As temperatures rise with a warming planet, at least one-third of the glaciers in the Himalaya Mountains are expected to melt by the year 2100 even if aggressive climate change goals are met, according to the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment. Large glacier loss is a severe challenge for the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region that spans 2,000-plus miles of Asia, in large part because it is a freshwater source for approximately one-quarter of the world’s population. This is just the latest sign that more concern must be given to the billions of people worldwide who rely on glaciers and mountain snowpack for their water.
What’s more, if climate targets are not achieved and greenhouse gases emissions continue at current rates, global warming could cause the Himalayas to lose two-thirds of its glaciers by 2100. A negative scenario where the Himalayas warms to 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4.4 degrees Celsius) would create massive disruptions to the water and food supplies and force large-scale migration flows.
Research has found that elevation can influence warming, and that higher elevations can amplify warming making life more precarious for those who depend on that meltwater.