The forecast is dire for the glaciers of the Himalayas.
According to a report released Monday, a third or more of them could be gone by 2100 — melted because of earth’s warming climate. And that could have disastrous effects on the water resources of some 240 million people.
Representing five years of work by more than 350 researchers and policy makers from 22 different countries, the Hindu Kush Himalayan Assessment analyzes studies from across the region. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a Nepal-based intergovernmental organization, pulled together the 210 scientists who authored the report in the hopes that better coordination between scientists and national governments can make the evidence more clear and lead to solutions.
The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region spans eight countries from Afghanistan to Myanmar and includes some of the world’s tallest mountains, including Everest and K2. The glaciers sit atop these mountains, and the water that runs down from them feeds the agriculture that nearly two billion people depend upon.