Climate Change Concerns: Solutions from a Collaborated Effort

  • Date: November 18, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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The U.S Agency for International Development and Global Health Bureaus collaborated to prepare the report: Changing Glaciers and Hydrology in Asia: Addressing Vulnerability to Glacier Melt Impacts. Climate change has long been in the news, and it is time for development agencies to educate regional communities on the impact of the slowly melting Himalayan glaciers. The report indicates the necessity to integrate education, environment, health, and social organizations in different programs.
Scientific communities and policy makers have shown keen interest in the changes in hydrology and Asian glaciers. It must be noted that glaciers melting is not only due to climate change, which is a primary factor. Countries across Asia are likely to be affected by the changes in the timing and amount of water flow, on political, social, and economic levels. Scientific research review of the Himalayan region encompasses glacier melt and vulnerabilities, cross-sectoral responses to the vulnerabilities, and organizations dealing with the impact of glacier melt.
Moreover, the report outlines several practical methods to deal with the complex changes in a sustainable manner.
Highlights of the report
Vulnerable to change: Several steep mountain ranges run through Asia, containing over 50,000 glaciers that are water lifelines to the largest rivers in Asia, supplying around 2 billion people with food and water supply. Climate change issues need to be communicated to communities along this line, who mostly belong to developing nations.
Additional information required: There is insufficient historical data on glacier melt to accurately predict how much longer the Himalayan glaciers will survive in comparison to glaciers in other parts of the word. The report recommends global collaboration of scientists to illustrate the glaciers' overall ice balance on a regional scale.
Future plans: Scientists predict glacier lake outburst as an impending impact, causing floods and extensive damage to a small number of people. Water crisis also looms threateningly. This will affect human health and the ecosystem, increasing disease outburst due to water shortage and high pollution. The report discusses the possibility of civil conflicts arising due to water supplies.
The report points to sustainable solutions to address multiple issues with cross-sectoral development programs. Several suggestions outlined in the report can be implemented to address the many issues that will arise from climate change.
Monitoring the Himalayas
A new system launched by NASA earlier this month will monitor the impact of climate change in the Himalayan Mountains. The new initiative named SERVIR, is a state-of-the-art regional monitoring system. SERVIR features web-based access to satellite imagery, decision-support tools and interactive visualization capabilities. Now, scientists and decision makers can access information that was previously inaccessible.
SERVIR was formed as an alliance between USAID and researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.



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