Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People: Key findings of the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Report
Mountains matter because what happens in the mountains affects every human on the planet. Mountains occupy 22% of the world’s land surface area and are home to about 13% of the world’s population. They host vast biological diversity and are an integral component of all of the planet’s ecosystems. The glaciers in these mountains have forever acted as critically important water storage in the form of ice. But across the planet, that water storage system is rapidly changing since – due to elevation dependent increased warming – glaciers are melting more rapidly than scientists originally predicted. That change in the amount and timing of glacier melt has profound impacts on human populations – on the way we organize our food systems and agriculture, and on the very availability of water for basic human needs.