Most of the glaciers of the Himalayan mountain range surrounding Mount Everest will melt by the end of the 21st century: Report

The highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest

  • Two-thirds of the Himalayan glaciers — that constitute Mount Everest— will melt by the year 2100 if the rise in temperature continues at the same pace.
  • Even if governments try to control the rising temperature, it would still lead to the melting of at least one-third of Himalayan glaciers.
  • The Himalayan region has witnessed a surge in temperature by two degrees Fahrenheit since the 20th century.
  • The life of approximately two billion people is dependent on the future of these mountains.
Global warming has put the Hindu Kush mountain range of the Himalayas — home to Mount Everest — at utmost risk with most of its glacier cover expected to melt in less than eight decades, a recent report by the Nepal-based inter-governmental research organisation, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has warned.

According to the report, the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment, two-thirds of the glaciers in the region will melt by the year 2100 if the temperature continues to increase at the current pace.

In fact, one-third of the Himalayan glacier will melt by 2100 even if the global efforts are undertaken to meet the 2015 Paris agreement targets of limiting global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Hindu Kush Himalayan region, which includes Mount Everest and K2, stretches over 2,000 miles across Asia, from Afghanistan to Myanmar. It has witnessed a surge in temperature by two degrees fahrenheit since the 20th century, noted the report.

The melting of glaciers will have a direct impact on the flow of Asian rivers including the Ganges and the Indus. It could lead to increased water levels in the major rivers that could result in floods, affecting agricultural resources of billions of people in India, China, and six other countries.

The life of approximately two billion people is dependent on the future of these mountains, estimates the report.

A water crisis awaits

Access to water is already a great concern for people living in mountains in India, the changes in global warming could also result in a water crisis. Presently, the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region is a water resource for around a third of the world’s population, according to the report.

Last year, some of the residents of the Indian city of Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh and a famous tourist destination asked visitors to not to visit the hill station because the water supply in the city dropped to dangerously low

India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat”, said a government report released in 2018. Presently, 600 million people are facing water scarcity and over 200,000 people are dying every year due to inadequate water resources.

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