A third of the ice in the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush will thaw this century due to rise temperature . This will in turn disrupt river flows vital for growing crops from China to India. Vast glaciers make the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region – which is home to the world’s highest peaks topped by Mount Everest and K2 – a “third pole” behind Antarctica and the Arctic region, the scientists said.
Rising temperatures are a serious threat to the eight countries including China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Fresh water from the region’s glaciers flows into 10 major river basins, contributing to the drinking water, irrigation and energy needs of approximately 1.9 billion people, or about a quarter of the world’s population.
Warmer water temperatures will encourage the growth of invasive species. Extreme floods and droughts may “destroy the food production base of the region”, the study said, adding the rivers that farmers and energy companies rely on, like the Ganges, Yangtze, Mekong and Indus, will also be affected by glacier melt.