MOUNTAIN ISSUES

Ecologically Fragile State to Face Yet Another Flood

Mar 31st, 2015 | By
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BILAL PANDOW writes about ‘Kashmir Flood on 30 March’ in Kashmir valley, another consecutive flood  since September 2014, which devastated the valley. He discusses about policies, ecological imbalance and increasing encroachment in the natural waterways and insufficient preparedness measures in place. As flood situation in Kashmir valley is looming, the water level in Jhelum river

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How Renewables can Come to the Rescue in Disaster Zones

Jan 29th, 2015 | By
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When people’s lives are thrown into chaos by war, famine or natural disaster, using renewable energy may not seem like an obvious response. However, a group of UK entrepreneurs believes that decentralised renewable energy could provide a cheap and immediate source of power to those who need it most. John Hingley, founder of Renovagen, a

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Time for Bhutan and the World to Give ‘Happiness’ a Second Look

Jan 29th, 2015 | By
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If there is one thing that could describe the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan in international development terms, it would most likely be the introduction of a unique metric to measure development progress: the “gross national happiness” index. But more than 40 years after the index was introduced by the country’s former king, Jigme Wangchuck,

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Increased Carbon Spill From Glaciers Sets New Puzzle

Jan 29th, 2015 | By
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Researchers in the US have calculated that, thanks to climate change, melting glaciers will have spilled an extra 15 million tonnes of organic carbon into the seas by 2050. The consequences for the ecosystems that depend on glacial meltwater are uncertain, but this burden of biological soot and sediment has potential implications for the global carbon

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Climate Pushes Doomsday Clock Close to Midnight

Jan 26th, 2015 | By
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The two main “extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity” are more acute than at any time in the last 30 years, according to scientists in the US. One is the possibility of nuclear war − even a limited one. The other is climate change, which the scientists say “looms over all

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Japanese Technology to Boost Flood Warnings in South Asia

Jan 25th, 2015 | By

IANS: A sophisticated flood forecast model developed by Japanese scientists will enhance early warnings and help mitigate the impact of climate change in the flood-ravaged trans-boundary river basins of India, Pakistan and even China. Rainfall and snowfall data from the three countries located in the Indus and Mekong river basins will be fed into a

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Climate: Melting Glaciers Adding Dissolved Carbon to World’s Oceans

Jan 21st, 2015 | By
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As if rising sea levels aren’t enough to worry about, U.S. Geological Survey scientists say melting glaciers may also adding significant amounts of carbon to the oceans, where it’s readily available to microscopic organisms at the base of the food chain. By 2050, that carbon could total as much as 17 million tons, equal to

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Javadekar Seeks Transboundary Cooperation to Develop Himalayan Region

Jan 19th, 2015 | By

Increased transboundary cooperation was needed to transform mountain forestry in Hindu Kush Himalayan region, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who addressed the inaugural session of the five-day symposium on ‘Transforming Mountain Forestry’ said, on Sunday. The symposium, which began on Sunday, aims at creating conducive transboundary conditions, politically and institutionally, to protect the forest ecosystems

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Revisiting Mountain Perspective: Reasons And Challenges

Jan 19th, 2015 | By
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K N Vajpai: This article is in the series of responses to an article on ‘Mountain Perspective’ at Link. It looks in to the aspects of mountain perspective and specificities as mentioned by Dr. N. S. Jodha during 1992s, and compares them in present  context. However, there are a number of doubts upon the relevance

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Bar-headed Geese Enjoy Roller-coaster Ride Over Himalayas

Jan 16th, 2015 | By
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Bar-headed geese make one of the most dramatic migrations on the planet. The species epic trek is more impressive than the march of the penguins; it puts the monarch’s winter jaunt to Mexico to shame. Every year as snow and ice descend upon the Mongolian plains, bar-headed geese leave their breeding grounds and fly over

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Can We Fight The Floods? Yes, We Can!

Jan 15th, 2015 | By
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Year 2014 was indeed an eventful one especially in the realm of Climate Change and Natural Disasters. South Asia on a whole and Pakistan in particular once again had to face climate change debacle in the form of heavy floods across the region which not only resulted in loss of lives but also catastrophic damages

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Scientists to Help Ganges Rice Farmers Handle Climate Threat

Jan 13th, 2015 | By
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Research scientists are coming to the aid of 300 million people along the River Ganges who face a hungry future because their staple rice crop is threatened by climate change. The team of scientists and development practitioners from Australia, Bangladesh, India and Nepal plan to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of 7,000 small-scale farmers

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Giving a Voice to the ‘Missing’ Women in India’s Climate Plans

Jan 11th, 2015 | By
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Women have the power to put India on the course to a green sustainable future:specifically, poor rural women working in the agriculture sector. India’s economy is predominately agrarian and increasingly female dominated.  80% of all economically-active women are employed by the agricultural sector. As men are migrating to urban areas for employment opportunities, partly as

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Pakistan’s Coastal Villagers Retreat as Seas Gobble Land

Jan 11th, 2015 | By
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Reuters: For fisherman Sammar Dablo it was as if “the seawater stole our homes” when land erosion forced his village to relocate further inland on Pakistan’s south coast. The people of the fan-shaped Indus Delta, where the Indus River meets the Arabian Sea, are among the poorest of the poor, mostly illiterate and living in

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Climate Change Threatens India’s Native Plants

Jan 9th, 2015 | By
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If India is to save hundreds of endemic plant species from extinction as a result of climate change it may need to resort to interventions such as assisted migration and expansion of existing protected areas, says a new study. Vishwas Sudhir Chitale, researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and corresponding author of the

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New Zealand’s Glaciers Melting Due to Climate Change

Jan 7th, 2015 | By

Climate change has affected New Zealand’s glaciers as tourists can no longer go to the ice on foot because of glacial retreat. Fox Glacier and the Franz Josef Glacier are now only accessible via helicopter. Local tour operator Fox Glacier Guiding has been unable to take tourists hiking since April because the glacial melt had

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Five Reasons Why Local Government Should Influence Climate Change Plans

Jan 7th, 2015 | By
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Unless we, as an international community, significantly reduce our carbon emissions by the year 2100, temperatures could soar by 4.8°C. The impact is unimaginable. This is why all eyes are on the next UN climate talks in Paris in 2015 and expectations are high. During the UN preparatory talks in Lima in December 2014, I

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Tibet’s Glaciers at Their Warmest

Jan 6th, 2015 | By

(Xinhuanet) — Recent decades have likely been the warmest and wettest on record in the Tibetan Plateau, known as the ‘Third Pole’ for its ice fields. A report on the region’s ecosystem published today shows climate change has been coming fast at the glaciers. The Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountains represent one of the largest

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Crowdfunded “Ice Stupas” Help Ladakh Adapt to Climate Change

Dec 30th, 2014 | By
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“If you cannot stop it, adapt to it.” This is the mantra of a tiny village — situated on the slopes of breathtaking Himalayan desert mountains of Ladakh — to survive climate change in the extreme north of India. With the glaciers they depend on for water melting too fast in summer and not enough

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Migration Merits Place in Mainstream of Climate Debate

Dec 24th, 2014 | By
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Among all the statistics about temperature increase, polar melting and sea level rise associated with a warming world, the impact on hundreds of millions of people forced to leave their homes due to climate change is often not fully considered. But the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an intergovernmental body set up in the early

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China Confirms its Southern Glaciers are Disappearing

Dec 24th, 2014 | By
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Glaciers in China that are a critical source of water for drinking and irrigation in India are receding fast, according to a new comprehensive inventory. In the short term, retreating glaciers may release greater meltwater, “but it will be exhausted when glaciers disappear under a continuous warming,” says Liu Shiyin, who led the survey for

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‘Nature-based Development Policies Can Bring Inclusive Growth in Himalayan Region’

Dec 22nd, 2014 | By

In  a recent policy dialogue held in Kolkata, representatives of four countries of the eastern Himalayas and the neighbourhood have stressed on the need to include the value of natural capital in national accounts. The dialogue, titled ‘Natural Capital for Inclusive Growth: Options and Tools for South Asia’, brought together more than 40 senior policy

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Apple Growers Shifting to Peach, Plum

Dec 22nd, 2014 | By

Tribune News Service: Climate changes such as less snowfall and temperature fluctuations seem to be taking their toll on apple production in Uttarakhand. Apple farmers in the higher reaches of the state are shifting to other fruits such as peach and plum that require lesser cold conditions. More than 98 per cent of the country’s

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Climate Change Mitigation: a Man’s World?

Dec 21st, 2014 | By

In three remote southern villages of Tanzania, six local women who were trained at the Barefoot College in India to install and maintain solar energy panels brought light and power to at least 200 households within a few months of returning home. Thanks to their new skills, the women also increased their voice and independence,

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‘Climatic Changes Led to 7 pc Annual Rise in Met Disasters’

Dec 19th, 2014 | By
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There has been an annual increase in hydro meteorological disasters by 7.4 per cent due to climate change. Climate change is also resulting in reduced number of rainy days during rainy season, unseasonal thunderstorms/lightning and a rise in global temperatures. Indeed, winds, thunderstorms, floods and other atmospheric phenomena are similar experiences of hydro meteorological disasters,

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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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