by Quincy Marks
Media Production Editor
As global temperatures around the world continue to increase, the Hindu Kush Himalayan region in Asia is at extreme risk of a massive glacier melting, as shown in the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment. Drafted by 210 scientists and 350 researchers from 20 countries, the report states that two-thirds of its glaciers will melt by 2100 if global warming continues. According to Tobias Bolch, an author of the assessment, stopping the temperature increase won’t stop the glaciers from melting. If the temperature increase leveled out, one-third of the glaciers would still melt by 2100.
The Hindu Kush Himalaya region stretches 59,648 square miles. The eight countries affected by the melting include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan. Overall, the melting would affect 240 million people living in the region. The ten rivers that the Himalayan glaciers feed into, such as the Ganges, Indus, and Yellow River, would affect the drinking water of 1.9 billion people as well.
The melting will create drastic problems for the inhabitants living near the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, as 70% of those people are farmers. The rising rivers have the potential to cause flooding that can easily wipe away agricultural space. According to Chanda Gurung Goodrich, an assessment author, lack of agricultural work will put a strain on families, forcing fathers to travel to find work and mothers to care for the family without help. Furthermore, the regional melting will contribute to rising sea levels and further threaten endangered species.
The authors of the assessment also seek to bring awareness to this pressing problem, one that needs immediate attention. The assessment offers “up to date solutions… for development of the region and conserve existing ecosystems.” The scientists and researchers behind the report offer valuable solutions for problems that indigenous people in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region face, such as combating poverty and gender inequality, supporting clean energy and steady food supply, and ensuring a supply of clean water.
As global temperatures continue to rise, scientists around the world search for a solution to level out CO2 emissions and the temperature increase. Global warming is a pressing issue that will greatly affect people’s lives in the future if a major solution isn’t put into place soon.
(Sources: CNN, NPR, Vox)