MOUNTAIN ISSUES

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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‘Improper Use of Clean Energy Fund Weakening India’

Sep 17th, 2014 | By
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India’s leveraging strength in climate finance will be “weakened” globally after the central government’s failure to properly plan state-wise sharing of revenue generated from the coal cess-driven National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF), an expert said. According to Joyashree Roy, a member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), India is taking a “major wrong step”

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Kedarnath to Kashmir, The Tragedy of Development

Sep 16th, 2014 | By
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This week’s flood in Kashmir, the worst in half a century, has left a trail of devastation so extensive that from the aerial pictures it is hard to imagine there was ever life below the watery landscape. With river embankments breached, agriculture eroded, cities flooded, roads and bridges washed away, the flood was too devastating

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When Rain Breaks Loose

Sep 15th, 2014 | By
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Morning of September 6, 2014 was nightmarish for Hasham Tariq, a resident of village Karamabad, situated near Wazirabad on the bank of Nullah Palkhu. Three days of continuous rain brought down the roof of his old house. Suspecting danger, he, along with his wife and two children, had moved to a relative’s house the night

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Southern Alps Lose a Third of Their Ice

Sep 14th, 2014 | By

A third of the permanent snow and ice on New Zealand’s Southern Alps has now disappeared, according to research based on aerial surveys by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.The researchers say that that since 1977, the volume of ice on the nation’s Southern Alps has shrunk by more than 18 cubic kilometres

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Jammu and Kashmir Flood ‘Glimpse’ of Calamities Ahead

Sep 14th, 2014 | By
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Said to be the state’s worst in over a century, the Jammu and Kashmir floods might just be the harbinger of bigger calamities. Amid the recent spate of ominous reports that have revealed how the government, both at the Centre and in Jammu and Kashmir, sat on information about an imminent disaster, three other warnings

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Pakistan-India Monsoon Floods: Averting Future Disasters

Sep 13th, 2014 | By
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It makes these annual disasters all the more tragic that for most of the year both countries have little rain. Yet after leaving more than 450 dead and a swathe of destruction on both sides of the border, much of the water dumped on the Kashmir and Punjab regions in the past 10 days will

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‘J&K Floods Grim Reminder of Climate Change’

Sep 11th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: The worst floods in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 60 years and the subsequent devastation are due to a combination of unprecedented and intense rain, mismanagement, unplanned urbanisation and a lack of preparedness, Sunita Narain, director-general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said on Wednesday. A CSE analysis showed the floods were a

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J&K Floods a Grim Reminder of Increasing Climate Change Impact in India: CSE

Sep 10th, 2014 | By

As Jammu and Kashmir continues to reel under its worst floods in 60 years, which have stranded over 6 lakh people and killed about 200, the attention is slowly veering towards the reasons and causes behind this unprecedented natural disaster. An analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) suggests that this could very well

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The Importance of Crafting Stories on the Green Economy

Sep 9th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Last week a coalition of organisations that would like to see countries transition swiftly to a green economy called a meeting to brainstorm ideas of stories that would help sell their cause.  A green economy is an idea I support, so I accepted an invitation to go along. But, joining the collection of businesspeople and NGO representatives

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No Lessons Learnt in Flood-hit Pakistan

Sep 8th, 2014 | By
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Dawn: Recent monsoon rains and the destruction they have left in their wake in major cities of Punjab provide a grim picture of the inability of urban settlements to cope with intense downpours in a warming world. The television footage showed torrents of water gushing into homes, of people wading in at least four feet of

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Deadly Monsoon: Pakistan’s Climate Change Policy Remains Stagnant

Sep 7th, 2014 | By
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Dawn: As deaths mount and cities continue to flood, experts are once again sounding the alarm bells over the impacts of climate change in Pakistan. More than 110 have been killed in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the heavy torrential rain since Thursday. A number of cities have received over 130mm

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Mountain of Trash May be Driving Himalayas to Disaster

Sep 7th, 2014 | By

Times News Network: Lalpani, a reserve forest, lies four kilometres off Shimla. For all the protection it is supposed to get, there is a giant heap of rubbish festering in it, a proof of neglect and contempt for environmental laws. Lalpani is not an isolated pocket. It’s the same with the rest of the Himalayas. Tourists tend

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Climatically Cut-off

Sep 5th, 2014 | By

Home Minister Bamdev Gautam should be given due credit for updating himself with minute weather details. Following ferocious floods in mid-western Nepal last month, he explained to the media the science behind the record rainfall: “There was a clash between the monsoon from the Arab Gulf and the one from the Bay of Bengal, it

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Nepal Renews Support to Small Island States’ Agenda

Sep 5th, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: Nepal renewed its support to the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) agenda. Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, Durga Prasad Bhattarai, extended Nepal’s strong solidarity in the cause of the third United Nations Conference on SIDS in Samoa, on Wednesday.Addressing the general debate of the Conference, the Ambassador said that Nepal

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Development Disturbing Islamabad’s Ecology, Say Experts

Sep 5th, 2014 | By
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APP: Environmentalists claim Pakistan is already among the top ten countries where unusual weather patterns are making major environment impacts, and the situation might further deteriorate in the coming years if attention was not paid to issues related to climate change. An environmentalist at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Kashif Salik, said the capital’s environment

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Migration Seen Through the Prism of Climate Change

Sep 4th, 2014 | By
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Dawn: Sounding alarm bells of almost apocalyptic magnitude, scientists and climatologists are saying that it would impact natural resources directly, making some parts of the world virtually uninhabitable. This, inevitably, would result in mass movement of human tide. Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre affirmed that back in 2011 at theNansen Conference on Climate

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Govt Taking Multi-sectoral Approach to Tackle NCDs

Sep 3rd, 2014 | By

The Himalayan Times: The government says it has taken multi-sectoral approach to fight non-communicable diseases.NCDs are responsible for 42 per cent of death annually in the country and cause 63 per cent of deaths globally — nearly 80 per cent occur in low and middle income countries, according to the World Health Organisation.According to government’s Multi-Sectoral

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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
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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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