Day: January 13, 2007

We're all going to die – Indian Glacier Melting edition

Big Melt Threatens India’s Water — Bagla 2007 (112): 1 — ScienceNOW

The massive glaciers of the Himalayas, which hold one of Earth’s largest reserves of snow and ice, have dwindled by one-fifth in the past 4 decades. A team of Indian geologists and remote sensing experts published the alarming news this week–a grim warning that if the trend continues, it could jeopardize the fresh water supply of more than 500 million people in India

Well, still early news, the worst case scenarios come to pass if there is not enough rain during the monsoon to replenish the glaciers. Here’s a concise Yahoo Answers page compiled by an 18 year old Nicaraguan

All states will have increased rainfall except Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu where it will decrease. Extreme precipitation will increase, particularly along the western coast and west central India.

Excerpted from the Stern report… My reading of the Stern report leads to the conclusion that global warming will increase water availability in the subcontinent, but also lead to more extreme rainfall and flood events, increased run off, more soil erosion, landslides, etc. Increased glacial melting will add to this mess. So, I don’t really like the conclusion this science article seems to come to. South Asia is not going to run out of fresh water anytime soon, it’s just going to have a hell of a time dealing with it!