A thorough report on the Hindu Kush Himalayan region is released by ICIMOD.
KARACHI: A new study that was officially released in Nepal on Monday predicts that at least a third of the glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan range may disappear this century as a result of climate change. According to a research by the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), 36% of the glaciers in the area will be gone by 2100, even if carbon emissions are kept to 1.5C to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
New study one third of Himalayan glaciers disappear by
Why Himalayan glaciers are melting || ہمالیہ کے گلیشیئر کیوں پگھل رہے ہیں According to the ICIMOD report, two-thirds of the region’s ice mass will disappear within this century if the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal to keep the increase in global average temperature — well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels — is not met and global greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory.
Due to its glaciers, the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) range is referred to as the “water tower of Asia,” as they serve a significant role in guaranteeing the security of water, food, energy, and the environment for most of the continent.
Its highest peaks, including K2 and Mount Everest, as well as its distinctive cultures, varied fauna, and stunning landscapes span 4.2 million km2 and eight nations, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Nepal, and Bangladesh. The Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme has prepared the report titled “Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability, and People.”
The Hindu Kush-Himalayan region is vulnerable to climate fluctuation and change, the paper claims. Understanding historical and potential future climate changes is essential for developing effective adaptation strategies for hazards brought on by climate change.
According to the report, the majority of locations would see less snow cover over the next few decades as a result of rising temperatures. According to predictions, glacial mass loss will quicken over the twenty-first century.
Growing variability in the area is predicted to lead to a rise in the mass of glaciers in the western Himalaya and Karakoram. Even if global warming is kept to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) and Pakistan’s Karakoram mountain ranges will still experience warmer temperatures than the rest of the world.
Pathways and scenarios
To reduce uncertainty and enable immediate steps for societal and environmental improvements, the paper recommends the creation of long-term scenarios. The research cautions that if business as usual continues between now and 2080, the region may experience a decline rather than a rise in prosperity.
Maintaining environmental services and biodiversity
According to the report, nearly two billion people depend on the Hindu Kush Himalaya region for essential ecosystem services. Its biological variety is mostly unexplored and needs protection and study. Only in the eastern Himalaya between 1998 and 2008 were 35 new species discovered annually on average.
Satisfying energy demands
The report strongly recommends that the region’s enormous hydropower potential and other renewable resources be developed.
The report emphasises that in order to combat widespread energy poverty, it is imperative to fully utilise renewable energy sources and achieve energy security through mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Why Himalayan glaciers are melting || ہمالیہ کے گلیشیئر کیوں پگھل رہے ہیں More than 80% of the rural population in the region still uses traditional biomass fuels for cooking, and around 400 million people still do not have basic access to electricity, making climate change a serious danger to energy security and livelihoods.
According to statistics on the total amount of power produced, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Pakistan, China, India, and Bangladesh are all estimated to have a renewable energy share of roughly 100%, 100%, 62.4%, 30.2%, 85.3%, and 1.3% respectively.
Alterations in the cryosphere’s frozen water reserves
Many river basins are considered to rely heavily on the freshwater found in the frozen waters (cryosphere), which can be found in the form of glaciers, snow, permafrost, and ice. Thus, changes in the cryospheric system could endanger the hydropower, agricultural, and industrial sectors and increase the risk of disaster throughout the wider Hindu Kush Himalaya region.
According to the report, the majority of locations would see less snow cover over the next few decades as a result of rising temperatures. Since the 1970s, glaciers have been declining, retreating, and losing mass throughout the region, with the exception of some areas of the Karakoram, eastern Pamir, and western Kunlun. According to predictions, glacial mass loss will quicken over the twenty-first century.
Increasing worry over water security
Human security now includes water security, which has become increasingly important in the early years of the twenty-first century. The resources of the river assist almost 1.65 billion people who live in river basins downstream, both directly and indirectly.
As the “water tower of Asia,” the Hindu Kush Himalaya region is crucial to keeping most of the continent’s food, water, energy, and environmental security. Only a small portion of the region’s potential hydropower—500 gigawatts (GW)—has been actually developed.
Upstream portions of the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra rivers are anticipated to experience a steady rise in streamflow as a result of climate change through at least 2050.
Himalayan glaciers For a brief period, this increase in the Indus will be caused by higher glacier melt, whereas in the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, it is anticipated to be mostly caused by increased precipitation. According to studies, the Upper Hunza region of Pakistan’s seasonal water supply has become more scarce recently because of late glacier melting brought on by high climatic snow lines.
Nutritional and food insecurities
According to the study, 30% of the local population in the area has food insecurity, and about 50% of them have some type of malnutrition, with women and children suffering the most. High levels of poverty, the destruction of natural resources, climate change, a lack of market development, and poor policy are some of the reasons of food and nutrition insecurity.
increasing danger from air pollution
The Indo-Gangetic Plains are now regarded as the most polluted regions in the world due to the report’s findings that air pollution has significantly increased throughout the region and gotten worse over the past 20 years.
Himalayan glaciers The region has been experiencing persistent winter fog and haze, which has been impacting the air quality and causing levels of particulate matter to rise. Peshawar (Pakistan), Mazar-e-Sharif (Afghanistan), and Kabul (Afghanistan) are three urban areas in the area that are on the list of the 20 most polluted cities in the world.
Over 12 cities in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region have seen an increase in pollution concentrations that are more than 10 times higher than average annually. These cities include Agra, Allahabad, Amritsar, Jaipur, Patna, Dehradun, Delhi, Lucknow, Ludhiana in India; Peshawar, Rawalpindi in Pakistan; and Narayanganj in Bangladesh.
lowering the risk of disasters and fostering resilience
The study found that exposure to natural hazards with rising frequency and intensity puts more than a billion people at risk. In mountainous places, disaster risk reduction is especially crucial due to a variety of factors, such as the presence of multiple hazards, the pressure from land usage, and the consequences of climate change.
The research emphasised the need for quick action to adapt to climate change in order to preserve mountain habitats and livelihoods and to restrict global warming to less than 1.5°C by 2100.
The poorest, most politically and socially marginalised, and frequently ethnic minorities and tribal tribes, residents of the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region. According to data, one-third of mountain populations, especially in Pakistan, India, and Bhutan, survive on less than $1.90 per day. The average rate of deprivation varies from 43% in Bhutan and China to 52% in Pakistan, but is generally steady across the area.
Migration of people, environmental regulation, and gender equality
The paper emphasises the adoption of policies that enhance women’s participation in decision-making and promote climate governance for a fair distribution of rights, assets, resources, and power in the area. It also addresses the issue of oppression and exclusion that women experience.
Population movement is often regarded as a challenge in the region, and migration is highlighted in the research as a crucial component of the development discourse. The importance of environmental governance is also underlined since it ensures an equitable distribution of the advantages, disadvantages, and dangers of sustainable development.
A thorough investigation of the Hindu Kush Himalaya region reveals impending socioeconomic and environmental problems that have an influence on livelihoods and the sustainability of the mountains. In order to address these problems, the policy measures included in the assessment place a strong emphasis on the application of holistic and multidimensional approaches.
Himalayan glaciers From a policy perspective, in order to achieve sustainable mountain development, it will be necessary to investigate various scenarios that emphasise climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, advancement of renewable energy, reduction of poverty, and maintaining food, water, energy, and livelihood security.
To encourage sustainability and responsible economic growth in the mountain areas, governments in the area are urged to pursue the sustainable development agenda, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
Himalayan glaciers The third sentence, “While in a 2C rise, two-thirds of the ice mass could vanish if governments fail to curb emissions,” has been fully clarified and changed online as follows: According to the ICIMOD analysis, if the Paris Agreement’s long-term objective of keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels is not met achieved and global greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current trajectory, two-thirds of the ice mass could disappear.”