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The Himalayan Climate and Water Atlas: Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources in five of Asia's Major River Basins

2 years ago

The Atlas sheds light on the state and fate of the water resources of the Hindu Kush Himalayas, a region that is highly vulnerable to climate change and one of the poorest regions in the world. The information in the Atlas presents science-based information that will help develop solutions and take the necessary action to deal with changes in the region. 


Drawing on several years of research under the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) the atlas contains new findings about the impacts of climate change on the region, including:


-  Temperatures across the mountainous Hindu Kush Himalayan region will increase by about 1–2°C (in some places by up to 4–5°C) by 2050.
-  Precipitation will change with the monsoon expected to become longer and more erratic.
-  Extreme rainfall events are becoming less frequent, but more violent and are likely to increase in intensity.
-  Glaciers will continue to suffer substantial ice loss, with the main loss in the Indus basin.
-  Communities living immediately downstream from glaciers are the most vulnerable to glacial changes.
-  Despite overall greater river flow projected, higher variability in river flows and more water in pre-monsoon months are expected, which will lead to a higher incidence of unexpected floods and droughts, greatly impacting the livelihood security and agriculture of river-dependent people;
-  Changes in temperature and precipitation will have serious and far-reaching consequences for climate-dependent sectors, such as agriculture, water resources and health.


The atlas includes recommendations to encourage policy makers to develop flexible and cooperative strategies between countries in order to deal with increased variability and to meet the challenges posed by either too much or too little water.


Tags: Adaptation Climate Change Mountains Asia

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