived thrill for its skiers, according to a state report released on Tuesday. The Vermont Climate Assessment found that higher rates of precipitation expected to come with climate change could

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Hidden Volcanoes Melt Antarctic Glaciers from Below

Jun 10th, 2014 | By
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Antarctica is a land of ice. But dive below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and you’ll find fire as well, in the form of subglacial volcanoes. Now, a new study finds that these subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots” are contributing to the melting of Thwaites Glacier, a major river of ice that flows into Antarctica’s Pine

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The Himalayas: Upstream but Downwind

Jun 9th, 2014 | By

The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region has received much attention as the source of rivers that supply water to 1.3 billion people downstream. It has received far less attention for its role as the recipient of air pollution originating in the plains. Across northern South Asia during the dry season, individual plumes from hundreds of

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‘Mombasa to Sink in 20 Years’

Jun 9th, 2014 | By

Mombasa and other parts of the Kenyan Coast could disappear under the sea in the next 20 years. In a new report by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), experts have warned that the Coast as we know it today will be no more in two decades as a result of rising ocean waters

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‘Glass is Half Full’ for Sustainable Development in Asia: Experts

Jun 8th, 2014 | By
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Asia’s urban population is set to soar from 1.9 billion in 2011 to 3.3 billion by 2050, a shift that is expected to place considerable strain on the continent’s physical infrastructure – roads, energy, food and water resources, waste management capabilities – as well as the ability of leaders to manage this urbanisation effectively. Despite this daunting challenge,

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City at Risk

Jun 4th, 2014 | By
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Republica: Kathmandu is a natural disaster-prone city. Nepal itself is ranked fourth at risk country for climate change. Due to these potential risks, Nepal has no other option than adopt measures of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Climate Change Adaptation. Among many problems in Kathmandu, the noteworthy are bad structures, limited and narrow road access, stop

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On Shrinking Glaciers

Jun 2nd, 2014 | By

The valley is gifted by nature with large reservoirs of water in the shape of glaciers.  We Humans have not been able to tap our resources to its hilt. Instead due to pollutants in the atmosphere and emission of poisonous gases, harmful seasonal changes have been brought upon us. Rising temperatures resulting in shrinking of

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Melting Glaciers, More Rain to Swell Himalayan Rivers

Jun 2nd, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: As the climate warms, increased melting of glaciers and more rain along the Himalayas is likely to enhance the flow of water into the big rivers that arise in this vast mountain range, according to research just published. Researchers in The Netherlands and Nepal used high-resolution modelling to study how a warmer climate would

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Insects Get Light Relief From Warming

Jun 1st, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Europe’s butterflies are fading in the sunlight as the summers warm − while some species of shrubs and trees in the southern hemisphere are growing less as winters become milder. Lead author Dirk Zeuss, of Philipps-University Marburg in Germany, and fellow researchers report in Nature Communications that as the climate of Europe begins to

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Glacier Feeding Indus Tributary Melting Fast, JNU Study Says

Jun 1st, 2014 | By
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Times News Network:  This could be worrisome for Himalayan glaciers. A team from Jawaharlal Nehru University has found significantly accelerated ice melting on Chhota Shigri glacier in Lahaul and Spiti over the last 10 years. The JNU team, which has been studying the glacier for several years to understand the impact of climate change, has

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To Reduce Flood Threats, Nepal Builds Climate Risk Into Planning

May 30th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – It is nearly time for the monsoon, but there has not been even a drop of rain yet in this village on the fringes of Chitwan National Park, a deep worry for local farmers. Retired forest guard Potahariyu Chaudhary, 65, looks at his dry maize fields and says he doubts the

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In the Himalayas, Drones Map Melting Glaciers

May 29th, 2014 | By

“Because it’s there,” George Mallory famously replied when asked in 1923 his motivation for challenging the world’s highest peak. Yet long before Mallory’s linguistic minimalism Everest was there, a Himalayan mountain above all others. In the early 20th century, however, climbing technology was too rudimentary to allow alpinists more than unfulfilled hopes and deadly dreams.

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Threat of Uttarakhand-like Disaster in Himachal Pradesh, Scientists Worried

May 28th, 2014 | By

Times News Network: Increased vulnerability of Himachal Pradesh to climate change has posed the threat of Uttarakhand like disaster. In 2013, bursting of a small lake in front of Chorabari glacier coupled with heavy rainfall had wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand and in Himachal Pradesh 249 glacial lakes exists of which 11 have been identified as having

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El Niño Blows Hot and Cold

May 26th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: El Niño, the mysterious meteorological phenomenon that periodically upsets global weather patterns, bringing catastrophic flooding to the arid lands of North and South America, and forest fires to South-east Asia, turns out to be more complicated than anyone had thought. Sandra Banholzer and Simon Donner, environmental scientists at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,

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Greenland Ice May Melt Even Faster

May 25th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Just days after US researchers identified geophysical reasons why West Antarctica’s glaciers are increasingly vulnerable to global warming, a partner team has pinpointed a related cause for alarm in Greenland. Many of the bedrock crevices and canyons down which the island’s glaciers flow have basements that are below sea level. This means that as warm

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Climate Change to Make Nepal Glaciers Shrink by Quarter in 30 Years – Scientist

May 25th, 2014 | By
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Samjwal Ratna Bajracharya, lead author of the report, told AFP, “the shrinking of glaciers in Nepal is definitely connected to climate change, glacial melt is a huge indicator of rising temperatures. “The Norway-funded research project led by ICIMOD took three years to complete, as scientists mapped satellite imagery from several decades to see the extent

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Glaciers In Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Shrinking Due To Global Warming

May 23rd, 2014 | By
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Glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, home to several Himalayan rivers including the Brahamaputra, have shrunk 15% due to global warming, Chinese researchers said. Glaciers have shrunk from 53,000 to 45,000 sq km in the past 30 years, the scientists added. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the highest place in the world’s mid-latitude regions, is more likely to

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