Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Glacier melting in Hindu Kush Himalayas


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Hindu Kush Himalayas

Mains level : Melting of glaciers

Up to two billion people in southeast Asia can face food and water shortages even as the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) mountain ranges lose up to two-thirds of its ice by 2100, a United Nations-backed research flagged.

Hindu Kush Himalayas

  • The HKH region, often referred to as the ‘Third Pole’, is spread over 3,500 square kilometers across eight countries including India, Nepal, and China.
  • The range forms the western section of the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH) and is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram, and the Himalayas.
  • It divides the valley of the Amu Darya (the ancient Oxus) to the north from the Indus River valley to the south.
  • It contains the world’s third-largest storage of frozen water after the Antarctica and Arctic.
  • Over 240 million people live in the region’s mountains; 1.7 billion live in the river basins downstream, while food grown in these basins reaches three billion people.

Continuous warming

  • HKH region continues to warm through 21st century even if the world was able to limit global warming at the agreed 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Another study published in 2019 on the ice thickness of glaciers had estimated that glaciers in the HKH may contain 27 percent less ice than previously suggested.
  • The HKH region lies downwind from some of the most heavily polluted places on Earth. This threatens agriculture, climate as well as monsoon patterns.
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