Himalayan glaciers are melting fast and may disappear within decades, affecting as many as 750 million people downstream who depend on the glacial melt for their water, according to a new UN report. Rivers in the region such as the Ganges, the Indus and the Brahmaputra, as well as others criss-crossing northern India may soon become seasonal rivers, a development that has ramifications for poverty and the economies in the region, warns the report released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). In south Asia (Indian subcontinent), people in the Himalaya and Hindu Kush regions and those downstream who rely on glacial waters would be seriously affected. The average glacier shrank 1.4 m in 2006, compared to 0.5 m in 2005 and 0.3 m in the Eighties and Nineties.

March 18, 2008

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